A French Girl in the Merchant Marine

Thanks to Audrey for the photos. At the end of the interview there’s a brief account with videos of the cable ship, Île de Sein, recovering the black boxes from the wreckage of Air France 447. The video provides a good look at the ship, the personnel on board and some of the equipment. Another video is a documentary about the plane crash in the middle of the Atlantic.

Audrey’s story

Becoming a sailor wasn’t an obvious choice for me. I grew up in Orleans, in north-central France, definitely inland, and I had no seafaring relatives. But I wanted contact … Read More

The Author of “Astigirl”

At the end of April, 2011, I interviewed Tweet Sering, author of Astigirl: A Grown Girl Living on her Own Terms. The word astig (meaning “confident” or “go-getting”) is a colloquial Tagalog term coined from tigas, meaning “tough,” “resolute,” “having a moral backbone.” Astigirl is an elegantly written, thoughtful, often funny memoir which grew out of Tweet’s blog. She is also the author of a novel, Wander Girl, a weekly columnist for the Philippine Star, a writing coach/teacher and a filmmaker. She is currently working on another book and two websites, (Link) and (LinkRead More

A View of the Korean Women’s Movement

In 2000, I interviewed Prof. Kim Sook-jin, a teacher of women’s studies at a Korean university, for Bridges: Intercultural Conversation. The chapter on women’s history began with a discussion of the women’s movement in the United States and then moved on to the Korean women’s movement.

Kim Sook-jin’s story

In Korea we’re getting going with our support of women-friendly political candidates. We have had more success in organizing demonstrations, putting pressure on politicians and educating the public. At first we were primarily interested in changing the laws. Now, I would say the laws are pretty good, although enforcing them

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Two Women in the Korean Workplace

Women do not have it easy in the Korean workplace. Many white collar jobs consist of finding employment in your early twenties as a bank teller or “office flower” (doing coffee, copies and cleaning, as well as running errands, doing minor assignments and bolstering male egos), never getting promoted and being forced to retire after your family (particularly your father) has pressured you into getting married when you’re around twenty-five. There are ways around it, though. Here are two such stories,

 Around 2002, I interviewed a friend of mine for the English-language textbook I wrote for my students at Dongguk Read More

Working with Women Workers

In the fall of 1987, Greg arrived in South Korea, a tall, poised young man in his late twenties with a strong New England accent, in order to do Peace and Justice work. He learned Korean at a language school and then helped a priest set up a center which held English conversation classes for college and university students. The classes were directed toward clarification of values and building self-esteem. When the center closed, Greg asked to be placed in ministry to factory workers. Here is our 1991 interview.

Gregory’s Story

I was very happy at being allowed to join … Read More