Monday, February 5, 2018

Women and the Church

A woman theologian wrote an article for a diocesan bulletin on how she sees women within the church community.  She begins her article by introducing us to a bestselling book (2016) Kim Ji Young born 1982. It's a feminist novel. Ji Young is an ordinary woman in her 30s. She goes to school, gets a job, gets married, quits her job, has a child. Portrayed are the ways a woman has to maneuver within a patriarchal and sexist society. She considers it a good picture of the way women face present-day reality.

In recent years not only this book but many others have the feminist understanding of present-day society. This feeling has especially spread after a young woman in her twenties was brutally stabbed in a busy Seoul neighborhood for no other reason than she was a woman. She was unknown to the murderer and it touched off a strong response, for it was seen as a hate crime against not only one woman but all woman. Many women felt the violence towards themselves.

She reminds the readers the need to change the culture and structures that permit the discrimination against women. We need a movement to work to change what has been our way of dealing with the problems relating to a misogyny experienced by many women. This is not only something in our society but recently in other countries we see the '#Me To Movement' is in full swing. Women who have experienced in their lives: sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and sexual violence are expressing this vocally.

With modernization in Korea even though it is a rather short history, many things have changed in the equality of the sexes. 30 years ago a woman who wanted to go on to college often encountered awkward  talk about  women wishing to go on to college.Today those who would attempt such talk would be considered barbarians.

It's true that in the  past the desire for the male was a reason for the abortion of female fetuses but that has changed for today we have a preference for girls over boys. During the years of schooling, most of the discrimination has disappeared it is after schooling has finished we see it appear. Women find it more difficult for they are considered commodities that need to beautify themselves for their work.

When they marry there is a demand for a wise mother and good wife still the remains of the patriarchal order. When pregnant they are forced to retire or to  be a superwoman both in the home and the workplace. The sexual abuse and sexual violence still remains and a reason for the feminism we see.

She would like to see the enthusiasm for feminism in society be a topic of study in theology. In the past, it has been a man's way of understanding the Scripture she wants to see the women's viewpoint considered. Not only in the world but also in the church a woman's vision of what we need to do should be present.

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