Korean Gender Reader

(Source; edited)

As Hello Korea! aptly describes the above program, “after years spent learning to groom yourself into a living doll, you can then strive to be a Stepford wife.”

Meanwhile, for those very few readers unaware, MBC recently screened a blatantly sexist and racist report titled “The Shocking Reality of Relationships with Foreigners.” For more information and perspective on it, here are some of the longer blog posts about it I’ve been able to find, in chronological order:

A tasty xenophobic morsel (Gusts of Popular Feeling)

Racist MBC Video: Some Perspective and Marching Orders (Roboseyo)

The Shocking Reality of Korea’s Racist Yellow Journalism (Expat Hell)

More Korean Media Ignorance: The Shocking Reality About Relationships With Foreigners (The Unlikely Expat)

Exclusive: Does MBC Deserve the Pulitzer? (Busan Haps)

The Shocking Truth About Sexist/Racist MBC Programming (And What We’re Doing About It) (Gord Sellar)

Also, now there’s now an over 7000-strong Facebook group coordinating a response. And thanks very much to the reader who emailed me the following about how to make an official complaint:

I found the government office, where you can complain about the program officially. It is the Press Arbitration Commission (언론중재위원회). It don’t look like the English site has all the forms, unlike the Korean link, but there is a call number at the bottom of the website.

Korean: http://www.pac.or.kr/html/consult/cs_chatting.asp

English: http://www.pac.or.kr/html/eng/main.asp

Update — Unfortunately, it turns out that the PAC can’t do anything, but the Korean Broadcast Commission can:

We had a friend in Korea try the PAC office and she said that the PAC can only take complaints from those who were filmed. PAC redirected her to the Korean Broadcast Commission (방송통신위환회) at 02-750-1114 …press 2 for English. They will take your complaint in English :-). She was told KBC takes & follows-up on all other complaints about broadcasts.

And now for the regular categories. To make things easier to find, I’ll be putting them in alphabetical order from now on:

Body Image/Health

Insatiable craving for getting thinner (The Korea Times)

Lee Hyori admits her pictorials are photoshopped (Allkpop)

IU reveals her true height and weight on ‘Strong Heart’ (Omona)


Lawyer Calls Kim Jong-un and Kim Jong-il ‘Sons of Bitches’ (Korea Bang)

Netizen Also Calls President a ‘Son of a Bitch’, Gets Indicted (Korea Bang)

Banned! 7 Music Videos That Can Only Air After 10PM (MTVK)


The sad reality of Korea’s most infamous export: sex workers (Korea Law Today)

Arrest warrant for Ko is rejected (Korea Joongang Daily)

Dog food company Ko endorses covers his face with sticker on packaging (Allkpop)

Men sentenced to 5, 10 years for raping teen (The Korea Times)

Treating the ‘home-made’ criminal (Korea Joongang Daily)

South Korea: Support for Castration of Repeat Child Rapists (Global Voices)


Ask the Yangxifu: The Guy Who Changed Her Mind About Dating Chinese Men (Speaking of China)

Economics of Dating in South Korea: Netizens Tell Us How (Korea Bang)

Brokered Marriages: Matchmaking or Exploitation? (Asia Society)

In response to Roboseyo: On dipshit spaces (I’m No Picasso)

More adults in 30s and 40s live with parents (The Korea Times)

Foreigners Push Korea’s Population Above 50 Million (The Chosun Ilbo)

The English Spectrum Series at Gusts of Popular Feeling:

Part 28: U.S. Embassy warns Americans of threats near colleges

Part 29: Internet real name system debated


Female companionship at gold mines (The Korea Times)

Haenyeo: The Last Mermaids (10 Confessions)

Pin-up Girls as Korean-War Propaganda (The American Psyop Organization During the Korean War; scroll to about half-way down)


10 Things You Didn’t Know About Being Queer in Korea (Chincha?!)

New Jeju Sex Park Worries Authorities (The Chosun llbo)

Queer young South Koreans getting on the march (The Hankyoreh)

Korean Artist Kim Hyun-hwa “shows what Asian girls want from boys”? (Microcosm; maybe NSFW)

Response to Homosexuals Joining Police Sparks Controversy (Korea Bang)


Military Draft Quandary (Ask a Korean!)


Childish Employers (Gord Sellar)

Young and Global Need Not Apply in Japan (The New York Times)

Getting Tough: Korean Smokers Passed Over for Job Promotions (Busan Haps; Idle Worship)

Pop Culture:

Double Standards: When Gender Politics Meets K-pop (Seoulbeats)

K-pop and the male gaze — or the absence thereof (Frank Kogan)

Lim Sang-Soo: foreigners can’t understand my very korean movie, that’s why I failed at Cannes (Omona)

Im Sang-soo’s The Taste of Money: Great Sets and Sexism (Moviefone)

North Korean ‘Girls Generation’ Used as Army Morale Booster (Korea Bang)

What About Sex? (Seoulbeats)

T-ara’s ninth member, Dani, is 12-years-old … alrighty then (Asian Junkie)

Why do Koreans Take on Black Music? (Ask a Korean!)


SK Takes New Step To Prevent Kidnappings (Korea Realtime)

Students Make Teacher Kneel and Apologise to Class (Korea Bang)

Sungmisan School in Seoul: A remarkable Approach to education (Korea: Circles and Squares)

All of the terribly important things I’ve learned about being a mom (Shotgun Adventures)

SKorea: A different approach to student rights in Gyeongsangnam-do (Asian Correspondent)

“I think you are very strong” (Hello Korea!)

(Links are not necessarily endorsements)

2 thoughts on “Korean Gender Reader

  1. Re: the “journalism” about relations with foreigners, this one is so over the top that it will only be agreeable to those who already hate foreigners. But by all means, distribute it to anyone with an interest in Korea to embarrass the racists who produced it. When they realise that they’re making Korea look unbeliveably unsophisticated maybe MBC will think twice. Maybe.


    1. Yes, indeed that is a big “maybe”.

      On a side note though, things like this – albeit perhaps not usually so blatant – seem to appear in the Korean media quite regularly, so I was (pleasantly) surprised by the strength of the expat reaction to this particular video. If I had to give a reason for it, I’d say it’s due to a combination of there being just so many foreigners that are so personally invested in Korea now (a critical mass if you will) and the fact that we’re all just completely sick of this crap.

      Something similar happened a couple of years ago when I wrote this post criticizing someone who wrote that Korean women date White men just because of neo-colonialism, and so on. I was really surprised at the response in got, which in hindsight I think was because so many guys in relationships in Korean women were, again, completely sick of hearing arguments like that.


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