Unfair investigation of illegal filming crimes, discrimination at work, harmful substances in sanitary pads, male raiders at women’s university, hateful comments to actors working on a film based on a feminism novel, and female victims murdered by ex-husbands, ex-boyfriends or other males. The list goes on. The one commonality is that this was the year of society’s awareness of feminism issues. Painter Frida Kahlo said, “I don’t paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.” Each of the issues above are neither unusual nor imaginary horrors. They are the reality of Korea, a reality in which every day women have to fight to survive. In her poem, Muriel Rukeyser writes, “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” When I talk with friends, I’m surprised by the truthfulness presented in those lines. Everyday conversation is filled with feminism issues like the misogynic advertisements at subway stations or the small peepholes in public toilet stalls. One of my friends said, self-mockingly, “I’m still here. It must mean I’m lucky.” I agreed with her bitterly.
In this issue of The Sookmyung Times, illogical stereotypes towards women are discussed in the FEATURE article. The theme of FOCUS ON is also feminism, and presents slogans that empower and inspire women. As a former Woman Section Editor and a SMT reporter who recommends topics for articles in that section, it is my hope that SMT readers feel empowered by the articles. Also, I hope this issue of The Sookmyung Times makes a small difference in society. Feminism has had a big impact on me. I first heard about it when I was required to write articles as a cub reporter. Now I devote much time to reading books on the issue and putting feminism into practice little by little. I pay attention to the deep rooted misogyny that appears in daily life that I hadn’t noticed before. Sometimes I feel the world will not change when I view the news. I think most feminists feel this kind of helpless too. Nevertheless, society cannot retreat. Nothing can be the same once awareness has spread. We know about feminism, and change has started. I believe in the power of solidarity. We are the wave. We are the courage of each other.