Session Abstract: This panel seeks for the solidarity of women and social minorities in East Asia under the umbrella of feminism in the twenty first century. In the late twentieth century, feminism could have been evolved into a political movement for the social minorities including LGBTQ, immigrant workers, political refugees and the social poor, on top of women of various race and class. However, the latest feminisms in East Asia have been integrated with neoliberalism, so they tend to represent the interests of biological women and an individual woman only, particularly in the forms of South Korean radical feminism and Japanese postfeminism. Exceptionally, Taiwan has shown the most progressive move with the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2019, yet there are still unsolved problems. Under this circumstance, Youngran Ko problematizes how Japanese postfeminism excludes illiterate Korean female residents and Japanese sex workers near the United States military bases from the category of “Japanese women” by analyzing the recent literary texts. Eno Pei-Jean Chen addresses "queer modes of life" by comparing the recent queer documentary-films of Taiwan and South Korea, both of which feature “Mrs. Pants” experiencing “precarious” identities and working conditions. Suzie Kim focuses on the portrayal and status-quo of South Korean middle-aged women (ajumma) through the media projects by Contemporary Korean artist Youngjoo Cho who deconstructs and liberates this stigmatized social group. Finally, Yun-Jong Lee suggests the possible re-coupling of feminism and Marxism as an alternative to South Korean radical feminism as well as to Japanese postfeminism and other exclusivisms.
Paper Presenter: Yun-Jong Lee – Sogang University
Paper Presenter: Suzie Kim – University of Mary Washington
Paper Presenter: Eno Pei-Jean Chen – National Chengchi University
Paper Presenter: Youngran Ko – Nihon University