JTBC's Strong Woman Do Bong-soon has taken the issue of gender equality and brought it to the forefront of everyone in Korea's minds. Likewise, those of us watching from abroad have also gotten to see how a show can be both incredibly entertaining and address serious issues at the same time. American television shows can learn a lot about feminism and representation from some of the new Korean dramas currently hitting the airwaves, especially from those like Strong Woman Do Bong-soon.
The show's plot is simple enough for even those not normally fond of K-dramas to follow. Do Bong-soon is a young woman gifted with super strength who is trying to live her life as normally as possible. An encounter with some bullies results in her showing off her strength to some children and Ainsoft game company's CEO Ahn Min-hyuk. As a result, Bong-son is given the job as a personal bodyguard by the CEO.
Bong-soon is not only forced to help Min Hyuk with normal, everyday tasks, but is also given the job of catching the man who has been threatening his life. While Bong-soon uses her strength to help her boss, she is at the same time attempting to hide it from her crush, In Guk-doo, a local police officer. Interestingly, there is also a serial murder case going on in the same area that Bong-soon lives, and Guk Doo is determined to protect Bong-soon anyway he can.
Gender Equality In 'Strong Woman Do Bong-Soon'
Gender norms and gender equality have always been a hot-button issue in America, but seem to be becoming more and more of one in Korea as well. Korean society has always been a place where men and women are expected to fulfill certain societal expectations, and Do Bong-soon is taking those expectations and throwing them out the window. More and more shows like this are becoming popular and are worth paying attention to, in both Korean and American society.
Do Bong-soon does a fantastic job of being a strong woman in both her physical and mental capabilities. She is forced to hide her strength at the beginning of the show as it is not socially acceptable for women to be strong. Even the crush whom she has known all of her life, Guk-doo, treats her like someone who needs constant care and protection when the murders start happening in her neighborhood. As the series continues, Bong-soon finally comes into her own and realizes that being a strong woman is not a bad thing. She has started taking initiative to confront those causing conflict in her area and show that her strength is not something to be taken for granted.
Do Bong-Soon Is An Inspiration
The idea that women can be strong, smart and beautiful that Strong Woman Do Bong-soon presents is one that American television can learn a lot from. There are shows like Jane the Virgin, Girls and others that do present strong women in society, but there are not nearly enough shows on air that do so. The show brings up issues that have been plaguing society since the beginning of time, mainly that it is socially unacceptable for women to be strong in the face of adversity. A woman does not need to be either strong and ugly or weak and beautiful, but can indeed be both. Do Bong-soon shows all women out there that it is preferable to be strong, no matter what anyone else may say or think.
Will you be watching Strong Woman Do Bong-soon? Let me know in the comments below!