Misogyny=?=Yeohyeom

In the previous post, I wrote about Yeohyeom that means people (mostly men I can say) hate women without obvious reasons. Then, we can say the Korean term “Yeohyeom” can be translated to misogyny in English. Well, both terms present similar meanings (e.g.strong dislike of women) but I think they’re a bit different in some ways. Whenever I have to write my thesis about some Korean cultural things, I felt difficult to find the right word. I’m not sure how the word ‘Misogyny’ is using in English-speaking world. But the word misogyny has more complex meaning about ‘dislike of women’ I understand. However, the word Yeohyeom is now too fragmentarily understood and spoken by people (mostly men) who strongly dislike women in Korea. In social media, some of men said, “I don’t have Yeohyeom because I like women, lol (laugh)”. It doesn’t matter whether you “LIKE WOMEN” or not when we talk about Yeohyeom. It is about your thinking, attitude, perspective, respect to women as human beings like you.

Women in Korea fight against the Yeohyeom phenomenon since ‘Sora.net‘ (crime site name). We gathered signatures to reveal that crime site and further to shut the Sora.net in the end. Now women in Korea stand together against unfair ‘Yeohyeom’ and especially in various social media (e.g. Facebook and Twitter) through sharing information, articles, videos and photos. (I’m still understanding and researching about this issue so I will keep updating about Yeohyeom and Korean women’s against Yeohyeom especially in social media continuously)

Through this, I could think about another type of misogyny which is different from this Yeohyeom (dislike of women). It is a ‘strong dislike of Ajumma’. Regardless of men, women or other genders, (of course not every one in Korea) people in Korea have biased perspective about Ajummas and some of them hate Ajummas without an obvious reason. For the next post, I will talk about the ‘dislike of ajummas’, ‘Ajumma-Hyeom’. (Hyeom-O means ‘Strong Dislike’ in Korean)

 

Yeo-hyeom, 여혐?

In the previous blog post, I talked about a tragedy in Gang Nam Station, Seoul. A young college woman was stabbed to death in a crazy murderer attack. This murder thought women always ignored him so he planned to kill ‘any’ women on that day.

Yes, this is heinous crime and now we (Koreans) are at a loss what to do. There was a heated debate about the right of women in Korea for a long time but after this crazy incident, the debate about ‘living as women in Korea’ brings related hot arguments among people, especially in various social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

A Yeo-hyeom phenomenon is an example. Yeo-hyeom is a new coined Korean word and it means an attitude that someone (mostly (some sort of)men) hates women abnormally without obvious reason/ or someone hates women abnormally because women are women.

Of course, I cannot generalise ‘every men’ in Korea have Yeo-hyeom mind to women, some of men in Korea, I hope. But the one obvious thing is there is a debate about this phenomenon (Yeo-hyeom) between men and women. For me, as a women who lives in Korea, I was also furious when I read this crazy incident and I understand why there is a continuous argument about this tragedy what ‘men’ did to ‘women’. I know it should not be a dichotomous fight between ‘men’ and ‘women’. But, what do you think? This murderer killed that young women only because he hates women. Then? This means that that young women shouldn’t be killed by that psycho if she wasn’t a woman.

In other words, it could be any women. It could be me, my friends, my neighbours anyone who are women in Korea. That’s why this phenomenon brought us to think deeply about the issue of ‘Yeo-hyeom’ in Korea and we (women) now decided to fight with them (maybe men? or any one/any society who hates women without obvious reason. Women shouldn’t be received unfair only because we are women.

Why do we have to worry about going to public toilet? Why do we have to worry about being killed by anyone on the street? Why?

I don’t want to generalise that ‘all men has Yeohyeom’.But one thing is obvious that this society wants women to be ‘womanly-women’. And people (both men and women, not everyone) in Korea pointed to ‘not enough womanly-woman’. There are gender stereotypes in every culture and Korean society also have ‘stereotypes about women’. I think we (women) should deny these ‘stereotypes about women’ that decided by ‘others’. At the same time, we (women) should also deny the ‘stereotypes about women’ that were inherent in ourselves, too.

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Happy Parents’ day!

