The hardships of a woman are not as well-known as we think, especially in South Korea. School life, work-life balance, maternity, and many other faces of a woman’s life are built on top of hardships that only show through during the most unexpected moments. Living in a society that still strongly repulses feminism, there is a need for more discussions on this topic.
The fiction “Kim Ji-young (Born in 1982)”, or “82년생 김지영”, talks about the life of Kim Ji-young, a woman in her 30s who recently became a mother and is suffering from postpartum depression while trying to balance her life goals with maternity duties.
In this book of over 150 pages, the author Cho Nam-ju walks through the main character’s life and the other women in her family. While portraying the hardships of the women’s lives in their respective times, the writer also depicted the social changes related to feminism.
With many actual overheard phrases, such as : “Lucky you! You get to come to work late!”, when talking about maternity leave; or “I’ll help out. I’ll change the diapers, do the feedings and boil the onesies.”, as if the father is only doing a favor raising his own child. This book is constructed like a biography, but it feels a lot like complaints about the society, and a scream for help and change.
This book contains many uncomfortable moments which can trigger readers to reflect on their lives and change their perspectives on daily remarks and/or habits.
As this book is also studied in Korean high schools, I strongly recommend it to everyone, especially those who want to dig deeper into gender equality or want to be challenged in a different way.
“A fiction that connects with your soul so dearly that you become empathetic towards Kim Ji-young“, is how I would describe this book.
Thank you for reading until here! See you next week!
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