1) How to find a good Korean man
Excellent dating advice from I’m No Picasso, although like she says, of course most of her advice would apply to any group of men!
Update: Is it harder for women to date in South Korea? From Noona with love answers a (frustratingly vague!) reader’s question.
2) 14% of Korean men subject to sexual abuse as children
To put it mildly, I’ll have to see a lot more detail about the methodology and definitions used before I accept that figure. But I do look forward to finding out more about this survey.
3) Condoms in hotels
In Chinese hotels to be precise. As Shanghai Shiok! explains:
Should hotels provide condoms in guest rooms, whether complimentary or for sale? It’s a question still debated in the hotel industry. In China, condoms in hotels are quite common (after Beijing ordered it), but some foreigners have averse reactions to the foil-wrapped rubbers in their rooms, like my dad who angrily declared the hotel condoms “an embarrassment!” before hiding them away from our eyes.
For me, whether condoms should be there or not just really… depends.
Depends on what? Find out here!
4) Native speaker English teacher sexually assaulted in Anyang
See the details at Gusts of Popular Feeling here. Like a commenter there says, I’m amazed at the attitude of the proprietor of the yogwan (motel) where the assault occurred, who apparently didn’t so much as bat an eyelid when 3 male university students carried an unconscious woman to their room.
Update: Asian Correspondent has more details here.
5) Why so few fathers take paternity leave
An excellent, comprehensive report from The JoongAng Daily, in contrast to The Chosun Ilbo one that waxes lyrical about changing attitudes and the fact that a grand total of 819 men took it last year, an increase of 63% from last year.
Note that seeing as this particular paternity leave seems to have been available since at least 2001 however, then it can’t refer to the 3 day one made available in 2008, so at the very least some clarification about the original Korean terms is required. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to do any further investigating myself at the moment, but if anyone’s further interested then I recommend this, this, this, and this to get you started! (and if you clicked on any of those, then I think you’ll find this book fascinating too)
6) Korean documentary on ajummas and ajoshis
No, really. As New Yorker in Seoul described it:
I watched this program with JS, my German-Korean friend, and she and I both had similar reactions. First, here’s how WE perceived what the program was doing:
1-First, it showed the bad perceptions of ajuma and ajoshi.
2-Then it explained how these figures are actually good members of society, thereby reaffirming these roles in society.
There was much to appreciate in the documentary–the interviews, the claymation snippets (from the Arari Show), the surveys. But the way the program was constructed entirely, at least for many Western viewers, seemed pretty cheesy. Or at least, heavy-handed in its delivering of the message of why society actually NEEDS the ajuma and ajoshi figures.
Granted, it was designed for a Korean audience. But I wonder: do any Korean viewers broach programs constructed in this way with at least a modicum of cynicism? Does such a program bear a whiff of sentimentality for Korean viewers?
7) A South Korean farm, a brother & sister, a forbidden love
Found via The Three Wise Monkeys, I confess I’m not quite sure what to make of this:
The video shoot took place on a small farm in Jeollabuk-do province, South Korea in February 2011. The storyline was conceived in response to the song lyrics which tell of an unrequited love or a longing that can’t be satisfied or consummated. We came up with the concept of a brother and sister who are twins who have grown up lived and worked together on their parents’ small farm. They are confused and disturbed by the fact that their closeness has developed into a kind of sexual longing that they know they must hide away deep inside.
8) Korean men do least housework in OECD
To play Devil’s advocate however, it’s somewhat natural considering that women do the least paid work in the OECD, as noted by The Korean Herald article.
See Sociological Images also for some more perspective, and handy graphs of how various countries compare.
9) Protecting Korean women from foreign devils, circa late-1940s
I believe that most resentment towards and/or stereotyping of foreign men in Korea stems naturally from having millions stuck in unemployment or low-paid and/irregular work, and it certainly doesn’t help that – as far as I know – boys born at the peak of Korea’s phase of aborting female fetuses in the early-1990s are now becoming adults (while long since resolved, soon there’s going to be something like 116 eighteen-year old men for every 100 women).
But as this post at Gusts of Popular Feelings reveals however, neither factor explains the harassment some Korean women received as early as the late-1940s, even just for working with American men.
