“I am a feminist, not the fun kind.”
Andrea Dworkin, Ice and Fire (1986).
I am an adult survivor of child sexual abuse. I grew up in Seoul, South Korea and studied law and cultural anthropology at Yonsei University. I began my feminist activism with Korea Women’s Hotline, which is the oldest and largest organization combatting violence against women in South Korea. In 2014, I went to the United States to attend law school, because I wanted to learn from Catharine A. MacKinnon. I had read about how she and Andrea Dworkin tried to use civil rights law to empower those who have been victimized by pornography. I believed then and still believe now that they were onto something.
During law school, I had the joy of being Catharine A. MacKinnon’s research assistant, taking all of her courses, and writing an independent research paper for her. Through volunteer work, internships, and clinical courses, I learned how to provide assistance to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and sexual harassment in employment. As a law student intern, I connected with fierce feminists at Family Law Project (Ann Arbor, MI), Equal Rights Advocates (San Francisco, CA), and Equality Now (New York, NY). I also pursued a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of Michigan. In 2016, I was named a Dean’s Public Service Fellow by the University of Michigan Law School and received the Julia D. Darlow Award from the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan.
I am involved in the South Korean women’s movement and the global women’s movement, on stage, behind the scenes, and in spirit. I engage in activism through research, advocacy, organizing, and writing. My project is to be as effective as possible against oppression, wherever I am, in whatever capacity. I am particularly interested in feminist legal theory and practice, sexual exploitation, gender violence, and critical race theory.
For those who wonder, Medusa was a mythological woman of color who was raped, vilified, and then destroyed. Radical feminists reclaim her as a fearless goddess and a symbol of female power.
The dominant narrative wants us to believe that we can’t live with Medusa, but in fact we can’t live without her. She is part of us. She is black and brown and white and lesbian and straight and Jewish and atheist and poor and wealthy and you name it. She is the fire of honesty and the flame of anger. Both our wisdom and our creativity are unanchored without her. The story of the world is incomprehensible without her.
Ann Scales, “Disappearing Medusa: The Fate of Feminist Legal Theory?,” 20 Harvard Women’s Law Journal 34, 42-43 (1997).