Doenjang girl

Doenjang girl or doenjang woman (hangul: 된장녀, doenjang nyeo) is a pejorative expression used in South Korea to criticize women who "[scrimp] on essentials so they can over-spend on conspicuous luxuries".[1] The term first entered the language after Korea's early-2000s economic upswing.[2] According to Jee Eun Regina Song, the concept of this woman is "best exemplified by the Starbucks cup in her hand".[3] In South Korea, Starbucks symbolizes aspirational wealth and drinking Starbucks coffee is a status symbol; Seoul as of 2015 had more franchises than any other city in the world.[4] Coffee after 1999 became a symbol of class.[4]

Doenjang jjigae is one of the cheapest meals in South Korea
Starbucks in South Korea is a luxury commodity

According to the BBC, the term is inherently sexist;[2] according to Song, the issues are both of gender and class.[3] The BBC said that the term refers to the idea that "no matter how many Chanel bags she buys, she'll never be able to disguise her 'Korean-ness', and that this kind of spending was something to be mocked. There is no derogatory 'soybean paste boy' equivalent."[2]

Doenjang is Korean fermented soybean paste.[5] The term mocks a woman for eating a cheap meal (doenjang jjigae is one of the cheapest meals in Korea) so she can buy something expensive. [4] A large part of the song "Gangnam Style" is a parody of this stereotype.[1][4]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Max Fisher (August 23, 2012). "Gangnam Style, Dissected: The Subversive Message Within South Korea's Music Video Sensation". The Atlantic. Retrieved September 17, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Galer, Sophia Smith. "The languages with built-in sexism". www.bbc.com. Retrieved 2022-01-24.
  3. ^ a b Song, Jee Eun Regina (2014). "The Soybean Paste Girl: The Cultural and Gender Politics of Coffee Consumption in Contemporary South Korea". Journal of Korean Studies. 19 (2): 429–448. doi:10.1353/jks.2014.0026. ISSN 2158-1665.
  4. ^ a b c d Rothman, Lauren (19 January 2015). "Korean Women Are Starving Themselves to Afford a Cup of Coffee". www.vice.com. Retrieved 2022-01-25.
  5. ^ Doenjang (in Korean)