The Korean Women’s Movement

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“By breaking off the idea of ‘female’ and carrying a glance […], I wanted to indicate there are clearly more options for girls,” says Myungji Kim. According to these women, joining the motion has changed their lives for the better. In the midst of all this, it is only natural for women to start pushing in opposition to other types of oppression — namely, society’s patriarchal obsession with controlling how they act and look.

These shifting ideas are filtering out into how women spend their time and their cash, in a rustic by which a premium has long been positioned on beauty. Plastic surgery is a common graduation present, whereas pictures are a standard function of job functions. Instead, it’s just one a part of a feminist revolution that has swept the country in the wake of its #MeToo motion.

In this setting, women have to juggle the cultural expectations of being productive, engaged citizens, with the expectations of femininity and beauty that can be demanded from them. This is among the causes most of the women posting concerning the movement cover their faces online behind rigorously chosen angles or cute stickers. Interestingly enough, this pattern appears principally prevalent on Twitter quite than Instagram.

White, Western privilege, nonetheless, implies that some persons are less affected by this bias. “Specs,” quick for specs, is an expression South Koreans use to describe an individual’s social value based korean women to date on their background, or what sociologists call embodied cultural capital. Attending the right college, having household wealth, desired bodily qualities, and even the proper winter parka can imply the difference between success or failure in society.

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In fact, it’s usually considered rude for Korean women to indicate their “naked” face in public. South Korea also has the lowest score of any OECD nation by way of the gender pay hole. According to the 2017 OECD report, “women maintain only 17% of seats within the National Assembly […] and only 10.5% of management positions .” The patriarchal Hoju System, which by legislation positioned men as the head of households, was not abolished until 2008. A woman’s place is supposed to be in the “internal courtroom yard” serving her father, then her husband, and finally her oldest male child, to maintain alive the family custom.

Specs apply to everybody, even non-Koreans, in a society where conforming harmoniously is of utmost significance. It’s still too early to say whether the motion has begun to have an effect on cosmetics corporations’ backside line, not to mention whether or not it’ll bring about substantive cultural change. But native media reports say some cosmetics retailers are already figuring out how to reposition themselves in this new, feminist market. Rather than playing on women’s insecurities, they’ll be targeting male prospects more aggressively, as a substitute.

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“There’s an actual drawback whenever you make generalizations about an entire nation full of women, that they are all culturally duped,” Hejiin Lee said in an interview. The stress on aesthetics-by-knife is part of a strange cultural mixture of the trendy and the ancient in South Korea right now. Families embrace traditional routines corresponding to eating and living together, but equally encourage their youngsters to work 18 hour days at school. The country is essentially the most wired in the world, with the best price of smartphone usage p.c — and ninety five percent of Korean properties having web access. Technology pervades every a part of life, from keyless doorways — you sort in a passcode — to karaoke studios on trains.

In January, public prosecutor Seo Ji-hyeon accused a former high-profile politician of groping her at a funeral in 2010. In the months since, tons of more women have come ahead with their very own tales of assault and harassment.

A 22,000-sturdy Women’s March for Justice in Seoul in June turned the largest feminist rally within the nation’s historical past. Kwon said the corporate’s higher management desires its flight attendants to uphold an image of a sleek, stunning Asian woman who supplies sincere service to customers. Because the company cares a lot in regards to the appearance of its female employees it places delicate strain on them to have beauty procedures, she mentioned. But Park says rising feminist movements and altering values amongst South Korean women are redirecting her industry’s depiction of magnificence.

Until the Nineteen Seventies, women might achieve nationwide prominence solely in the worlds of art and entertainment. In the government, the top place within the ministries of education, surroundings, and ladies’s welfare was usually set aside for girls as a political gesture. In phrases of variety, South Korea has come a good distance from the late 1800s, when it was known as a hermit kingdom. The famously reclusive nation was pressured to open up during Japanese occupation within the early 1900s, and then once more in the course of the subsequent establishment of American army bases following the Korean War. It was not until the 1988 Seoul Olympics—simply 30 years ago, as part of the policies of the first truly democratic government elected by the individuals—that the nation started to welcome outdoors visitors and cultural influences and market capitalism. In 1989, the nation for the primary time started to permit residents to travel freely outside Korea. In a latest survey of 820 Korean adults, carried out by the state-funded Overseas Koreans Foundation, almost 61% of South Koreans said they do not think about foreign staff to be members of Korean society.