a movement or a marketing strategy?

Aladin released in January a feminism goods lineup, including a pink diary that reads on its cover “Good girls go to heaven, Bad girls go everywhere.” / Korea Times photo by Eom Da-sol

By Eom Da-sol

Views about “feminism goods” are varied, with some saying the products are part of a social movement while others claim it is no more than a marketing strategy.

Feminism goods are any products designed to advocate women’s rights. By carrying the goods, which imply women’s empowerment, consumers feel they are part of the feminist movement.

A Twitter account “Feminism Goods,” which introduces new products, was launched last July for consumers to keep up with the latest goods.

More than 100 users share most of the posts the account retweets.

Jung Ye-ji, a Korean woman in her 20s who has bought feminism goods, said, “Buying them is an easy way to express my identity as a feminist. The action of producing and distributing them could be also considered as agreeing to the idea.”

But some say that sellers of such products take advantage of the gender issue to boost sales.

In 2016, Korean bookstores Aladin and YES24 gave away feminism goods they designed to customers who bought goods worth a certain amount or more. Some people condemned the companies for using the feminist movement as a marketing strategy.

The sale of feminism goods through online social media and offline stores started in Korea last May.

The first kind of such product a T-shirt saying “Girls Do Not Need Prince,” was sold on crowd-funding website Tumblbug.

The idea went viral, earning 130 million won ($113,000), and spawned diverse variations, including books, coffee mugs, badges and key chains.

Many have jumped into selling or making the products, including non-profit organizations like Heeum and Marymond ― which support sex slave victims of the Japanese military during the World War II ― to an independent group of artists and a major company.

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