They don’t want Prince Charming, a Pinterest-perfect wedding or a big happy family and today a growing number of South Korean women are embracing the “4B” movement. No dating, no sex, no marriage, and no child-rearing and they’ve never felt better about themselves. “In the marriage market, your previous life and work experience don’t matter. I’m a straight woman who is no longer interested in having relationships with men,” said Lee, a 40-year-old professional from Seoul.
Married women do four times the work at home than men
In a country where wives are expected to do it all, work, raise children, take care of elderly family members, more women are opting to stay single rather than get married. Furthermore, even one’s education qualifications don’t matter at all when it comes to looking for a husband, on the contrary being highly educated is also seen as a disadvantage. “In the marriage market, your previous life and work experience don’t matter. For some ridiculous reason, being highly educated also becomes a minus point. What matters the most as a potential wife is whether or not you are capable of caring for your husband and in-laws,” added Lee. She has seen her well-educated friends encountering so many barriers in the workplace, as well as at home, not to mention that things get even more difficult after having children. Also, married women do four times the work at home than men in the household.
Women are choosing to live the “Escape the Corset” life
Interestingly, a decade ago 47 percent of single women thought that marriage was necessary, however, last year, only 22.4% of single women though the same. Although there is no official number of how many women are part of the 4B movement, it is being said that there are about 4,000 women. “I realized this society is a system that I cannot accept as a woman, and from than any encounter with men – be it marriage or dating – became meaningless to me,” said Lee because women are expected to be childlike and bubbly as well as attractive and desirable. Hence, women are choosing to live the “Escape the Corset” life which is another movement against Korea’s very rigid beauty standards for women; many women are smashing their beauty stashes on social media and it’s going viral. One of the other reasons why women are choosing not to marry is because they are convinced that a majority of men in the 20s and 30s have watched spycam videos and revenge porn and this is one of the reasons why they don’t want anything to do with Korean men.
Image credit: AsianNews