Like Dora says at SeoulBeats, it’s good that she’s back:
…the moment I set eyes on Amber, I knew I was a goner. Pardon me, but it was during an era whereby K-pop was being flooded with Barbie dolls everywhere, all right? All the Korean girl group members were armed with the typical Bambi eyes, long swishing hair and legs half the width and twice the length of my own. I was desperate for a change; my self-esteem couldn’t take any more beatings. So once Amber popped into the scene, all the other girls who felt the same way as I did went crazy. With her androgynous hotness (oh gosh, the floppy fringe that can totally rival Justin Bieber’s!), Amber has confused poor females everywhere, and became the new obsession of fangirls.
22 thoughts on “Korean Gender Reader”
On #7, the brother-sister thing… well, maybe not quite in an incestuous way, but in terms of brother and sister being reunited after a long separation, or such, I’ve seen that used as a metaphor for North and South Korea in a lot of short stories. What I wonder is whether the awkward bro-sis thing has been a feature of Korean lit so long it’s become a trope on its own, even when not functioning as an allegory for politics.
On #4, I shudder at the news. In a recent class on Understanding Anglophone Culture(s), my (uni) students and I were discussing sex education. I told them the sex ed I got in middle and high school was mostly pretty useless, except for in one area: the question/concept of consent, to which we were introduced in those classes. I asked them whether the idea of consent was discussed in their sex education courses, and they said it wasn’t really. Not to suggest North American guys all regard the issue with appropriate consideration, but I think “No means no,” has more power when it’s taught than when it isn’t.
As for #9, I’ve long noticed that a large amount of the negativity to Korean-foreign couples is directed at the Korean member, especially if that person is female. It’s not just stuff one sees online, but the online rancor towards Korean women with foreign men is indicative. Which makes a twisted kind of sense since it’s the Korean female who is breaking a stigma in her own society. (And, I should add, some of the Korean guys I know who’re with Western women have lost a number of their Korean male friends too, though they seem to get less shit from strangers.)
Which is just to say that when you combine racism and sexism, sexism seems very often to win out. Again, not unfamiliar from other contexts. (Even Desdemona seems to get the short end of the blame stick in Othello — while her Moorish husband is pretty well-regarded and seen as noble, Desdemona’s name even contains the word “demon.”)
Oh, and preemptively, also, on #4, I imagine that were the races reversed — were it a group of non-Koreans attacking a drunk Korean woman — they might have had a lower chance of getting into the yeogwan in the first place. But had they done so, and had the woman reported it (again, no guarantees on either point) then I think it would be an immense media shitstorm (rightly) but also would be used as further evidence of the depravity of foreigners (unfairly).
I wonder, though, whether the Korean-language news coverage of this story has been pushed towards showing how depraved *young* people are becoming (because of whatever random reason people want to blame — video games, sexy movies, net porn — anything but the fact that nobody’s parenting anymore and kids live in educational institutions all day long now).
I suspect that angle — young people are depraved because of _________, is the angle that would be taken, if in fact people felt the need to extrapolate from it some larger social problem.
Thanks for your comments, although I don’t really have too much to add sorry. First, interesting angle on #7, although a commenter on the 3 Wise Monkeys post says it’s actually based on an Irish story. Which raises the question of why on Earth it’s being transplanted to a Korean setting, although of course that’s not mutually exclusive with the NK-SK metaphor you mention, and which may well have played a role in it.
As for #9, I didn’t realize that (I should have) sometimes Korean men in relationships with Western women will be also be ostracized by their Korean male friends, but in which case I’m a bit confused by your “when you combine racism and sexism, sexism seems very often to win out” comment sorry, because at first glance that seems to contradict what happened to those Korean men, whereas at second glance…I didn’t really get it at all sorry. Could you please elaborate? (Didn’t read Othello I’m afraid!)
Finally #4, naturally my feelings are the same. Personally, I received minimal sex education at school – it had always either just been done once I entered 1 of the 6 high schools in 3 countries I went to, or was going to be after I left(!) – but regardless I hear you about the importance of the concept of non-consent, and am not surprised to hear that your uni students weren’t taught it. Indeed, I am surprised to hear – I get that impression(?) – that they got any beyond just a one-off screening of an antiquated video (lots of posts here for anyone further interested in that), and given accepting, even positive attitudes towards repeated harassment and stalking here then I don’t expect much emphasis to be given on “No means no” in sex-education programs anytime soon.
