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朝鲜女人穿裤子-酷悠

Pyongyang’s Women Wear The Pants-cuyoo

发布者:admin 时间:2010-04-22 02:59点击:
在 平壤流传着一则笑话:丈夫与宠物狗有何共同之处?答案是:都不工作也不赚钱,但都很可爱,待在家里,还能吓跑小偷。 北朝鲜重男轻女的社会现象仍很严重,因而,嘲讽男人的笑话能够流行是个令人吃惊的转变迹向。而起因也令人惊喜,即女性正管理着该国繁荣
A joke making the rounds in Pyongyang goes: 'What do a husband and a pet dog have in common?' Answer: 'Neither works nor earns money, but both are cute, stay at home and can scare away burglars.'

North Korea is still a strongly patriarchal society, so the popularity of jokes deriding men is a surprising sign of shifting attitudes. The cause is also a surprise -- women are running the country's booming unofficial economy.

A decade ago North Korea went through a man-made social disaster which exceeds everything East Asia has experienced since Mao's ill-conceived experiments of the 1960s. An estimated 600,000-900,000 people perished in the 1990s famine, which was largely a product of the government's unwillingness to reform the economy. The social and economic structure of a Stalinist society collapsed. Antiquated iron mills and power plants ground to a halt, and the rationing system did not provide enough food for the average citizen to survive.

Facing this challenge, North Korean society reacted in an unusual way: It rediscovered the market economy. Unlike China, where capitalism was re-introduced from above by Deng Xiaoping and his fellow reformers, in North Korea its growth has been largely spontaneous. Nonetheless, by 2000 market exchange, both illegal and semilegal, came to play a decisive role in the lives of North Koreans.

This worried the Kim regime's leaders, who understand full well how the marketplace undermines their political control. In recent years they launched a number of policies aimed at undermining markets. The recent currency reform was meant to deliver another blow to the markets by annihilating the capital of private businesses. It backfired, though, and the economic situation worsened considerably.

However, the nemesis of the regime, the market vendors of North Korea, are by no means the kind of street toughs one might encounter in the black markets of other countries. North Korea's 'new capitalism' of dirty marketplaces, ancient charcoal trucks and badly dressed vendors has a distinctly female face. Women are overrepresented among the leaders of the growing post-Stalinist economy -- at least at its grassroots level, among the market traders and small-time entrepreneurs.

This is partly due to a distinctive feature of North Korean society. Until around 1990, markets played a very slight role in the North Korean economy. Almost everything was rationed by the state. In those days, the North Korean state required every able-bodied male to be employed by some state enterprise. However, some 30% of married women of working age were allowed to stay at home as full-time housewives.

When in the early 1990s the old system began to fall apart, men continued to go to their jobs. At first glance this might appear irrational, since most state-run factories came to a standstill, subsidized rations were not delivered and an official monthly salary would barely buy one kilo of rice.

Nonetheless, North Koreans expected that sooner or later things would eventually return to what they thought of as 'normal' -- that is, to the old Stalinist system. They were not aware of any alternative. They also knew from experience that people who showed any disloyalty to the state -- for instance those who cooperated with South Korean authorities during the Korean War -- were discriminated against for the rest of their lives. Even the children of such 'unreliable elements' faced many official restrictions. So men believed that it would be wise to keep their 'official' jobs for the sake of the family's future.

The situation of women was different. They had time, and their involvement with private trade was seen as less dangerous -- precisely because of the patriarchal nature of a society where only males' behavior really mattered. In some cases women began by selling household items they could do without or homemade food. Eventually, these activities developed into larger businesses, and today at least three-quarters of North Korean market vendors are women.

For many North Korean women, the social disaster of the 1990s has become an opportunity to display their strength and intelligence. In recent months those women have become the primary target of government policies designed to destroy private enterprises. But the experience of the last two decades suggests that the women are likely to continue wearing the pants.

