Koreans, Westerners…and Sex: A Follow-up

Jessica Gomes Lee Min-ho Kiss

Remember this video? While flawed, it made a decent effort at highlighting the hypocrisy of the Korean media, which by dint of a lack of criticism can be said to generally condone relationships between Korean men and foreign women (like that of Lee Min-ho and Jessica Gomes above, from this commercial for “2X” beer), but which on the other hand often explicitly portrays Western men as sexual predators and the Korean women that enter into relationships with them as either naive and in need of protection, or alternatively as cold and calculating, providing sexual services in return for English lessons and/or, eventually, foreign citizenship.

Well, the creator “Steroidmaximus” has created a new video, and with it he has clearly taken into account some of the (justifiable) criticisms of the first, while still retaining its positives:

Most importantly, he has also created a Korean version:

What do you think? As I type this I’ve yet to have my first cup of coffee, and in all seriousness have my daughter on my lap drawing trains and asking me to help, so my own analysis will have to wait until later this afternoon I’m afraid. But I would like to look at it much more closely than I did the first video, so I’ll come back and update this post later accordingly.

(Image sources: above – 이기적인 여자의 이기적인 세상 {A Selfish Woman’s Selfish World}; below – Baby Black)

Kang Ji-hwan Esquire

Update: Charles, K-man and Seamus have already done most of my work for me! If I might add things to the discussion that people haven’t already then:

– Like Charles said, I would remove most the American back-story, particularly the part about Neo-Nazis from 0:20-0:45. While I naturally don’t consider myself a racist, I and 99% of other foreigners in Korea have probably never even seen a Neo-Nazi, let alone confronted one,  so this comes across as very contrived, and strains the video’s credibility, particularly given that it’s in the introduction. There were other, shorter and more believable ways to get the message across that the vast majority of foreigners in Korea do not support racism.

– Somewhere at about the 1:00 to 1:10 mark, I would have written something along the lines of “Just like Koreans would [work and have an adventure abroad rather than work in a cubicle] if they could.” Its absence is not critical of course, and in fact you could well argue that that specifically would be superfluous, but still, it’s the first of numerous cases of careless wording and sloppy editing (eg: putting “but” before “After their marriage…” at 3:00), the cumulative effect of  which is to seriously detract from the overall message.

Still laughing at the scene from Daespo Naughty Girls (다세포소녀) at 2:00…soooo true!

– It would have been better to have placed the 5:50 Gangnam club picture with an almost-naked Korean hostess entertaining a Korean man before beginning the shots with Westerners and their similar debauchery at 3:13 instead, which would better highlighted their similarities and the implied fact that, unlike the latter, all Korean men are not portrayed as sexual predators etc. because of the actions of a few. This message is lost a little by jumping straight from an ad and a photoshoot for a men’s magazine featuring Korean men and Caucasian women instead.

– And finally, from 3:27 I found the narrative really gets lost and the message somewhat repetitive personally. In particular, the “certain incongruities:” that Jerry and Ji-eun noticed from 5:09 are, well, a bit incongruous, because I don’t think the fact that the Korean media demonizes Western male English teachers as sexual deviants and molesters has been adequately demonstrated previously. So even if the titles of the (overused) untranslated Korean articles – which untranslated are of little use in the English version anyway – then things like “sexual abuse of disabled woman” at 5:37 seem a bit out of place.

But still, a much better second attempt, and I too look forward to further videos from Steroidmaximus, and not just on this issue either.