Hyou Jung Youk

Jaewon Hong, March 14, 2015

Kim Du Soon and Hyou Jung Youk: In Their Own Words

Busan, South Gyeongsang. Second largest metropolis after Seoul and the largest port city in South Korea.

Kim Du Soon --

I experienced a lot of discrimination against women while I was growing up. My parents seemed to care much more about their sons than their daughters and always prioritized the males. For an example, when I was growing up, my parents always gave their sons the meat, the better rice, while giving us girls the leftovers. Every time I was discriminated because I was a woman, I wanted to be reborn as a man and get treated like every men did, especially because my parents wanted sons. I wanted to change this discrimination, so I protested, but nothing really changed.

But, nowadays, people are wanting to have more daughters now that people realize that women have the same potential as any other men do. More laws are getting created that provides women with more freedom and now. There aren’t a lot of laws restricting women. But, discrimination against women still exists today. As for an example: if you look at our current president now, it seems as though the president does not have much power, due to government officials looking down on her and not trusting her to do things right because she is a woman.

Austin, Texas. 11th most populous city and second largest state capital in the United States.

Hyou Jung Youk --

When I was in Korea, often times, men received more money for their salary than women. Also, when a restaurant opened and the first customer was a woman, the restaurant owner would say that he would have terrible luck for the rest of the day. There is a saying in Korea, which is, “If a hen crows your house, will be ruined” -- the hen referring to a baby woman and the crow referring to the cry of the baby.

In South Korea, all males have to join the army when they reach a certain age. It is a requirement if you want to live in South Korea with only few exceptions. However, women are not required to be in the army, and they can only join the army through volunteering -- and even after volunteering, it was obvious that superiors preferred males. In business companies, males would always get promoted faster than women would. However, things are getting much better for women nowadays in Korea. A lot of laws, such as the law that dealt with equal employment opportunities, have changed. Also, just recently, the very first woman president was elected and this is unimaginable progress as before, no one would have ever thought of even voting for a female president.

Some of these changes occurred thanks to the Korean War, as after the Korean War, many American cultures came to Korea, such as anti-sexism. Nowadays, women have more influence in Korean culture as they are receiving the same education as men and they have equal opportunities.