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The Misogynistic Nature Of KDramas

How Korean Culture has developed around an especially misogynistic culture.

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Entertainment is more prolific, and it continues to maintain its place in defining a culture.

I grew up in a Korean household, but neither of my parents really watched Korean Dramas. However, in the Korean community, this source of entertainment is the most popular and cultivates the most money.

South Korea is known for its rapidly evolving technology and entertainment. As technology expedites processes and becomes more accessible, entertainment is refined and more particular.

Korean Dramas, or KDramas (as they are often referred to as), remain constant and similar in their story lines. The archetypes seem to be taken from the archetypes of a fairy tale. In this case, the Knight in Shining Armor is the wealthy Korean male who tends to be some heir to some large corporation. The damsel in distress is typically the female working two jobs while living in penury with her pitiful household. Their lifestyles could not be anymore different.

The Dragon, or the villain (depending on what fairy tale you grew up with), is typically the mother of the Korean male who does everything in her control to prevent her son from seeing the poor female. She tends to flaunt her money by dressing in designer clothes. She is a flippant woman that shows no respect to the female; she usually tends to offer the female money to stop seeing her son- a decision that determines whether she will choose to maintain her honor or lose it by accepting the money.

As the years go by, Kdramas remain popular and continue to thrive off of Korean viewers (majorly women) who fantasize of having their own "Knight in Shining Armor" come to rescue them.

This is Moon Boong Hong. She is played by Park Jun Geum in the Kdrama "Secret Garden". She is the mother of Kim Joo Won, and the wife of the CEO of the department store. I'm sure the picture of her says enough.

KBS World

Though it may seem complex at first, due to repetition, the archetypes stick. Other Kdramas, besides "Secret Garden", that follow this theme are "Boys Over Flowers", "Heirs", "Flower Boy Ramyun Shop", and "Coffee Prince". If you have seen all of these dramas, you will find that they are extremely similar.

What effect does this have on Korean culture?


As mentioned before, these repetitive dramas draw in many viewers every episode. These plots exhibit extreme misogynistic traits. It is only the male that can save the female from penury. Even in "Fifty Shades of Gray", Anastasia Steele only achieves "success" by being engaged in a romantic relationship with Christian Grey.

This makes the female dependent on the male, and it seems that she can only achieve a better life by marrying the male character.

This extreme case of dependency creates millions of illusion-based fantasies in the viewers.

This also more subtly maintains the patriarchal norm and limits the perception of Korean woman to these archetypes and roles.

Now I'm not saying to stop watching kdramas...

I'm saying that kdramas should be watched for what they are: entertainment. But as stated before, entertainment makes inroads and defines certain cultures, so do not let these dramas pervade you. Remember to watch these dramas with an awareness that they are just recycled fairy tales that should be watched with a light attitude.

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