chapter  1
Pages 6

In recent decades Korean women have allowed themselves to be dominated by men. Why? That is one of the puzzling mysteries explored in this book. The image of Korean women is contradictory. One image is that of service, endurance and subordination-as wives, mothers, secretaries, clerks, and waitresses, while another image is of the entrepreneur, often a tough, sexy barmaid/bar-owner. A preferred and dominant image is that of the hardworking protector of the family focused on supporting family membersmanaging children’s education and maintaining family status and finances. All this takes place behind a bamboo screen, Suryom ChongJong, as in fifteenth-century palaces where women conducted affairs of state from behind a bamboo screen. Korean women today are still expected to be seen publicly as serving others, not as leaders.