My name is Christina Lee, and I am a junior editor for The REVIVAL Zine.
Why did you join The REVIVAL Zine?
Feminism is the only way through which I can comprehensively express my unique experiences, thoughts, and identity.
JaeJae is one of the many female public figures who face scrutiny by misogynistic netizens, and her rising fame and fanbase is a testament to the ever-evolving social expectations in South Korea. To her female fans, she is the voice for women who choose a professional life over marriage, who live alone and don’t dream of having children.
The country that is home to the largest film industry in the world fails to recognize the inherent Americanness of its own movies. Instead, it resorts to arbitrary numbers to define what counts as “foreign enough” and therefore disqualified from competing against English-language films in a country that does not have an official language.
Let’s be honest: deeming other cultures “exotic” is frankly outdated. But with these mindless performances of gatekeeping, the discouraging sentiment surrounding the integration and possibility of approaching various cultures evokes the imagery of the past, of segregation, of exoticism, and of discrimination.
I ask you why you never became a U.S. citizen. “I wouldn’t mind going back home sometime,” you say, vaguely. Within that statement lingers regret, longing, and conviction that the United States isn’t truly your home. It hurts me to understand that.
The problem with the model minority myth is that it assumes that all minority groups in America share the same experiences. What the model minority myth actually does: perpetuate tension among the various minority groups and ignite a sense of competition, comparison, and antagonism within their dynamics when in actuality, there is nothing to be compared.
If anything, the resurgence of these topics is a sign that tells us what values and mistakes society has built up so far, and these are now exacerbated by the virus. Domestic violence, discrimination, or inequality isn’t something that just happens within a day; these are all results of systemic, habitual, and ongoing sociocultural shortcomings that always need consideration, regardless of whether we are in a pandemic or not.
Let’s not let our fear make judgments for us. Let’s not give up our identity and roots to make others feel more comfortable with their ignorance. Let’s not allow ourselves to think that we are the problem, that we must accommodate. Fear is a powerful thing, but what’s even more powerful is that we can control it.
I don’t remember how I had recalled this particular moment—or if I had been able to correctly remember it at all—but upon hearing my dad relay a remnant of it, true or not, I couldn’t help feeling guilty, struck by unwarranted emotion as I heard him say to my aunt one day in Korean: “My daughter says that she doesn’t really know who her mom is.”
The victim was threatened for accusing the successful basketball star during his career; Sonmez was put on leave for bringing up the topic after his death. If now is not the right time to talk about rape, when is it?
My writing is not a cry to boycott the industry of K-Pop. It is rather a tired plea for South Korea to recognize that their activism and attitude toward mental health and toxic cyberculture are not enough.
Creating a convenient label doesn’t change the idea that there still exist inconvenient social implications and potential gender bias within the nature of RBF itself.
We hide the nature of our bodies behind the shadow of euphemisms.