“Femininity without Feminism” Korea’s First Woman President and Her Political Leadership
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- “Femininity without Feminism” Korea’s First Woman President and Her Political Leadership
- Mun, Soo-Hyun
- Issue Date
- BRILL ACADEMIC PUBLISHERS
- ASIAN JOURNAL OF SOCIAL SCIENCE, v.43, no.3, pp.249 - 272
- This article contributes to the debate between the merits of the ‘politics of presence’ versus the ‘politics of ideas’ by examining the case of the first female Korean president, Park Geun-Hye. On the one hand, Park did not represent ‘the ideas’ of feminist politics. While her gender identity was widely propagated and accepted, it did not transform into deliberate identity-based politics. On the other hand, she contributed to the elevation of women’s social status through various unintended consequences, although Park’s ‘femininity without feminism’ inevitably led to the negligence of gender politics in her government. Indeed, Park’s existence, rather than her intention, stimulated the debate on the role and status of women in Korean society and enabled the rise of a number of first females in various sectors. In sum, the ‘politics of presence’ was triggered even without overt political measures.
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