제 9 호 Daughter-in-Law, Gender Stereotypes in Korean Culture
Kicker: ENTERTAINMENT (CULTURE)
Daughter-in-Law, Gender Stereotypes in Korean Culture
-Focusing on ‘The in Law’ Drama
By Eugene Ha, Reporter
Do you know the drama 'The in Law', which aired on Kakao TV last November? Based on a popular webtoon called ‘Myeoneuragi,’ it has recently become a hot topic on Instagram and Facebook. ‘Myeoneuragi’ is a word that refers to a daughter-in-law in a cute way, which is a direct and affectionate word. From the title, we have a foreboding of what will unfold. Since its release for the first time, it has garnered more than 1 million views and ended with more than 17 million views in each episode, drawing sympathy from various generations. Why is the viewer response so hot? The drama clearly shows the newly coined word ‘seaworld’, which means in-laws of Korean culture. Various age groups are immersed and pouring out their opinions. ‘Seaworld,’ which is only in Korea, gets worse during the national holidays. Changes seem to be needed because the tradition of culture, which has been handed down for a long time, is not a necessary tradition, not a natural acceptance. Let's learn more about this drama that gave family members a chance to reflect on themselves.
The main character of this drama tries to become a good daughter-in-law without knowing it as soon as she gets married. The daughter-in-law's life, which is projected through her newly married "Min Sa-rin," shows how unfair things that have been recognized as a natural duty of a daughter-in-law are. There is also an ugly sister-in-law. There is no dramatic conflict, but most married women have honestly portrayed the injustice they must have experienced and felt, so it is a drama that many women sympathize with, cry and get angry together about. Episodes of this drama are likely to happen at any house. Let's take a look at a few episodes.
The first son and his wife, who are working together, went to their in-laws' house to celebrate their first holiday after marriage, and the mother-in-law told his son to go in and rest, and the father-in-law and uncle are drinking alcohol, and she asked if daughter in law brought comfortable clothes, calling her "baby." Then the daughter-in-law feels bad and talks to her mother in law that her son and daughter go to a room and rest and father drinks and only helps me with the food, right? Then she leaves the house without saying anything. This messes up the family atmosphere, and the mother cries, ending the episode.
Last year Chuseok, the first daughter-in-law leaving scene
This is the story of his second son Mu Gu-young and his wife Min Sa-rin, who came to his in-laws' house before Chuseok. After hearing her mother working in the kitchen from dawn, Min Sa-rin eventually wakes up and helps. And when her husband Mu Gu-young tried to help, her mother stopped him, kicked him out of the kitchen, and made food for the memorial service with her only. At the big table, men are eating, and women are eating together at a small table. And the mother-in-law who keeps running errands, saying that men are not going to the kitchen. The conflict between his wife and mother intensifies as he barely arrives home after hearing his mother-in-law's phone call and suddenly goes back to his in-laws' home and eats until dinner.
Difference between men and women, husbands and wives
How did they come to a conclusion?
In the last episode of the drama, Min Sa-rin gets tired so she goes traveling alone to Jeju Island, and her husband realizes how much he couldn't take care of her while living in a house without a wife. And he goes to Jeju to meet her. He confesses calmly, saying, “I won't take things for granted." And she gets the courage to say no to things she doesn't like before and goes back to her in-laws.
This drama shows the in-laws' atmosphere, which is one part of our culture. We can bring sympathetic episodes of our daily lives and see how much we naturally demand in the lines of our mother-in-law and father-in-law. It makes us think about the seaworld, the daughter-in-law culture that we strongly sympathize with and think about. In fact, there are no rules to do something and there is no definition of action. This custom has long come down and everyone has taken it for granted. However, while this practice is still sympathetic, many modern families are breaking the ice. It seems to be an old custom in Korea that still has the values in its head that women should be like this and men should be like this by gender and men and women should be like this.