— Low South Korean birth rate shows signs of increasing (The Hankyoreh; ROK Drop)
— Kang Min-kyung’s Gillette CF: Possibly The Worst Thing Ever (Seoulbeats)
— Syringes, surgery and slaps: Thais suffer for K-pop beauty (The Marmot’s Hole)
— Why did men stop wearing high heels? (BBC)
— Yellow Face and Orientalism in the Media: Controlling What it Means to be Asian (Phenomenology/Intervention)
— Reading List: The Lesbian Rights Movement and Feminism in South Korea (The Kimchi Queen)
— I can’t stop thinking about other people who can’t stop looking at Korean women (Feministing)
— Transgender students suffer discrimination in silence (The Hankyoreh)
— “I Didn’t Think Living as a Gay Man in Korea Would be This Hard” (Arari)
— How a Japanese Diplomat Saved 6,000 Jews from the Holocaust (Allegiance Musical)
— Korea’s Youth Divided Over Memories of Military Rule (koreaBANG)
— Dating Chinese Men: Sure, why not? (Life Behind the Wall)
— North Koreans don’t like women with big boobs: report (The Marmot’s Hole)
— There are “entire organizations of brokers and doctors dedicated to throwing perfectly fine, functioning people into mental hospitals against their will” (Netizen Buzz)
— “School 2013”: Fiction or Reality? (My Musings)
— Korean Hanbok vs Japanese Kimono – Epic Dress Battles of History (Kimchibytes)
— Top 10 stars with the most CFs in 2012 (Netizen Buzz)
— Meet the (Chinese) Parents (Speaking of China)
— Is it possible to be a die hard fan of k-pop idol culture without fetishization of Korean ethnicity? (Angry K-Pop Fan)
— “The Construction of the Feminine in Korean Popular Music: A Performance Analysis of “I AM: SMTown Live” and Multi-Artist Musical Variety Shows.” (Footnotes; update1; update2)
— Koreans ‘Biggest Clients of Prostitutes in Southeast Asia’ (The Chosun Ilbo)
— I Feel Pretty Unpretty: Why Anthea Shouldn’t Get Plastic Surgery (The Oneshots)
— Korea Times Perpetuates Beanpaste Girl Stereotype (The Korea Times)
— Statistics About Sexual Assault Within the Korean Military (ROK Drop; see my post “Sex as Power in the Korean Military” for some context)
— A Pink’s Eunji’s oranges controversy is the most I’ve ever seen Koreans care about traffic laws (Asian Junkie)
— All the K-pop fans, where do they all come from? (Frank Kogan)
— Seoul’s 12 Best Gay Bars in Jongno (Discovering Korea)
— Foreign Women and Korean Men: Who’s objectifying and who’s objectified? (I’m No Picasso)
— Korean women shatter glass ceiling at foreign drugmakers (The Korea Times)
— Meditations on Junk, #1: Ugly Koreans/Ugly Americans (Gord Sellar)
— Having sex with a suspect: is it bribery? (Human Rights Monitor)
— KCSC censures comedians for satirizing Park Geun-hye (The Marmot’s Hole)
— Busan’s Hyeongjae Welfare Center-Another Example of 有錢無罪 無錢有罪 (Arari)
— On dating Chinese men… Are Chinese men the best kept secret? (YinYangJinFeng)
— Japan’s Demographic Disaster (The Diplomat)
(Links are not necessarily endorsements)
5 thoughts on “Korean Gender Reader, 26 Jan. – 1 Feb.”
Ugh, Jezebel is unreadable for a number of reasons, and when I saw that post pop up I was reminded why. And unfortunately, like a lot of posts on the site that lack perspective, that blogger imposes her own worldview on a country and a diverse group of people about which she knows nothing. Like when suddenly everyone had an opinion on contemporary Korean culture(s) because their editor asked them to Google “Gangnam” after the video came out.
You’re talking about “I can’t stop thinking about other people who can’t stop looking at Korean women” right? Via Feministing’s critique of it that I linked to? If so, then I definitely hear you about Jezebel in general, and of course for how Gangnam Style got talked about in the Western press, but I think that that particular Jezebel post really doesn’t deserve the flak it’s gotten, which I think primarily came form the author’s ill-advised (my emphasis) “Most popular: Eyelid surgery, to make the eyes “more Western,” and getting your jawbone shaved or chiseled down for a less-square and more V-shaped look” in the opening paragraph. In particular Feministing — as per usual — really seems to be imposing its own outraged narrative into the piece which isn’t really there, as one of the commenters points out.
Understanding the above links are by no means endorsements: I followed the link to Gord Sellar’s blog and his post about ‘Ugly Koreans, Ugly Americans’ — I have that book, and I actually found it to be absolutely indispensable in negotiating social situations in Korea, and by no means the drivel Mr. Sellar seems to think it is. It was telling that he described the ‘Ugly Korean’ side of the book as containing a large number of extremely inappropriate behaviours, and the ‘Ugly American’ side as stretching itself over a few minor faux pas, when in fact the book was very well balanced (On the Ugly American side: doing the ‘come here’ gesture with your index finger, jogging without a shirt on, shaking hands too firmly, etc.). Granted, some of the entries seem more like gentle prods for foreigners to no be opinionated jerks (i.e. ‘don’t complain that Seoul is dirty’), but as an introductory reference to manners in Korea, this book is perfect. His writing seems stained in the frustrated bitterness of that particular kind of long-term expat who just can’t get over his initial culture shock, and his arguments are cherry-picked to suit his bias and stretched very thin over a few choice (translated from Korean) english captions. So for all those reading this (and his) blog, who may get the wrong impression … you should probably actually give this book a read.
Actually, Gord’s critique seemed quite reasonable to me. I haven’t read the book myself though, so I guess all I can say about that is you’re both entitled to your different opinions.
Still, while saying his “writing seems stained in the frustrated bitterness of that particular kind of long-term expat who just can’t get over his initial culture shock” is also an opinion you’re entitled to, it could also be considered just an unsubstantiated personal attack instead, something I really really try hard to avoid on this blog. Not that I’m saying you or I can’t or shouldn’t critique other bloggers, writers, and/or reporters of course, but please do provide evidence and please do focus on their writing and arguments, rather than speculating about their personal character.
Disclaimer: Gord is actually a friend of mine, but I’d say the same regardless. Not least, because I read the same kind of comments about my own personal character virtually every day, so am a little sensitive about that sort of thing…!
No insult intended, of course; and I’m afraid I couldn’t qualify my statement (quoted above) without digging myself a deeper hole :) I can only say that I read his analysis and found a great deal of frustration and angst colouring the language in what was otherwise an informative article.