Gender Narratives and Ideological Effect of Patriarchal Protection toward Minorities
Harvard University Harvard-Yenching Institute United States of America (nationality: Republic of Korea),
In this article I will be examining how, fixing a minority subject to the imagery of stereotyped victim is by itself an ideological effect, how it shatters polyphonic voices of resistance, confining them to the refined political effects.
The ideology of paternal protection identifies the role of government as that of the Father, thereby operating as an almighty micro-power. Patriarchs would be more docile and passive toward the macro-power, by being granted the micro-power and authority within their individual family units to serve the role of one who look after the weak. Besides, another ideological effect of legal protection is the placing of individuals in the subject position of minority, as ones to be looked after and to be spoken on behalf of. It may easily take the form of "though you may not know, I tell you, it is for you"
A good example may be found in Anti-prostitution Acts that had been enacted in 2004, which aroused controversial debates in Korean civil society. This may demonstrate an interesting case study to European gender studies, too. While this act had been suggested and strongly reinforced by feminist movements namely to protect the human dignity of prostitutes by eradicating the brothel, the prostitutes held protests against this prohibition, insisting that they want to be acknowledged as sexual workers instead of being "protected" against their own work fields. Nevertheless their voices were not significantly recognized in the course of public debate. Major feminist NGOs didn't take their narratives seriously, worrying that such voices of prostitutes might be viciously misused by the opposing side, by those who try to justify prostitution claiming that brothels are necessity evil for vitality of society. Hence the narrations of prostitutes were being double marginalized; by male dominant society as well as by feminist groups who speaks on behalf of their rights, both of whom perceives prostitution as the Other to family-based social system.