A Korean feminist theologian talks of women empowerment through anger | April Magazine
“Many religions teach that anger is equal to evil and endurance is a virtue. Particularly, women’s anger has been considered worse than men’s. Then what has happened as a result of this perception? Women have suffered under a patriarchal system and have not been able to make their own voice,” Ms. Chung asserted. She believes that women’s anger, which has now garnered a huge attention in South Korea, should be further encouraged and thoroughly expressed. “If you want to change society, you have to resist being overpowered by the authority and say instead that you are not okay. If you keep enduring passively, it will affect your self-esteem and eventually you will end up hating yourself.”
Ms. Chung’s core message comes from various experiences of her life. When she was a South Korean college student in the 1970s, she was kidnapped and tortured by the police. She was accused of reading ‘prohibited books’ on the progressive theology of the Third World and of joining a social movement. In the 1980s, she fought for the democracy of South Korea and educated both the prostitutes and the impoverished.
In 1991, she addressed a gathering at a World Council of Churches in Australia, and delivered a speech that caused an uproar. She was accused of syncretism (combining Christian teachings with different elements of other religions) and called a witch by some conservative theologians. At that time, she had to get a divorce as well. She recounted that it was the hardest time in her life and she had spiraled into a period of self-loathing. “To get over my traumas, I actively spoke out for peace and focused on my study of religions which crossed cultural boundaries.”