As grandma used to say ‘women need to meet proper men to change their destiny’. The media too sends the same message. In the Korean TV series ‘The Heirs’, there are a lot of stories that involve women meeting wealthy men and it
changes their lives. The psychological state of women whom scheme for a stable life relying on men is called the ‘Cinderella Complex’.
The ‘Cinderella Complex’ grew out of stereotypes in gender roles. Stereotypes in gender roles have come out of our past patriarchal society in Korea. Women were trapped, suppressed by male dominated attitudes and anxieties and were not able to show their true capabilities. As a result, women developed a dependence on men and a sense of inferiority arose; with these psychological
feelings leading to the Cinderella Complex.
While unconsciously assorting gender roles, our society developed complexes for both sexes; women and men, and the range is diverse. Women not only deal with a Cinderella Complex, but also a ‘Superwomen Complex’, where mothers should be able to do everything, a ‘Good Women Complex’, where all women should be good-hearted, an ‘Intellectual Complex’, where women should not be too smart, and an ‘Appearance Complex’, where women should all be beautiful.
From the most sociologic vision, the complexes that women experience are the effects of our patriarchal society. To address these complexes, the ‘Cinderella Complex’ in particular, there are two things we need to do.
First, women’s studies need to be developed. It is a form of research that deals with political, social, cultural problems, and the search for solutions takes place from a woman’s perspective. Through women’s studies, I believe that women, who were not able to show their capabilities due to our past patriarchal society, can elevate the social status of women instead.
In addition, women themselves have to foster their own independence. Just by looking at the U.S., we can see that the position of women in society is much higher than that of Korea. Oprah Winfrey was the solo host of her self-titled
‘Oprah Winfrey Show’, a famous American TV program. She had all the disadvantages of being women and is also an African-American; yet she was able to achieve recognition from people of all ages and both sexes. She still has an influence over a lot of people today.
Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Secretary is another example of an empowered female. She was able to boldly reach her authoritative position in the U.S. government as a female. During the process of her achieving her position, there was a lot of opposition, however, she was able to perform her role with outstanding leadership.
It is the responsibility of women to get out from under the cloak of their pre-determined gender role that derived from our patriarchal society. If not, then the Cinderella Complex will continue. Furthermore, women should raise their own capabilities, so that they are respected for their own abilities as an individual and a female. Rather than being made aware of our differences, men and women in our cultures should honors their characteristics and only then can we see an end to these ridiculously limiting social complexes.
Lee Da-hye firstname.lastname@example.org