Consequences of South Korea media on gender issue

This article is created with intention to illustrate the impact of media toward people’s perspectives in gender issue.


Stereotype in gender and gender inequality can be understood as imbalance condition, and gap in lives between men and women, which have been seemingly problem in many areas in the world. Mostly, people acknowledge this issue by considering what they have encountered in daily lives, and in debating comments across social media, but these issues also shows their trace in media as well. As we have realized, the information that is illustrated through media — such as, film, music video, advertisement and TV shows — can significantly drive people to construct stereotype, and certain thought for particular issues. With this notion, it is strongly possible that the gender inequality issues are difficult to solve because it is consistently reinforced by media, and people constantly immerse into it. Consequently, audiences of such illustration in media are influenced to construct certain belief and perception of how each gender should be. Thus, this article will elucidate how South Korea media emphasizes gender inequality by analyzing South Korea media production — advertisement and music video — to realize its possible consequences on gender inequality.

The information in this paragraph will firstly provide one advertisement in South Korea that indicates the underline of how women should be in society, and then it will be followed with analyzing on how it affects gender issue.

By watching the given advertisement with concerning about gender inequality issue, we can notice that the advertisement emphasizes on how women should be, which shows resemblance to what older elders have thought. To specify, as displayed in the advertisement, the wife of the man is washing dishes, and listening to complains of another woman, while her husband does nothing apart from sitting. This scenario can significantly underline the long-lasting traditional belief of how women should do in family since specifically, Chung wrote that since old dynasty, men are always the leaders, who work and lead family while women are only responsible to household issues, including looking after children and their husbands. Not only that, the writer also provided quote for gender issue in 1960s that

“Women take on the role of producing labor in order to sustain the capitalistic society. Their daily function is domestic labor for the family, providing food and clothes, and maintaining the house.” (1970)

By combining this statement with given advertisement, audiences will realize that the media creator may need to highlight this belief to constantly stay within the society. As a result, many people in South Korea can conceptualize that the duty to look after household activities is belong to women, not men. This certainly stimulates gender inequality in case of working condition. For instance, the unintended consequence of this kind of advertisement, emphasizing that women should stay home to perform household activities can be part of the factor of “men spending little time at home, and consequently leaving much of the household duties to their wives” stated by Kyla Ryan who wrote the article about inequality issue of women in working place. (2014)

In addition, readers can also see the traditional representation of women in above advertisement as well. Explicitly, advertisement synchronizes women characters with situation, and behaviors that are related to emotion. Based on video, another woman aggressively blames wife of that man before the scenario of many slaps occurs. This violent circumstance of those two women is clearly triggered by uncontrollable emotion of another woman. Such aggressive scenario can surely underline on how people might think about women. To demonstrate, when we talk about women, many people will refer to the word ‘emotional’, and they tend to perceive that when women behave, they are always emotional. Consequently, it reinforces people’s stereotype toward women as we often describe every woman with only one condition — emotional — without considering that today, there are many numbers of women, staying more calmly than men in certain situation. Actually, there are many music videos, applying traditional representation of women — such as, weak, emotion and relationship — to construct the easy-to-understand story, which you can see across YouTube as given link below.

In this paragraph, the article will examine one of South Korean music videos, indicating the connection of gender issue. From the music video, we experienced lots of scenario that display gender inequality in the sense that it points out men as the strong boss who manage everything, including women in working place. To support more, by highlighting on men, playing music instrument and looking around to manage the place, many audiences can notice that the old man represents how men oppress women in working place because after that scenario, video shows that women are bound up with ropes, and jailed. Also, as woman, sitting on the hanged chair shows movement according to the male manager, audiences can interpret this scenario as that women should do and move according to what men say in working place. This can, to me, be one factor of gender inequality in working place because men who are boss, and watch this video might be unconsciously influenced to construct the belief that he has more power than woman has, and female employees should work in the way he decided. That male boss may possibly think like “yeah! This is what we should be.” With this information, some readers see the relation to the concept of Patriarchy because from implication that we can extract from music video, the quality and attributes of males that have been superior to those of females are indicated through behavior of male managers, and female workers in circus. Moreover, men are illustrated in video to be more powerful than women, while women are demonstrated in media in the way to serve men, keeping women from challenging men power. To elaborate, music video shows that when men managers perform, women express emotion via mirror, and within jail with limited space where they are staying. From what women are locked up with certain space, it can be interpreted that women should not wield expression, opinion or power to challenge against men. To me, this is what media creator may need today men to consistently be — staying more powerful than women. Furthermore, some people may also realize that media creator applies several traditional representations of men and women to create the music video. To specify, the representation of men is showed through strength, power and appealing physical body of male manager, wearing blue shirt. On the other hand, women are represented by full makeup of female character in circus with blood-like red lip, and emotional face expressions.

From this article, many people will be able to see the impact of how media affect perspective of people in gender issue, which can cause gender inequality, and certain stereotype, but this article is not created with intention to state that media is the only factor to cause gender-related issues. Actually, the occurrence of gender inequality can be tracked back into many causal factors — such as, parents’ behaviors, traditional belief, culture, or surrounding group of people. Most importantly, although this article displays the effect of media of South Korea media toward its consumers, it is not to say that media in South Korea will be always like given examples. They are actually brought up as examples to basically illustrate readers how media can impact gender issues.

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