Home Global Compass South Korean Women’s Radical Response To Patriarchy And Gender Inequality

South Korean Women’s Radical Response To Patriarchy And Gender Inequality

StratNews Global, in an interview with Torunika Roy who is pursuing a PhD in Korean Studies at the Centre for East Asian Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, explored the powerful 4B Movement sweeping through South Korea, where women are taking a radical stand against entrenched patriarchy and gender inequality.

The 4B Movement, rooted in the principles of ‘four nos’—no marriage (bihon), no childbearing (bichulsan), no dating (bisikyeon), and no heterosexual sexual relationships (biseksu)—advocates for complete isolation from men until significant societal reforms are enacted. This movement is a bold response to deep-seated misogyny, increasing cases of femicide, dating violence, and inadequate punishment for crimes against women.

Torunika breaks down the movement’s origins and its critical goals, emphasizing the role of Korean women in challenging pro-natalist policies and the patriarchal state that views them merely as baby-making machines. We discuss the alarming decline in fertility rate of South Korea, which has reached the lowest in the world, and the potential demographic crisis it signals for the nation’s future.

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The interview also highlights the socio-economic impact of this gender war, noting that despite high education levels among South Korean women, their frustration with systemic barriers prevents them from achieving true empowerment. The rise of anti-feminist sentiments, fueled by political maneuvers, further exacerbates the gender divide, making the movement’s objectives even more urgent.

Extending the conversation to other Asian countries, such as China and Japan, Tarunika mentions the 6B Movement in China and the declining birth rates in Japan that illustrate a regional trend of women resisting traditional gender roles and societal pressures.

Finally, we touch upon the global context, reflecting on how movements like 4B could inspire feminist actions worldwide. This interview offers a deep dive into the 4B Movement’s potential to reshape societal norms and achieve gender equality, providing a thought-provoking analysis of the challenges and hopes for the future. Please watch the interview to understand the dynamics of this transformative movement and its far-reaching implications.