As for the specifics of the crime though, I’m not so sure – although admittedly would be unwilling to bet – that 3 non-Korean men wouldn’t have been unable to get into the yeogwan with a drunk Korean woman: I was of course exaggerating in the post, and proprietors of love hotels often have little more than tiny windows through which to see their guests as they pay for their room, standing in already darkened lobbies. But en route to the yeogwan? Then sure, they likely wouldn’t have gotten very far.
Yeah: #3 (James: I’m assuming you meant #7!) — I mean, I can see why the story might appeal. It’s all about reception. Bobby Lee’s version of Korean soap dramas is a similar sort of reenactment, reinterpreteing and presenting elements of Korea soap operas in ways that don’t necessarily even make sense in terms of the Korean originals and their mainstream audience.
(The melodrama signifies one thing to its original, intended audience; the lampoon, however, depends on an audience that is more prone to sarcasm, and is “intimately familiar” with (its own ignorant set of) standard Western stereotypes of Northeast Asian culture and media. So the single-word phrases that translate to a screenful of translated subtitle; the cheesoid martial arts; and so on.)
Anyway, I’m not sure that the idea for the video resonated in that way, but I do know that narratives of emotionally wrenching separations between siblings of opposite sexes have turned up in enough short stories by Korean authors that when I run across such a narrative, I perceive it as another example.
#9. Yeah, I think it’s more with long-term relationships that Korean guys start to lose friends; and it may not all be ostracism. In one case that I know of, the man told me that he made the choice (for the sake of the relationship) to start drinking less with co-workers and friends, which may have precipitated the loss of those friends.
I don’t think it was completely a contradiction: some Korean men surely get some shit for being with a foreign woman, but I don’t imagine it comes even close to what Korean women gets for being with a foreign man. As for Othello, you should read it: it’s one of the great ur-texts in the West about a topic with which Korea is preoccupied — international marriage (and, er, miscegenation) — in this case, a secret marriage between Othello (a Moor, ie. a North African) and Desdemona, an Italian woman. Many different readings are possible, but essentially, a lot of the plot turns on Othello’s being tricked by Iago (an embittered inferior of his in the army) into not trusting his wife, and finally being fooled into thinking she’s cheating on him with another Italian.
While Iago is normally seen as the villain of the piece, and Othello as a kind of tragic hero, his wife Desdemona seems to share a good bit of the blame in the tale: she married without her father’s permission, she married a “foreigner,” and everyone knows about girls like that, right? Othello’s quick turn to distrust confirms that even he thinks women who marry foreigners are trouble. And as I noted, Desdemona’s name rather tellingly contains the word “demon”. I get the feeling that in Shakespeare’s mind, Desdemona has a significant share in the blame for the “and then everyone died” ending of the play. Whilst Shakespeare was probably at least as down on interracial marriage as your average middle-aged Korean man today — and likely more so — somehow, Desdemona’s significantly at fault. Sexism wins over racism, IMHO.
Some of my students were in high school only a year or two ago; universally, poor sex education is reported by them whenever it comes up. In fact, some are so concerned that they make it the subject of speeches in classes, papers, presentation contest entries, and so on. You can probably imagine the way certain Korean faculty react to this subject coming up so much.
As for the yeogwan, dude, no. Just no. When I was in a band, we traveled a lot and I swear, there were places that refused to let us have a large room because there were four guys, period. They had tiny little windows too. I’ve heard a number of non-Korean men complain of being turned away from yeogwans because they were with a Korean-looking woman. And indeed, I was recently (last summer) told at the tourist information desk in Kyeongju that it was a common policy in yeogwans not to allow a Westerner and a Korean of different sexes to share a room. (When I asked if interracially married couples could, there was an awkward silence.) So I don’t buy that the front desk person didn’t have some idea what was happening, assuming all the claims made in the article linked are true.
Amusingly enough, I don’t imagine the guys would have had much trouble getting her to the yeogwan. Maybe it’s just the number of times I’ve seen people doing awful things to other people, and everyone on the sidewalk just walking past as if nothing unusual is going on. But, then you remember Yeokgok, right? It’s a pretty awful neighborhood.
As always, thanks for the thoughtful comments Gord, although even if I wasn’t about to hit my exercycle as I type this I would know where to begin to respond in kind. Some quick things though, would be that:
#4) I defer to your much greater traveling experience when it comes to yeogwans, but am pleased at the attitude of your students to sex education, and I bore what you wrote about them in mind when I gave my lecture on gender and ads at PNU yesterday, deciding to treat them like the adults they were when it came to some sexual elements that deserved mentioning. As you’d expect, nobody had any problems with that whatsoever, and in fact they responded really well to that section.
