This book provides the first English translation of some of the central archival material concerning the development of New Woman (sin yŏsŏng) in Korea during the late nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century. It includes selected writings of both women and men who put forward their views on some of the key issues of new womanhood, including gender equality, chastity, divorce, education, fashion, hygiene, birth control, and the women’s movement. The authors whose essays are included express a range of attitudes about the new gender ethics and practices that were deeply influenced by the incessant flow of new and modern knowledge, habits and consumer products from metropolitan Japan and the West. Emphasizing the global nature of the phenomenon of the New Woman and Modern Girl, this sourcebook provides key references to a dynamic and multifarious history of modern Korean women, whose ideals and life experiences were formed at the intersection of Western modernity, Korean nationalism, Japanese colonialism and resilient patriarchy.
Introduction. New Women in Discursive and Historical Space 1. The Woman Question 2. New Woman, Old Woman 3. Controversy over "Schoolgirls" (yŏhaksaeng) 4. The "Modern Girl" Question 5. Love, Marriage and Divorce 6. Politics of the Body—Chastity, Birth Control and Fashion 7. Transcultural Experiences 8. Korean Women’s Movements: Coalition and Division