Red Velvet recently held a fanmeeting to celebrate Level Up! Project 2 reaching 100 million views.
During the interview, Irene revealed that she’s recently read the novel titled “Kim Ji Young, Born 1982”.
The book is known to depict the “subtle hardships [women] have to endure“. It has “a clear goal of enlightening those oblivious to the gender discrimination that takes place everyday“.
“Over the course of 192 pages, readers follow Kim’s typical Korean life from her early childhood to her adulthood and see how she ends up needing to get psychiatric treatment from all the damage she had to endure during her life.” — Korea Joongang Daily
But after discovering that she read a feminist book, a small group of Irene’s male fans began protesting against her by cutting up her merchandise.
They claim that Irene is a feminist for reading the book and decided to leave her fandom.
More than a few of these extreme fans began uploading photos of their cut-up photocards of Irene.
Some even went as far as burning her photos.
However, Irene isn’t the only idol to have read this book. RM of BTS has spoken about this book previously, expressing how impressed he was of the novel.
Girls Generation‘s Sooyoung named her reality show Choi Sooyoung, Born in 1990 because the novel had such a deep impact on her.
The book itself is constantly on bestseller lists, is in talks to be made into a movie, and has sold over 100,000 copies.
Most netizens are supporting Irene and mocking those fans who decided to leave because of this issue.
- “It just seems like Irene read a bestseller..I think they reacted too harshly..Irene, have strength ^^”
- “To not even think of the sexist comments and treatment Irene has received while being an idol and criticized her for being a feminist are too funny. Those male fans who are too sucked into their feelings of being “Irene’s stan” should just leave the fandom now”
- “Sigh…they asked her which book she’s read…she told them…it’s not right to leave the fandom! Irene-noona even though it’s tough, I hope you look at ReVel Up and have strength!”
- “Girls can read anything!”
There has been no official comment from Irene or SM Entertainment, however Irene was recently seen looking extremely exhausted at the airport following the incident.