Meanwhile, I haven’t had a chance to read it much myself yet, but From Noona With Love looks to have a good post in response to our brief discussion of the consent issue that you might be also interested in.
#9) I certainly will buy that. What you wrote about it did suddenly sound familiar though, and you’ve made me realize that in fact I saw the 1995 film version. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but Wikipedia says it got positive reviews.
#4) Yeah, students seem to be relatively open to learning more. That said, one student who speaks very openly with me recently told me of some instances where she had ended up having to educate her peers — university undergrads — who were so clued out that they thought the pill might help them get rid of herpes, that herpes was an STD, that yes, that itching sounds like herpes, and honey, have you heard of HIV? This, from young women who seem to be working through partners like there’s no tomorrow, which is chilling.
The openness, in other words, does not mean they’re actually up to speed on things. It’s scary, some of what I heard.
#9) There you go, you do know the story. I wasn’t crazy about that version but you must bear in mind, it’s better than many other versions out there. While it seems very “in period” for white actors to be playing the role of Othello in blackface, it just… well, offputting is a generous word. The version I was made to watch in high school (which was before the Fishburne version) had Anthony Hopkins playing Othello, a BBC version if I remember right.
Also, thanks for the From Noona With Love link… I have a little insight on something related to that. Believe it or not, a scientific study…
Hey it’s sorta unrelated but I found a blog that has the TV show I mentioned.
I have to say, I completely disagree with her plight of going into shops and shouting. Otherwise, the rest is insightful but things I knew before… As always I agree with teaching kids frankly about sex. They are having it so what’s the point in beating around the bush?
Thanks very much, am downloading it as I type this.
Do you know if Parts 2-4 are available yet?
I have no idea, sorry. I just found it whilst ransacking all my search hits. Maybe that blog has the other parts.
You’ve written about cultural differences i dating on here before James, and I remember one of the most prominent being that men are now expcted to chase after a girl they like in Korea. The woman, for her part, is expected to refuse his advances at first, even if he really likes him. As this is a well established pattern, usually the man and woman are boh aware that this could lead somewhere, despie the woman constantly turning the man down and acting as if she’s not interested, and him folloing her around like a faithful puppy. I seem to remember there also followed a discusion on here about what happens if the woman really doesn’t like the man: she’s going to turn him down. But… then ho does the man know if she’s turning him down because she really likes him and so is fulfilling her role in the game, or not?
I feel that for somoe people in Korea this whole dating “game” (charade) carries over into the bedroom. You see it in Korean films, you can read it in Korean literature – woman says no to man’s advances, sex ensues. I’ve discussed this with a couple of Korean friends, but not enough to be very meaningful, and the consensus seems to be that some men prefer a woman to say no to sex, especially the first time. My take: it’s a continuation of the datnig thing that goes too far. Especially for couples who met through such a dating “charade”, the pattern is already set, their roles within the relationhip set from the beginning. Certainly there are men who think a woman should not seem as if she knows what she’s doing in bed – a huge contrast to what I would descriibe as a “western” male culural atitude.
I think also the fact that this sort of thing is so readily shown in films and literature without a crritical eye being pased over it shows that this may be a considerably pervasive attitude. Is it now becoming as common for men to expect and, dare I say it, want a woman to decline their sexual advances, when they’re planning all alon to have sex anyway as it is for them to expect and want a woman to refuse non-sexual advances, to alow herself to be “chased”?
they decided what order they would go in and sexually assaulted her.
Oh, God, and we all know how they must have “decided”. Terrible, terrible image burned into my brain…
Forgive my naivety and/or my even raising the question, but I confess I really don’t know how they decided myself. But please feel free not to answer though.
Meanwhile, Asian Correspondent has more details on the rape here.
I have a feeling this is a 가위 바위 보 reference…
I began writing a little response on here to Seamus’s original comment about yes meaning no and the ‘Chasing Game’, but it ended up turning itself into a blog post.
I wanted to post a reply directly into your comments section but don’t seem to be able to :-s I hope you find this here as a result!
“Micro, if a bit sped-up, example of the Chasing game right there. But it’s a ‘game’ clearly and by absolutely no means limited to the ROK. It’s an extremely pervasive attitude.”
