South Korean Gym Slammed After Only Allowing ‘Elegant Women’

A South Korean gym has banned disruptive women, reviving a national conversation about ageism.

A gym in Incheon hung a sign that said that no “ajummas” were allowed and only well-mannered ladies were welcome. Ajumma is a term for an older woman (late 30s and beyond) and any woman whose behavior is considered unpleasant or annoying.

Neither the gym nor its owner were named in the local media, but the owner justified the closure by saying the women’s disruptive behavior had hurt his business.

He claimed in a television appearance that some of the older female clients were known to sneak into the changing room to steal hair dryers, soaps, towels, and other bathroom necessities. They gathered and criticized and made fun of people’s bodies. Some young ladies have stopped going to the gym as a result of how these remarks made them feel.

Some have seen this as evidence of bigotry.

In its defense, the gym referenced an extra notification that made an effort to differentiate between women and ajummas. It states that ajummas are stingy with their money but lavish with other people’s and like freebies regardless of their age.

He feels that other business owners out there feel the same way but have been silent.

He said that he had no intention of making a hateful remark toward older ladies or women in general. The people who are most offended by this sign are the ones with the problem.

Some internet users voiced their support for the ban, and they also seemed to link rude behavior with women in their middle years and beyond. Many commentators have also noted that elderly males are just as prone to inappropriate behavior. 

Meanwhile, a more interesting type of fight is happening between North Korea and South Korea.

In recent weeks, North Korea has been breaching the border with South Korea with items carried on balloons.

North Korea launched over a thousand garbage balloons, brimming with human waste, debris, old batteries, and other recyclables, at South Korea during the latter half of May 2024.

Concerns about possible escalation and military retribution involving the two Koreas, who have been nominally at war since the 1950s, have been heightened by North Korea’s trash balloon offenses.