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“Veganism Will Rise like Feminism”: The Porous Contestation of Intersectional Vegan Feminism against the Exclusive Politics of Korean Popular Feminism.
Individual Paper Presenter(s)
Su Young Choi
Stetson University, United States
Vegan feminism is an ideology and social movement that aims to establish equality and justice within a wider web of human/nonhuman interrelations by overcoming anthropocentric and patriarchal society. This study asks how Korean women who call themselves vegan feminists identify themselves and strategize their movement within the political context of South Korea, a region where the recent resurgence of feminist activism has generated intense public discussion about its potentials and limits. Employing the qualitative methods of semi-structured interviews, textual analysis, and participant observation, this study presents how vegan feminists have contradictory relationships with Korean popular feminism, in which their intersectional criticism is often mixed with an imitation of the separatist or exclusive practices of popular feminism. I argue that an analysis of the South Korean vegan feminist activism shows two important implications for scholars of feminist politics and the environment. One is to consider “parity of participation” (Fraser 2009)—social arrangements that enable people to participate as peers in public life—as a significant condition of justice to halt the perpetuation of the exclusive politics of Korean popular feminism. The other is to pay attention to the potential of Korean vegan feminism for social change that cuts across anthropocentric borders and encourages an active response to ecological crisis.