SEOUL, July 9 (Korea Bizwire) – A recent study disproved the current negative remarks on young Korean women of their excessive dependency on men, who are often marked with a scarlet letter “Kimchi girl.”
“Kimchi girl” is a derogatory webspeak word in Korea, used to indicate young Korean women who depend entirely on men of date or wedding expenses, much like the slang “gold digger,” or who lack in common sense or knowledge.
Created by the millennials of Korea who show strong resistance toward the conventional custom in Korea, in which men only have been burdened with most of the wedding expenses and duty to provide financially for the family, the word is used to demean Korean women in their 20s for their lack of competency and will to work and provide for themselves.
However, according to a survey conducted by “Alba Heaven,” Korea’s part-time job portal, on 2,546 men and women between age of 19 to 27, the majority of women in their 20s are found to be more of “Joan of Arc” type who pursue self-driven lifestyle, than a “Kimchi girl.”
The survey showed that a considerable number of respondents, 46.2 percent, answered that “the term is foolishly hyperbolical only targeted to a few women.” Other opinions on the webspeak were “the term engenders strong hostility for its demeaning connotation” (27.8%), “the type of women can be easily witnessed in real life” (20.8%), and “the word is trendy because it is only fun to use, so not really a big deal.”
On the other hand, there were disparities between the impressions of the word from male and those of female. As many as 33.6 percent of 960 male respondents answered “the type of women can be easily witnessed in real life,” whereas only 13 percent of 1,586 female respondents answered so. Instead, many female respondents, 35.9 percent, answered “the term is foolishly hyperbolical,” expressing their hostility towards the Internet jargon.
The survey, in order to find out substantive financial dependency on men of women in their 20s, also asked questions on intention to continue working after marriage. In short, in contrast to their badge of infamy, most of the women were rather independent and self-driven.
When asked “do you wish to continue working even after marriage?” nine out of ten female respondents answered “I do.”; Half of them answered that they want to “lead a dual-income household, earning evenly with my spouse” and 42.8 percent answered that they want to “lead a dual-income household, but wish my husband to earn more than me.”
Only a small proportion answered that they do not wish to continue working after marriage, as 3.7 percent answered that they want to “focus on parenting,” 2 percent answered that they want “only spouse to work, not me.” There were 1.6 percent of them who even answered “lead a single-income household with only myself working.”
In case of the male respondents, as much as 70.8 percent answered that they want to “lead a dual-income household, earning evenly with my spouse”, showing there is a sizable number of males who wish their female spouse to help financially.
Relatively a small number of them, 18.5 percent, answered that they want to “lead a single-income household with only myself working”, to demonstrate there are only few who wish their spouse to only concentrate on home making.
When asked, “Would you still work if the income that your spouse brings home is more than enough for your household?” seven out of ten women respondents, 69.4 percent, answered that they want to “continue to work even if so, for self-fulfillment”, a refuting result of belittling remarks of their dependency on men on the Internet.
The most of male respondents, 70 percent, also answered that they would continue to work for self-fulfillment, and there were 18 percent of them who answered that they would “work harder to match the spouse’s earnings.” as well.
Written by J. H. Kim (firstname.lastname@example.org)