I’m all for empowering women and there is no better example than Empress Myeongseong also known as Queen Min. Often times, we only think about women who have changed society to be those who took part in the suffrage movement or similar women’s rights activism. However, though their achievements should not be disregarded, there are still many women from other cultures that we can look up to. Queen Min is known as a “beacon for progress and independence in Korea” (newworldencyclopedia).
She became the queen at the mere age of 16 when she married the young 15 year old king. This is completely unimaginable for me– to have to rule an entire country before you’ve even become an adult. But rather than hiding behind the palace doors, Queen Min was “assertive and ambitious” (listverse). She began to “read books reserved for men only, teaching herself philosophy, history, science, politics and religion” rather than focusing on the typical queen duties (listverse). As a result of the controversy of westernizing her country including allowing freedom of religion, Queen Min was assassinated.
In my opinion, Queen Min represents true feminism at its finest. I truly dislike how feminism has developed throughout tumblr and other social media sites. I find it rather off-putting how there’s such a great focus on all the injustices that have been done to women that merely make us appear entitled as if that will advocate for change in the future. Often times, these arguments are either extremely circular and create a hypocritical image for women. Furthermore, these social media sites often reduce very real problems into whiny complaints. For that reason, I found Queen Min to be a very interesting woman and a role model that people should consider for our modern day feminist movement. I believe the key focus should be ignoring what others say and to cross gender boundaries through our own ambitions.