Sunday, October 30, 2016

Park Geun Hye's Downfall

Damn, y'all. What a time to not be in South Korea. This is the kind of thing I would have loved to talk about with my students, at least to hear their perspective.

When you're the first minority anything (or at least the first in an official capacity—black people were playing baseball before Jackie Robinson, and so on), the burden is on you to not fuck it up. Beyond that, the burden is on you to be unbelievably good at what you're doing. Twice as good for half the credit, as the expression goes.

As the US is on the brink of its first woman president (knock on wood, get out the vote, etc.), and as I left the country almost four years ago (where does the time go?!), it's a little shitty of me to sit high and mighty and talk about Korea's patriarchal society and its relationship with Park. From a distance, her presidency has looked a little troubled, but I don't know the details. But it's not the details I'm interested in at this point (or well, I am, but you know), but the ramifications.

The next woman to run for office in South Korea is going to have to contend with this shitshow. It doesn't matter which party she's in, or her career up to that point, or how long it's been—the pundits will all bring up Park Geun Hye. Whether it's a favorable or unfavorable comparison doesn't matter; thanks to this scandal, it'll be hard work to come out of the shadow of Park's legacy.

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