Yes, it is a game, but I would say in Korea it’s even more universal than in English-speaking western cultures. No, it’s not limited to the ROK, but I would say that the fact that’s it’s also observable in other places doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be discussed with regard to Korea. And as I said above, I think it’s more common here, and most younger Koreans are willing players of the game. Equally, as James has remarked here before, it can cause confusion, because the appropriate way for a woman to say “yes” within this “game” is to say “no” until the man essentially “appears” to give her no choice but to “give in.” So what does she do if she just wants her no to be a no?
“One thing I found particularly interesting in said comment on TGN expressed the idea that there are men in Korea who prefer their women to seem to not know what they’re doing in bed, and how this is a complete contrast to ‘Western Male cultural attitude’. I’d disagree. I’m not arguing that this preference doesn’t exist to an extent here in Korea, but for me it is just a contortion of an idea that is just as prevalent back home. Mr Ludacris said when he made a song that time with Usher, men want a ‘lady in the street, but a freak in the bed’. A) ‘Lady’ and all the associations and assumptions it’s weighted with in this context is the operative word here, and B) Really? Surely it would be hard for even the most self-delusional of guys to kid himself that the woman he’s bedding is in all other respects the Virgin Mary if she’s pulling moves that would not look out of place in a porno?”
Sorry to copy and paste whole chunks of your post (to anyone reading this you should definitely go and read the whole post anyway). But, I do think you’ve got it wrong here. Firstly, I stand firmly by my comment that a considerable number of Korean men prefer a woman to appear as if she’s inexperienced in bed. I know this because I’ve spoken to them, I’ve seen films, read books. You’ll also find evidence of it in this blog – a post that springs to mind is one about the pill – maybe James you could post a link?
And, being male, and (like you, right?) being from the UK, I will be bold enough in this instance to provide a comment on the attitudes of many men in the English speaking world. These days I would say most men prefer their women to know what they’re doing in bed. It’s certainly true that most people don’t expect someone who’s out dating and whatever to be a virgin, whether or not they want this to be the case. Yes, they also don’t want a “slut” either, but I’ve seen very little evidence of a preference for a woman who has “never actually been a freak at any point before or even thought about being a freak with anyone else.” But, that said, please don’t think I’m simply dismissing your points, merely trying to provide a little bit more depth and reasoning to my first comment here.
I also think, for the same reasons, that you misunderstood the Ludacris song. I don’t think it’s as complicated as you make out, I think it’s meant very literally. The fact that a woman must have a certain amount of experience to be such a “freak in the bed” is simply accepted by the lyrics, it isn’t an issue.
My original point though, and the reason I posted here, is not really to do with that itself. I simply commented that the “chasing game” as you called it is noticeably more prevalent and… how shall I put it… concrete in Korea than it usually is in the English speaking western world. Therefore, my intention was to illustrate that surely there must also be a chance that in some cases that “chasing game” mindset carries over from “no” meaning “yes, but only after you’ve put in a bit more effort” with regards to getting a date to declining sex being taken as an indirect affirmative.
Perhaps, I speculate (although again this can certainly be seen in pop culture, through talking with Koreans and so on), some men even expect a woman to decline sex, even if they hope to have sex with her.
I then wished to comment that this could lead to confusing/dangerous situations.
My intention has never been to say this is a comment on all of Korea, or that this is a situation that is unique to Korea. But this is a blog about Korea, Korea is what I know about, and so that’s what my comments relate to.
Not sure why my comments section wasn’t working! I’ll check that :/ Sorry.
I wasn’t saying it shouldn’t be discussed in regards to Korea! I think the points that you made in your first and second comments are valid and I too wasn’t trying to dismiss them at all. I don’t necessarily agree that it’s more ‘universal’ in Korea – I think that these notions like these are fairly pervasive in many places, and come in different guises – but yes, they manifest themselves in different, perhaps more obvious or striking (to us), ways here.
My post on the ‘chasing game’ and ‘yes meaning no’ hardly touched at all on the potential complications, of which there are many, which was your original point. Sorry – it began as a reply and went off on a tangent! Certainly in that little episode I was objective witness to, the giggling and arm clutching and faux embarrassment of the girl seemed to be indicators that she knew it all to be a little bit of a game. Of course it can cause genuine complications and dangers though if taken as indirect consent, and these are very problematic waters to be treading in, especially in light of all the fairly recent rape-culture and rape-blame discussions over on Tumblr that have been going on. Giggling at a man asking to come up to your apartment, and saying ‘yes come up to my apartment’, are not the same things. It’s a slippery slope when men start taking “No” to mean “No … but maybe in a bit”.