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캡션 입력

Happy Parents’ Day to all the mums and dads in the world! Yes we have Parents’ day on 8th May every year.

Thank you for your unconditional love to my mum and dad! Love you so much. You are the best parents for me.

어버이날 모두 감사합니다! 사랑합니다!

Happy Children’s day!

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The pink balloon is waiting for the Children’s day parade. (어린이날 기념 행사를 위해 기다리고 있는 분홍 풍선)

5th May is Children’s day in Korea. And this week we have Parents day on 8th as well. May is a family month for us and there will be Ajumma day on 31st!

Happy Children’s day and I will be back with new blog post soon.

 

Another new project for Ajummas

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I tried to make Ajumma dolls before I made a Digital Ppal-let-ter video. Now, I’m thinking to do something very exciting and fun project for Ajummas. I can’t say the clear idea for this new project yet but one thing I can say for now is that this project will be enjoyable for everyone (not too serious or academic project). Through this blog, I will keep posting articles about ajummas (from academic research to miscellaneous stories) and at the same time I will upload the new project for ajummas as well.

Ajummas!

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Image was captured from Jamie Oliver’s Instagram

As you can see the captured photo above, Jamie Oliver mentioned about Ajumma (he typed as ajoomma). Yes, ajummas are strong  and at the same time lovely women. I’m so glad to read his comment about ajumma. They are part of our culture, I think.

Ajumma, how much is it?

Today, I went out with my parents to have lunch together. We had Chinese food in Myeong-dong and headed to Dongdaemun area to visit Gwangjang Market. Gwangjang Market is famous with variety of street foods and other stuff such as Hanbok (Korean traditional dress). And this market is also well known to travellers who visit Korea.

We also love visiting Gwangjang Market just for browsing. When we visited to this market today, my mum wanted to buy a blanket for spring. Yes, they sell blankets in reasonable price but the quality is very good. Anyway, when my mum went into one shop to browse blankets, me and my dad were waiting for her outside because the shop was very tiny to fit ourselves into.

At that time, five foreigners were looking at pillows and blankets of that shop. They’ve asked price for those items to the shop owner.

“Ajumma! How much is it?”

I smiled when I heard that word, Ajumma! Then, the ajumma came out of the shop and told them (almost yelled) the price in Korean. They couldn’t understand and the ajumma tried to explain the price with her fingers. So I just translated the price from Korean to English. Both the ajumma and those travellers became happy because the ajumma could sell the blanket and they could buy the blanket.

The point what I want to tell you is how the word Ajumma is getting familiar with people even though they are foreigners! Ajumma is our culture and this word presents the familirity and warmness of middle-aged Korean women I think and I saw. I went to one of the conference in Korean last week and I got attacked from some of audiences about using the word Ajumma. They mentioned that using the word of ajumma could be lead disdaining the Korean middle-aged women. (I will write more about this issue for next blog post, there are so many things that I really want to write about).

Anyway, ajummas are our culture I no longer thinking the word ajummas are the one that disdains the middle-aged women in Korea.

엄마 티비, Umma (mom) TV

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I just found a TV program by EBS that is called ‘Umma TV’ (mom TV) last night. Moms become directors so they produce a documentary about certain topics. I have to watch each episode first then I will discuss about this tv program asap. I am so glad that moms actually ‘produce’ documentaries with their own views. Yes this is very good movement for our moms and ajummas!

 

Any apps especially for ajummas?

Ajummas are now smart ajummas. They do mobile communication through using their smartphones in their daily lives. It is not a special thing to meet ajummas use their smartphones to take photos on the street or playing games in the bus while they’re travelling, etc. They are not outsiders of new technology any more. Who knows? They will be techno-savvy someday soon in the future, I sure. But I think there’s not enough apps for ajummas now! In my mother’s case, she loves playing Anipang and her friends send ‘hearts (lives to play Anipang)’ with each other almost every hour or more than three times per day. (my mum loves Anipang)

Anipang was very popular about 5 years ago and people rarely play that game any more, but my mum and her friends do! My mum said that Anipang is a simple to play but still very exciting. And I just ask her trying other games as well but she said other games are too complicated to play. And she and her friends use almost same apps everyday. I know and you know there are plenty of apps are inventing and developing every seconds and overtime it is so hard to choose one app among thousands of apps. But this story is only for us, not my mother and her friends at all.

