Is the 4B Movement Going Global?

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The 4B movement, originating in South Korea, has gained significant attention for its radical stance against traditional gender norms. But what exactly is it, and could it spread to other parts of the world?

What is the 4B Movement?

The 4B movement emerged in 2019 on Twitter and has recently surged in popularity on TikTok. It advocates for women to reject societal expectations, particularly regarding marriage and child-rearing, as a protest against widespread misogyny in South Korea.

The Principles of 4B

Coined by author Cho Nam-Joo in her novel Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982, the movement’s four principles are: “Bihon” (no heterosexual marriage), “bichulsan” (no childbirth), “biyeonae” (no dating men), and “bisekseu” (no heterosexual sexual relationships).

Rise to Prominence

Popular YouTubers added fuel to the fire by labeling marriage as the “root cause of patriarchy” and encouraging women to reject traditional gender roles. TikToker denimchromosome further popularized the movement with a viral video denouncing misogyny and advocating for boycotts of heterosexual relationships.

Controversy and Criticism

Critics blame the 4B movement for exacerbating South Korea’s already-low birth rate, the lowest in the world. However, studies show that a significant portion of Korean women are already opting out of motherhood, indicating broader societal issues beyond the movement itself.

Cultural Context

The movement has been linked to a response to high-profile incidents of violence against women and a broader dissatisfaction with Korea’s male-dominated culture. Some see it as a rational response to societal pressures, while others dismiss it as a fringe ideology influenced by Western thought.

Global Impact

The movement’s resonance extends beyond South Korea, with calls for its adoption in other countries. Its spread could challenge traditional gender roles worldwide, sparking conversations about feminism and societal expectations.


The 4B movement in South Korea reflects a growing discontent with gender norms and misogyny. Whether it will gain traction globally remains to be seen, but its emergence sparks crucial conversations about gender equality and societal pressures on women.

Is the 4B Movement Going Global?

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