Showing posts with label Kim Ji Young Born 1982 by Cho Nam Joo (Kbook) 4.8. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kim Ji Young Born 1982 by Cho Nam Joo (Kbook) 4.8. Show all posts

17 January 2022

K Book Review: Kim Ji Young, Born 1982 by Cho Nam Joo (2016) 4.8

We’ve been meaning to watch the movie version of the book. However, when I learned that celebrities like IU who read the book were bashed for reading something too “feminist,” I became curious and I resolved to read the book before watching the film. I will still watch the film and while I would like to remain optimistic that it will meet the high standard the book has set, I also admit that it might be difficult for a 2-hour film to pack in everything from a whole book. But we’ll see. 

Kim Ji Young, Born 1982 tells the story of Kim Ji Young, a woman in her mid-30s. She’s married with one daughter. The story begins with how the stay-at-home mom who has given up a job she loved to raise her child seems to be “losing it.” A troubling incident which involved Ji Young talking back to her in-laws prompted her husband to take her to a doctor for a diagnosis. The entire book is supposedly based on her doctor’s notes from their sessions. It narrates the numerous barriers that Korean women like Ji Young have to deal with and overcome in their families, school, work, and society, in general. 

I was hooked the moment I started reading the book. It was like reading something that was both fictional and historical at the same time. And it explained a lot of things about how and why Korean women live the way they do. Some of the things about how Korean women were depicted in dramas and movies, which tended to confuse me before, finally made sense. 

I absolutely loved the factual stuff that the author injected in the book. Like guys, she didn't make things up. She had facts to back her up. Men had, and to a great extent, still have more privileges than women (preference in the family, school, and jobs, among others). Women need to give up and go through a lot before they can reap the benefits that their male counterparts enjoy. 

I loved how the book emphasized the importance of having a strong female advocate to help empower women to believe that they can be who they want to be. I loved Ji Young's female boss who told her things as it is - that it was difficult to be a working woman and she had to face more challenges than her male colleagues. And I absolutely loved Ji Young's mom. Her sacrifices and persistence paved the way for her daughters to have more choices and opportunities in life. I was thrilled when she contradicted her husband when he told Ji Young to stay out of trouble and just get married. Mother's line telling Ji Young to cause trouble and run wild is something every girl needs to hear, especially from their mothers. 

Yes, the story was sad. Despite Ji Young having a relatively good support group, the pressure was still too much for her that it affected her mental health. The harsh realities revealed by the book were shocking and painful to read. But I would like to believe that we can still look at the book in a positive light. That there's hope out there. Getting the story of Ji Young and women like her is the first step. Hopefully, more people will listen and we can see things improving for women in the near future. 

I would have given this a 5 but I wanted a full closure on Ji Young's story. I wanted to see how she responded to her treatment and more importantly, how it affected her husband. I wanted concrete changes in how her husband dealt with her and their family. Other than that, the story's perfect!

Noona says...4.8.