Forum – October 4, 2019

Anat Schwartz

Photo taken by the researcher at a rally organized by Fireworks Femi Action on June 19, 2019, to commemorate the 2016 gender-motivated murder of a young woman at Gangnam station exit 10.

Feminism Reboot: Hashtags and Contemporary Feminist Activism in South Korea

Presented by Anat Schwartz
Junior Researcher
University of California, Irvine

Friday, October 4, 7:00 p.m.** at the Fulbright Building
Please RSVP by Thursday, October 3

Feminism in South Korea has a long and active history. Contemporary feminist activism is a response to an enduring history of misogyny and socioeconomic discrimination, and is complicated by current issues, such as illegal spy cameras, revenge pornography, and biased prosecution. In my dissertation, Contemporary Feminist Activism and Communities in South Korea, I delve into the history of feminism, activism, and community-making in South Korea, paying attention to the ways in which online spaces effect offline activism. In this presentation, I will present from a chapter on the movement against sexual violence, arguing that hashtags are a vital citational tool for information sharing and solidarity.

In this presentation, I focus on feminist activism post-2015. 2015 and 2016 are cited by activists and scholars as the beginning of a “reboot” of feminism by young activists. I will discuss feminist activism, from the controversial radical online feminist community Megalia, the 2015 #IAmAFeminist hashtag (Nanŭn_P’eminisŭt’ŭimnida) and the 2016 hashtag #my_sexual_abuse_in_00 (#00_kye_nae_sŏngp’oklyŏk), to the MeToo movement and anti-illegal spy cam protests at Hyewha subway station in 2018. As the “reboot” of feminism in South Korea is still taking shape, this presentation is an intervention into ongoing activism and relies on fieldwork interviews with Korean feminist activists and participant observation throughout South Korea.

Anat Schwartz is a doctoral candidate in East Asian Studies at the University of California Irvine. As a 2019 Fulbright scholar, Anat is affiliated with Yonsei University’s Cultural Anthropology department.
Anat’s research takes an interdisciplinary approach to contemporary South Korean feminist activism and communities, particularly to the intersections of feminist spaces on and off social media. Anat’s areas of interest include gender and sexuality studies, contemporary South Korean society and culture, feminist epistemology, and cultural theory. Anat’s CV can be accessed at: