A fight

Koreans use the word ‘fight’ (싸우다) a lot. They ‘fight’ in the Olympics, the national football team is called the ‘Red warriors’ and Kim Yuna ‘fought’ well against Aada Mao. And that is why, like so many things about Korea, I don’t like the word ‘fight’, I don’t want to use it, and it will remain one of those things I just give up on understanding about Korea, like many others.

But today and tomorrow, I want to fight, and I want everyone with the least sense of dignity and common sense to fight with me.

I want to fight for my rights, for welfare, for democracy, for freedom, for equality.

I want to fight against dictatorship, against inequality, against bias, against ignorance.

And that is why, without a moment of doubt or hesitation, my vote goes out for this person.

문재인, Presidential Candidate for the 18th Presidential Elections in Korea

Why am I for him and not for 박근혜, the so-called would-be-first-female-president of Korea if she were elected?

It’s not just because she is the daughter of a dictator who, for 16 years, did everything to stay in power, killing innocent people, violating basic human rights and oppressing anyone standing in his path, all in the name of ‘economic development’. After all, let’s be fair, she was just a little girl and it was her father who is the guilty one, not her.

It’s not just because she was abysmal in the presidential debates and couldn’t answer the most basic questions and demonstrated an utter lack of common sense, stating, among many other idiocies, that ‘junk food’ was among the four evils of society, after sexual violence, violence at school, and violence against family. After all, she may have been nervous and could have misread her notes, pushing her helpers and consultants over the edge of chaos and panic. Furthermore, a good debater may not necessarily make a good president.

I ‘fight’ against Ms. Park because as the daughter of a dictator, she fails to acknowledge her father’s mistakes and manages to wrap the atrocities he committed presenting them as ‘necessary acts’ he did for the good of the country. She miserably fails to see the errors of the past and of the history of this country, and anyone with such perspective is bound to repeat the same mistakes and not evade them. From history, we learn about what we did wrong as a nation so that we may not go on the same path. We do not look back on history to boast about the good things, even less when these ‘good things’ were a simple and thin veil covering up the thousands of lives and sacrifices of the people.

I ‘fight’ against Ms. Park because no matter how much her slogan says it, she is NOT ready and she is NOT to have the title of the ‘first female president’. During all her years in the government, she has not passed a single law that benefited women, she has not made any effort for the improvement of women’s status in this country. She therefore does not deserve to call herself ‘first female president’ and pretend as if she were doing a great deed for all the women in this country. I would gladly vote for any ‘first woman president’ in Korea, and I hope that one day I will be able to, but I will not vote for someone who just happened to have XX chromosomes and did nothing to prove she was aware of the plight women have to go in this society.

True, Mr. Moon may not, no, will not, provide all the solutions to this country. Unfortunately, he will not meet all the demands of the people. Just because he goes to the Blue House, the prices of goods will not suddenly drop out and people will not see their income increase. He will probably spend the next five years mending and scraping out the shit the past MB government has been gladly throwing out here and there. Heck, I’m not even sure I will be here to see and benefit from the changes and improvements he has planned for the next five years (and I pray to God I won’t).

Then why do I care?

Because my parents will still be here and they will need the help from the government to spend their old days without worrying too much about their ‘survival’. Because I have friends who live here, and some will even have children soon, and I want them and their children to benefit from childcare, education, and medical support. Because I don’t want workers to die unfairly and helplessly anymore at the hands of the big cronies that only care about their family wealth. Because I don’t want the future generation to be separated based on their regions, their education and their wealth.

But most of all, because I – and I can’t believe I’m about to say this – do care about Korea. It took me 10 years to realize it and say so, but yes, no matter how much I bitch about it, no matter how much I hate certain things (and I’ve never been afraid or shy to admit them), it’s something you can’t chose or get rid of that easily. I care about my country, with all its faults (and believe me, there are many) and its eccentricities (many of which I will never understand, nor will I try to). I will continue to sigh and complain, I have no doubt, but when I will be abroad or meet non-Koreans, I don’t want to have to explain to them why on earth ‘my people’ would choose such a person to run the country when clearly, she has not given a single proof she could. I want to be able to tell them that yes, at some point, some people were crazy enough to support her and believe she would make a good president, but don’t we all have a certain number of crazy and thoughtless people in our countries anyways?

So yes, I am willing to get into this fight, and I pray to God that tomorrow, I will be able to proudly shout, on Facebook and on Twitter, that we ‘won’ the goddamn ‘battle’.

I sincerely hope that the V sign that many people will hold high tomorrow will not be for those cheesy V signs Koreans love to make when they’re taking pictures (see, bitching already), but a sign for true Victory.


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