Wednesday, June 24, 2020

It's tough having ovaries

It's sobering every time I think about gender equality. Yes, we've made huge strides in closing the pay gap, in abolishing discrimination in the workplace based on gender, and in creating safe spaces for women and LGBTQIA folk. But let's face it—these steps aren't enough. In some cultures, it's still a grave sin to be born a woman.

I'm reading this wonderful Korean novel by Cho Nam-yu titled Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982, and it made me realize that the battle for gender equality is far from over. Like our main character, Jiyoung, for example. She's had a tough childhood because she was born a woman in a family that has always wanted a son. Even after graduating from college, she finds it difficult to get a job interview because, yes, she's a woman. Almost everything doesn't work out for her, often making huge compromises just because of her sex. It's quite painful to read at times, especially because every circumstance is still happening in Korea.

The novel has so many footnotes pertaining to actual statistics and studies on gender equality in Korea. But they don't interfere with the narrative. In fact, they seem to strengthen the novel's main thesis. It's still a society where women need to be dolled up all the time and where men still don't give much value to them. If they feel that they're sexually harassed at the office, Korean women just have to grin and bear it. Why oh why, Korea?

Speaking of Korea, the bf and I have been thinking of going there. Next year perhaps? When the virus blows over. Besides, I don't think overseas travel is a possibility anytime soon. And lately, we've been watching Korean dramas on Netflix. Them Koreans do know how to spin a yarn. (I highly recommend "Reply 1988"!) Now if only they'd treat their women better.

We've also been cooking Korean food.
This is the bf's kimchi stew. Perfect on a rainy evening.

I used to hate kimchi.
Now, I can eat it by itself, even though it's supposed to
be a side dish. I love this aged bokchoy kimchi.