It is indeed the 21st century, and South Korea, with all its K-Pop galore and having one of the strongest economies in the world, has some aspects that raises questionable eyebrows in regards to remainders of patriarchy and sexism, especially in politics.
One young congresswoman by the name of Ryu Ho-jeong brought to surface of just how much the nation is rigid in those regards, as her recent attire at the congressional gathering incited an unexpected heated debate. She wore a red dress with white dots on.
What looks seemingly a benign attire has since attracted misogynistic comments, some even commenting that she looks like a waitress at a bar, not fit for a congresswoman. This session of the Korean parliament boasts of the largest percentage of women in politics, 19%. However, it was apparent that the communal opinion did not progress along with the numerical percentage.
“Soon she’ll come to work in a bikini,” wrote one.“Is this a bar?” wrote another.
Some also questioned her age — at 27, Ryu is the youngest member of the National Assembly.
Ryu, however, seems rather flattered, as she shared her original intention of wearing just that to “shatter the tradition” of lawmakers wearing suits, adding that “the authority of the National Assembly is not built upon those suits” at a recent media interview.
Her outfit, causing a stir in social media, has since been met with applause and camaraderie, especially among fellow party members and women lawmakers.
“We cannot agree at all with the voice that paints a female politician as lacking qualification by evaluating her look and image rather than her legislative work,” the party said in a statement.“Women lawmakers are still becoming targets of discussion for wearing pants, or choosing a bright-colored outfit.
We express regret at today’s reality in the National Assembly where overbearingly screaming at one another has become natural, while wearing a dress is considered an issue.We state that today is year 2020. ”
Ko Min-jung, a lawmaker in the opposition party to Ryu, has stated that she didn’t agree with her receiving excessive criticism for what she wore. “I express my gratitude to her for breaking the National Assembly’s excessively solemn and authoritarian atmosphere,” Ko wrote in a Facebook post.
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