Andrei Lankov

Mr. Lankov is a professor at Kookmin University in Seoul and a contributor to InLiberty.ru, an Atlas Economic Research Foundation project. This is the last of a series of articles on the state of North Korea.
平壤流传着一则笑话:丈夫与宠物狗有何共同之处?答案是:都不工作也不赚钱,但都很可爱,待在家里,还能吓跑小偷。

北朝鲜重男轻女的社会现象仍很严重,因而,嘲讽男人的笑话能够流行是个令人吃惊的转变迹向。而起因也令人惊喜,即女性正管理着该国繁荣的非官方经济。


10年之前,北朝鲜经历了人为的社会灾难,这是上世纪60年代毛泽东对社会主义进行错误实践之后,东亚经历的最大灾难。在上世纪90年代的饥荒之中,约有60至90万民众丧生,主要原因是北朝鲜政府不愿意实行经济变革。斯大林主义的社会及经济结构崩溃了,陈旧的钢铁厂及发电厂陷于停顿,定量配给体制不能给普通公民提供维持生存所需的食物。

面对这种挑战,北朝鲜社会做出了不同寻常的反应:重新找到市场经济。在中国,资本主义是由邓小平及其后继改革者从上层重新导入。与中国不同,资本主义在北朝鲜主要是自发产生的。但到2000年,非法及半非法的市场交换在北朝鲜民众生活中已起关键性作用。

金正日领导下的北朝鲜领导人对这种现象颇为担忧,他们很清楚市场体制对其政治控制的削弱力。近年来,北朝鲜领导人实施了众多削弱市场作用的政策。近来的货币改革旨在通过消除私人经营资本来对市场进行打击。但事与愿违,经济形势极度恶化。

AP Photo/Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service
朝鲜妇女开展商业经营。
这种体制带来的恶果是,北朝鲜的市场上缺乏在其它国家黑市上可能会遭遇的膀大腰圆的凶狠小贩。北朝鲜肮脏的集市、老式的木炭卡车及衣衫褴缕的小贩们体现出来的新资本主义,明显具有女性特征。在这个成长中的后斯大林主义经济体中,妇女在市场主导者中人数偏高,至少从基层水平看,在市场上的交易商及小型企业主中是如此。

这在一定程度上是由朝鲜社会的鲜明特色决定的。在1990年左右之前,市场在朝鲜经济中的作用很小。几乎所有东西均由国家定量配给。那时,朝鲜政府要求每一位强壮的男性必须到国有企业工作,但允许约30%处于就业年龄阶段的已婚女性留在家里做全职主妇。

上世纪90年代初旧体制开始瓦解时,男性仍继续外出工作。乍一看这可能显得不合常理,因为大多数国有工厂停产,补助配额没有发放,且每个月的正式工资还不足以买一公斤大米。

然而,朝鲜人预计事情迟早会恢复到他们认为“正常”的状态,即旧的斯大林体制。他们没有意识到还有其它选择。经验告诉他们,显示出任何对国家不忠迹象之人(如在朝鲜战争期间与韩国当局合作之人)一辈子都会受到周围人的歧视。就连这种“不可靠分子”的孩子都面临着诸多的明文限制。因此男人相信为了家庭的未来,保住他们的“正式”工作将是明智的。

女性的情况则不同。她们有时间,而且人们认为她们涉足私有贸易的风险更小──正因为朝鲜社会的父权性质让人认为只有男性的行为才真正重要。某些情况下,女性开始变卖自家可有可无的家庭用具或自制食品。这些活动最终发展成规模更大的生意,并且朝鲜市场中的商贩如今至少有四分之三是女性。

对许多朝鲜女性而言,上世纪90年代的社会灾难变成她们展示自己力量与智慧的机遇。近几个月,这些女性开始成为旨在摧毁私营企业的政府政策的主要目标。但过去20年的经历表明,朝鲜女性很可能会继续当家。
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