Dear readers, I continue to introduce you to excerpts from my book "Angels drink milk".
Korean youth in the pursuit of invented ideals, wealth, external well-being, high status in society forget about simple things: caring for loved ones, tenderness in relationships, kindness, forgiving mistakes. Fewer and fewer people think about each other, and the culture of consumption is flourishing. Women are not in a hurry to go on maternity leave, as they are afraid of losing their jobs and, accordingly, money. Men are also mostly in no hurry to start a family, as they want to realize their ambitions. And many men and women, which is typical for the Korean mentality, generally remain single for the rest of their lives and live for themselves. And while western countries tend to smooth out differences between the sexes more, South Korean society remains patriarchal despite all trends.
Outwardly, it seems that the "American" democratic model fully works in Korea: equal rights for all citizens, free participation in political life, equal educational opportunities regardless of gender, religion, identity, and so on. In fact, it turns out that almost all key positions in politics and management of commercial companies are occupied by men. This order has existed since ancient times; a man decides both political issues and issues of self-sufficiency of the family: they work and earn money. A woman's lot, in turn, is different: the birth and upbringing of children, cooking, managing the household, and caring for relatives are all female occupations. Korean men, if they are engaged in these activities at all spend no more than five percent of their time per day doing this.
But times are changing, the world is counting down to the 21st century, and it is time for the machine of social norms, and sometimes even prejudices, to be transformed according to the requirements of modernity. It seems that someone in Korea has lost the key to this clumsy mechanism! Sometimes it seems that Korean women are being treated by "stronger sex" as "inferior" or "primitive" beings, and in some families even worse than slaves. Husbands, fathers, and brothers believe that their wives, mothers, and sisters should serve them fully at home, and they are only required to work at their jobs and bring money. Housework and child care are taken for granted by women. This attitude to women in society is the root cause of the ever-decreasing desire of young Korean women to have children and get married. It is quite possible to understand now why the feminist movements are so strong in South Korea now. Women want freedom and equal possibilities along with men not only on paper, but also in reality. First of all, they fight for the possibility of a reasonable combination of maternity and professional activities; they want to be able to care for a child without being afraid of losing their job, avoid pressure from the management, and have a decent social benefit. And also of course they do not want to be completely dependent on their husbands!
Although divorce among South Koreans is not welcome, but in any case, a wife wants to be socially protected, as the growing tension in relations between the sexes often takes quite "wild" forms: domestic violence, prohibitions, blackmail.
How wonderful to realize that all of the above does not apply to all South Korean families. Most of them are created out of love, live in harmony with the desires of all family members, in caring and respect for each other. It is immensely gratifying that thanks to modern technologies, despite all the circumstances, children's laughter has started to sound in many of these families.