WOMEN
09/02/2015 11:03 am ET Updated Sep 02, 2015

Maxim Korea Sexualizes Violence Against Women On Latest Cover

What were they thinking?

Sexualizing violence against women is never OK. So it's anyone's guess what the folks at Maxim Korea were thinking with their September 2015 cover. 

Actor Byeong-ok Kim, known for his roles in "Oldboy," "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance" and "Chronicle of a Blood Merchant," appears on the latest cover of the men's magazine, accompanied by the headline "The Real Bad Guy." The photo shows the star smoking a cigarette next to a car. Sticking out of the car's trunk are a woman's bare and bound legs. 

Maxim Korea

Inside, the article features more photos of the woman in the trunk, who is barefoot and wearing short shorts and a tank top. There's also a photo of Kim dragging a bulging trash bag to a reservoir. 

Thousands of people have signed a petition on Avaaz.org condemning the cover and asking for publication of the September issue to come to a halt. However, according to the creator of the petition, Maxim Korea defended the photos, saying, “We did depict the crime of murder and body abandonment in a film noir way, but there’s no hint of a sexual offense in the picture, and no fantasizing of sex crimes either.” 

The petition explains why the photos are making people uncomfortable (emphasis in the original): 

Maxim targets adult males and that’s no secret. Sexual objectification of women is its daily work and expertise. It is just natural that sexual crimes are implied when a sex-related medium deals with a male criminal and a victimized woman. Still, Maxim just chose to say 'it is a crime against a woman that isn’t necessarily a sex crime.' ... We should try to cut sexual assault rates, not encourage assaults. Please think of the social implications such a magazine issue can have.

UPDATE: 3:10 p.m. --  A spokesperson for Maxim U.S. denounced the controversial cover in a statement to The Huffington Post.

"The cover and corresponding feature published by Maxim Korea is deeply troubling," the spokesperson said. "We condemn it in the strongest terms."

 

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