Of course, she uses various apps such as public transport tips, schedule, radio, etc. But I think there’s not enough apps were developed that targets for only ajummas, middle-aged women in Korea. The biggest problem (I think) is there’s not enough research about ‘needs for ajummas’ has done yet. Ajummas and Ajeossi (middle-aged married men) are just use apps that were developed for younger people the most, I can say.

If I have any chance, I really want to research and develop the apps, especially for ajummas and ajeossis. I really hope. Then my mother, her friends and ajummas in Korea will enjoy and enrich their mobile communication through using smartphones.

Digital (SNS) Swish of Skirt 2

About 3 months ago, I talked about Digital Swish of Skirt on this blog. As I mentioned in the previous blog, the swish of skirt means that mothers are getting overly involved in the schooling for their children, especially during 1980s in Korea. Due to the increase of using smartphones among mothers (ajummas), they are now getting involved in the schooling for their children through using their smartphones.

The use of smartphones brought a variety of advantages to our daily lives, this is so true. However, everything is a double-edged sword. Digital swish of skirt actually let mothers (ajummas) get involved in the schooling for their children easily. Through using various apps that are relevant to their children’s education, these mothers (ajummas) are able to control or help their children’s education systematically. They could share useful and voluminous information with each other instantaneously and directly.Without visiting every private educational institutes, these mothers (ajummas) can get information for their children’s educational needs. Besides, they are able to hear living opinions from other mothers who are in the same boat.

However, this SNS or Digital swish of skirt also have problems although there are a variety of advantages of doing Digital (or SNS) swish of skirt among mothers (ajummas). I don’t mean that these mothers are people who cause problems at all. They are too passionate about their children’s education (all of mothers are in the world) and the use of social media encourages them to get more involved into having the swish of skirt for their children because they are mothers and ajummas who love their children the most.

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This Digital (SNS) swish of skirt tired teachers out. Mothers (ajummas) left comments or questions about schooling on teachers’ Instagram accounts. And you also know that, the advantages of using social media (well, it sometimes could be ‘disadvantages’) is ‘you can be always on’ and ‘you can contact someone instantaneously through using your smartphones’ without having barriers of time and space. YES, YOU CAN!

So, teachers are actually working for their students and parents for 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, like a convenience store. Of course they don’t have to answer or react to every single comment or question of mothers that are left on Instagrams, but you know…it is a delicate situation for teachers I reckon.

http://news.sbs.co.kr/news/endPage.do?news_id=N1003462876

(News article about SNS swish of skirt, SBS.co.kr)

Of course I don’t mean that I don’t understand these mothers (ajummas). I fully understand how these mothers are passionate about their children’s education and what they want to do for their children. However, I think that we should concern about the use of social media on our smartphones more carefully. The one of biggest advantage of using smartphones is that it allows us to have instantaneous mobile communication but it doesn’t mean that ‘you can get answers from her (or him) whenever you ask’. Especially, the teachers are working in the school for working hours and after hours are their own time to enjoy themselves. At the same time, social media such as Instagram is a personal space where people share their personal stuff with others, so I think mothers (ajummas) should respect the privacy of teachers in Instagram. If mothers (ajummas) have any questions about their children, they should use other ways to contact to teachers rather than leaving comments on photos of Instagram.

Also, I expect that a useful and helpful social media should be developed that satisfy both mothers (ajummas) and teachers. This social media will help mothers keep continuing Digital swish of skirt for their children and at the same time this Digital swish of skirt won’t disrupt teachers’ privacy and their own free time after working hours. I think Digital swish of skirt or swish of skirt is a desirable thing if there is a good balance between mothers’ passion about their children’s education and mothers’ concern about teachers’ privacy in their private social media spaces.

So it is all about passion and concern I think.

Digital Ppal-let-ter is now on YouTube as well!

Now you can watch this Digital Ppal-let-ter video on YouTube as well.

I just uploaded.Please enjoy watching Digital Ppal-let-ter!

디지털 빨래터 비디오를 이제 유툽에서도 볼 수 있습니다!

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