I didn’t mean to dispute your comment that many Korean guys prefer women who appear inexperienced in bed: I’ve been told by more than one Korean man that it’s normal for a woman to play down to her partner any previous sexual history she may have. I was simply trying to put a different light on it. The “Chasing Game”, in whatever country it’s played, seems to me to be partially a kind of proclamation of innocence, a metaphorical ‘I’m not that kind of girl’, on the woman’s part.
To relate some personal experience that might be of relevance (this is where the British prude in me becomes excessively glad that her blog is anonymous); I have been told by I think three separate Korean men that they like the fact that I am (apparently) ‘sexy’ when appropriate and in private but ‘cute’ in everyday, ‘public’ life. In fact, the first time I was ‘intimate’ with (OK anonymity isn’t helping, I’m cringing. It’s different writing about this kind of stuff in someone else’s comment box rather than on my own blog) one particular person he actually expressed his surprise, before we’d even actually gotten down to it, that I knew how to be ‘sexy’. “I thought you were just cute!” he cried. What struck me at the time was his use of the word ‘just’, as if somehow ‘cute’ and ‘sexy’ are somehow mutually exclusive categories. Substitute ‘cute’ and ‘sexy’ here for Ludacris’s ‘lady’ and ‘freak’ if you wish. Yes, I agree with you: most men back in the UK probably prefer their women to know what they’re doing in bed. But perhaps for men in the UK is it not so much a bone of contention, or a distinction that really even exists, if there is a discrepancy between the two. As you said – the fact that a woman must have a certain amount of experience to be such a “freak in the bed” is simply accepted by the lyrics, it isn’t an issue. Perhaps in Korea categories like this ARE seen as more mutually exclusive or separate. Thus the issue is raised.
Of course, the real nitty gritty of all this – what exactly these uses of a ‘Lady’ vs ‘Freak’ or ‘Slut’, for example, are implying, and what a woman’s behaviour/clothing/attitude toward a man ‘chasing’ her, have to do with this, and how this has all sorts of connotations if you start thinking (again – this topic seems to feed nicely into it) rape-culture and rape-blame – I’m completely skipping around. It’s complicated enough already.
But I hope that clears up some of the stuff I mentioned in my post. As I said, it began as a reply and then went off on a tangent. A tangent involving lyrics by Ludacris. I don’t even like Ludacris. Oh dear.
be firm with the doctors that my husband had to be involved in the process, otherwise he’d be out in the waiting room with the rest of the men. The first place we went to wouldn’t even let him into the ultrasound room. Needless to say, we switched doctors.
For some reason men seem a bit superfluous here as far as babies and childbirth are concerned. Once they’ve done their part they’re often times conveniently left out of the rest of the process. My husband will get the standard three days off of work for our son’s birth in August, but we’re going to see if he can’t use up some of his sick days as well (I’m going to go ahead and assume he can’t).
Thanks for the info, and especially for the link to your blog!
I’m a little surprised to hear about how firm you had to be with your OBGYN though, as my wife and I had no problems whatsoever with either of the 2 hospitals our daughters were born in. Not to say that the people who advised you were wrong not to advise you the way they did of course, but I hope that their experiences were the exception and mine the norm rather than vice-versa.
As for the standard 3 days off however, unfortunately a friend’s husband was told he wouldn’t even get that when he inquired about it during a job interview, seeing as his wife was expected a couple of months after he would start the job. Completely illegal to deny it to any guy of course, but doubtless many interviewees would ultimately decide 3 days was not worth not getting a job over.
I should have been more clear about the doctor thing– my husband is ethnically Korean, though raised in the U.S.. We were told (by doulas, other moms from mixed families etc.) that we would have to be firm with the doctors because my husband looks Korean, not necessarily because he’s a man. We were told that most Korean men aren’t involved in all of the appointments etc. (no way of confirming whether this is true except for the number of men waiting alone in the waiting areas), and so our doctor would most likely assume that my husband would also be taking a back seat. Our current doctor is great and includes my husband in everything, of course we’re at a clinic that caters to foreigners, so I’m not sure if that has something to do with it.
Sorry, The top half of that got cut off somehow. I was attmepting to say that after we found out we were going to have a baby, we were warned to be firm with our OBGYN that my husband be involved in the process…