“In the 18th century, it was often assumed…that women were incapable of rational or abstract thought. Women, it was believed, were too susceptible to sensibility and too fragile to be able to think clearly.”
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
These days, I’m generally loathe to lead with quotes. Especially when I’m forced to admit I haven’t read A Vindication of the Rights of Woman since university, and had to rely for that line on its Wikipedia article instead.
But the video below deserves the hyperbole. Because ten years ago, I wrote a post about the widespread practice of calf-reduction surgery in Korea. It really got to me, learning about the literal slicing away of muscle and nerves to make legs slimmer and more “feminine” and “attractive.”
Afterwards, the women literally have to learn how to walk again. Why, oh why, is this still a thing?
For sure, technically Hyundai isn’t promoting operations. But it is contributing to their normalization by reminding everyone that muscular calves are “ugly,” thereby discouraging schoolgirls from exercising.
Like my 12 year-old daughter, who starts middle-school in two weeks. Thanks, Hyundai.
우리 산중턱여고 나왔잖아
3년내내 아침마다 등산한 것 기억나?
이제 다왔다 올려다보면 고지가 저~기야.
그러다 문든 내 종아리를 봤는데,
헉 다리가 이게 뭐냐?!!
Our girls’ high school was on a mountainside.
Do you remember climbing it every morning for three years?
I’ve arrived, but if I look up I’m still not at the top.
Then at the gates I happened to look at my leg…
OMG, what’s this on it?!!
Are Korean girls and women still shamed for muscular legs though? Please let me know your own thoughts and experiences in the comments. It’s been ten years, so I would just love to learn that it’s actually a very outdated stereotype, and that Hyundai is just being lazy by relying on it.
- Korean Sociological Image #21: Calf Reduction Surgery
- Korea’s latest trend: Calf Reduction Surgery (Omona)
- How Slut-Shaming and Victim-Blaming Begin in Korean Schools
- Time to Stop Skirting the Issue: Sexualization of School Uniforms in South Korea (Korea Exposé)
- “Body Changing” Diet-Drink Generously Donated to High School Students
If you reside in South Korea, you can donate via wire transfer: Turnbull James Edward (Kookmin Bank/국민은행, 563401-01-214324)