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Rise of independent feminism magazines

Posted January. 11, 2019 07:49,   

Updated January. 11, 2019 07:49


Feminism is converging with literature in South Korea, giving birth to a colorful range of creative works. A remarkable number of authors are focusing on feminism as their literary theme, and most literary magazines have shed light on the subject. Tellingly, there is a rising trend of both periodicals and non-periodicals whose identity is built around feminism.

When the If, the first feminism magazine in South Korea, was published in 1997, the magazine practically covered all topics. Recently, the magazine is primarily focusing on a single theme. First published in June 2015, the Girls Literature or Sonyeo Mukhak seeks to identify itself as an independent literature that lays an emphasis on feminism and queer culture. The magazine receives contributions about females and sexual minorities. The article “Laying Bare the Practice of Sexual Violence in Literary Circles, and After,” which was covered in the Issue #4 “Morning” in July last year, received a great deal of critical accolades.

The “Womankind,” a magazine published by Bada Books, applies the art of humanities to dealing with feminism issues. Articles such as “#MeToo: I Face Injustice, therefore I Am Dignified” (Issue #3), which describes the experiences of a former journalist named Park Seon-yeong, and “That Was Not My Authority,” which was penned by Kim Jin-ah, the president of Wolf Social Club, received good responses. Since its launch in January 2017, the magazine has published the fifth issue.

With Minumsa having published the first issue of “Criter,” major literary and critics publishers are also steadily dealing with the subject of feminism. Ggol is an independent bookstore dedicated to introducing books on feminism.

However, there is a long way to go. Many magazines struggle with little viewership before being discontinued. First published in 2013, Zuzn Zaapzi was shut down after introducing the 10th issue in 2017, and Jeong Doo-ri, the editor of Zuzn Zaapzi, says, while she was running the publishing company, she had to face the onslaught of anti-feminism and money issues. “Books both widen and deepen our perspective for debate,” said Na Hee-young, the editor of the Womankind. "Our task is to include male readers into our viewership."

Seol Lee snow@donga.com