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OWLS Blog Tour: “Feminine” – A Mother-Daughter Relationship in Because This Is My First Life


The OWLS topic for the month of March is “Feminine”:

In honor of Women’s History Month, the OWLS bloggers will explore the concepts of femininity and feminism. We each have our own definition of these two terms and we will explore our definitions using “feminine” characters from various pop culture fandoms. We will discuss how these characters are “feminine” or show signs of a feminist agenda. We will also share our personal stories about the amazing women that supported us in our lives as well as sharing experiences involving women’s rights, oppression within the patriarchy, and/or issues of growing up as a woman or having a feminine persona.

When I originally signed up to participate on this tour, I was mainly going to focus on some of my favorite female characters in anime and literature, but I decided to take a different route because I realized that none of these characters come close to the women I surround myself with in real life.

If you haven’t read my recent post, this month my grandma passed away. It’s been rough. I paused my studies and canceled a few hangouts with friends in order to be with my family. I still feel a bit lethargic but I am getting back to my normal routine.

I had an interesting relationship with my grandma. I was always a bit shy around her and so, what I know about her came mostly from the stories my mom told me. In fact, my mom’s relationship with my grandma (her mom) is similar to my relationship with my mom. I’m very close to my mom and when I was younger I would always cling to her. Nowadays, I vent to her about my problems since she’s a great listener and she’s always there to support me. A lot of my friends and my relatives say I look and act just like her and to some degree, I can see it.

A mother’s relationship with her daughter is vital. A mother teaches her daughter everything she needs to know about being a graceful and hardworking woman, and so everything that my mom has learned from her mother has been passed down to me.

Since I need to apply my personal story to a pop culture medium, I decided to give an example of a touching moment between a mother and daughter in a South Korean drama, Because This Is My First Life. In this series, Yoon Ji-ho decides to hastily marry Nam Se-hee, which causes a fallout between Ji-ho and her mother. Ji-ho’s mother is disappointed in her because she decided to get married and become a housewife despite all the hard work she put into her career as a writer. Ji-ho’s mother sees it as an easy way out when she knows that her daughter is capable of so much more, and I can understand where Ji-ho’s mother is coming from.  I think all mothers want their daughters to be more than what they themselves are (which traditionally is the role of a domestic housewife).

In this particular scene, Ji-ho’s mother writes a letter to her soon-to-be son-in-law, Nam Se-hee and asks him to care and support Ji-ho’s decisions and dreams.

This is a touching moment that demonstrates the strong bond between a mother and her daughter.

Femininity and feminism are words that have been tossed around in the media, but they are values that a mother teaches her daughter inherently. You aren’t aware of it because they are just usually subtle life lessons and experiences that a mother and daughter share with each other and no one else.

I’m both. I’m a feminine feminist. I don’t really care much for a hierarchy where women are better than men. All I care about is that I will be treated fairly and with respect regardless of my gender.

If you want to check out other posts for this month’s theme, “Feminine,” you can check out Irina’s or Mel’s blog posts.

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