A South Korean court delivered a landmark ruling yesterday when it convicted a 28-year-old man of raping a transgender woman, despite South Korean criminal laws that reject the concept of same-sex rape. This reflects a 2006 law that allows transgender citizens to change their sex on official records.
This ruling perhaps points to a changing tide in South Korea, as the Supreme Court rejected a transgender rape case in 1996.
Troublesome, however, is the fact that the 3 year sentence has been suspended for 4 years. Additionally, the hyper-involvement of the South Korean government in the sex life of the victim is equally questionable. While in this instance, inappropriate discretion on behalf of the court worked in favor of the victim, the finding that the victim is indeed a woman due to her "normal sexual relations" with her partner since her surgery continues to enforce a sexual hierarchy and invade privacy.