Go Premium
Facebook Twitter Google Plus

Sexism in Korea

March 21, 2013

Comments

Share Post

Hay! You Nice Nasties: we have to apologize to you for the long disclaimers when we do serious videos like this. We’re sorry if it’s annoying. Honestly, it annoys us to no end, and it makes filming videos like this very difficult for us. But, if we don’t put these disclaimers up, then we get harassed by idiots with a lethal combination of:

+ self-appointed Justice Police badge
+ horrendous listening comprehension skills
+ love of taking things out of context
+ passion for getting offended

The problem is that stupid commenters turn our comment section into a huge fight between viewers, and we’d rather people take the time to leave awesome/intelligent comments. There is no problem with disagreeing with what we’re saying, just do it AFTER you actually watch the video and without so much profanity! YAY!

So, now that that’s out of the way, Hello Nice Nasties! Thank you for keeping us sane! We’re here today talking about sexism in Korea, and we’re sharing our experiences on the matter. We’re fortunate enough to be in a situation in which we don’t have to deal with it often. We have our own business, created our own work environment, and have our own staff. In fact, majority of our staff is female. It’s only the animals that are male in the studio (ha!). We don’t have any bosses that overlook what we’re doing, and so we’re free to be in our own little creative internet bubble, so we’re not really the best source of stories of sexism in Korea, though – like we mentioned in the video – we have experienced it, but only when we dealt with other companies.

A couple of things we didn’t mention in the video.

1) If you really want to understand Korean culture, you’ll need to do a lot of reading on Confucianism. Luckily for me, I (Martina) studied both English and East Asian Philosophy for five years in University, and both Simon and I studied world religion, so we knew what we were getting into when we moved to Korea. Understanding the Confucian value system will help you better understand why Korea is so patriarchal and respectful of their elders. The problem that I think is happening is that modern Korea is in a struggle to keep the positive aspect of it’s Confucian ways alive, while still changing some of the more antiquated values, such as the role of women in society.

2) We didn’t know how to talk about it in an easily digestible video format, is an experience one of our friends had at work. She and her team work on computers all day in the office. One day they got a new manager, a dude. First day of his reign as manager, he had a staff meeting in which he told all of the women that they had to dress prettier and wear more makeup. A few things:

1) HOW THE EFF DOES THAT EFFECT WRITING STUFF ON THE COMPUTER?
2) How was he not fired immediately for being such a pig?
3) HOW MUCH DID I WANT HIM TO SAY THAT TO MY FACE!!! *Martina flexes*

We were totally appalled when we heard it, as was our friend. Now, we haven’t worked for companies in other parts of the world, so we don’t know if this would be acceptable where you’re from, nor do we know if this is a common occurrence in Korea or not, but that wouldn’t fly in Canada.

This is just an anecdote, and that’s really all we can offer when we talk about this. There are sites online that can tell you more about sexism in Korea, where they can give you stats and whatnot. Stories we tell or stories our friends tell us aren’t representative of Korea as a whole. We could just have had some odd experiences, after all, so we can’t form conclusions off of what happened to us. It’s the same reason I don’t like talking about my terrible experience at my school. I don’t want people thinking that all schools in Korea are bad, and – in this case – we don’t want people thinking that all companies in Korea are like this.

We have heard, though, different stories from different people about staff dinners in which women are expected to pour drinks for men. Can anyone corroborate this? We don’t know anything about it, but we heard about it here and there and want to know if you’ve experienced anything like this, and how you feel about it.

One thing we didn’t mention, though, and we’re not sure if it’s relevant or not, but we’re happy that Korea has a female president. We’re not saying anything about her policies. We don’t follow politics enough to know how she’s doing. We’re just happy to see a woman as president. It sets a good example, not only for people in Korea but also for the rest of the world.

Comments

324

Share Post

TL;DR

HIDE COMMENTS

Sexism in Korea

324 COMMENTS

Leave a Reply

  1. jen

    so, canada doesn’t have sexist issue? ok, im moving to canada, then. i think i can write 100 pages about sexist experience that i had in my entire life as korean woman living in korea. appearnce wide sexism isn’t even a start. i thought actual violence was the topic when other countries talk about sexism issue . because other countries in the world has its own fair share sexist culture in appearance wide.

    10 months ago
  2. jen

    hi, i wanted to make a comment about my country in case anyone buffers on the issue.
    and before anything, i just wanted to say everyone should notice that even canada has its own sexism in some level, not every country’s perfect.

    in korea, in order to succeed or just be excepted as abled-bodied society member takes a lot of effort as women, and part of it is an appearance. but thats just a small fraction of more deeper issue that resides in korea. first, not just the looks, the intelligence matters too. women have to be excelling as much as men but often not rated as men in same field. and the looks, its a huge issue in korea. since successful women have certain form of appearance, every girls do the same thing to catch up with competition. and the men, tend to get threatened by it, say ignorant things like kimch bitch. and there’s huge interent hate, misogyny and sexual objectification especially with men in their 20’s.

    to sum up, apperance is just tiny fraction of real problem in korea and thats only millenial generation’s problem mot babyboomer’s. so there’s more patriarchy issue often linked with actual violence.

    thanks,

    10 months ago
  3. I hate that this issue is still pretty prevalent in Korea…I actually got it from my own family members while I was there. My cousin who is 40 now, was very nice at first. When he wouldn’t let me do this or that, I thought it was because he was being polite. Like cooking on the grill, or helping him with more manual related work, he wouldn’t let me touch it. One day though, he told me I couldn’t drive because I was a women, and in Korea, women are bad drivers. That’s when I realized that the entire time he thought lowly of me…
    Worse experience, and I never thought I’d get it from my own family member.

    2 years ago
  4. I know this entry is sort of old but when you mentioned business meetings and people only addressing Simon for replies and “valid” information, really reminded me of some experiences I had. My boyfriend owns a small business and I’m in charge of some parts of it, so I’m the one placing orders, contacting sellers and so on. Until… I realized some companies in Japan and SK would not reply to me or they would not act as friendly, always making things difficult. So I just started using the other email address we have for the company and signing with my boyfriend’s name when I needed something done. This happened with a couple of companies whose international sales managers were men. But I never felt that when the sales manager on the other side was a woman.

    2 years ago
  5. I think Korean music industry has been advancing a lot when it comes to the part women have in society. Miss A has criticized those stereotypes in I Don’t Need A Man, f(x) has Amber (the lovely tomboy of SM), 2NE1 uses the “female empowerment” concept a lot, Global Icon/G.I. has a “tomboish” concept, Brown Eyed Girls have the “powerful female” personas in many of their videos, and (correct me if I’m wrong) 4Minute also explored this “I am better than any men” theme during their early years (I’m not sure if they still do so). Even though the “weak and fragile girl” stereotype is still strongly placed in Korean entertainment, there’s already an attempt to get rid of it as far as I know. Also, congratulations from Brazil!

    2 years ago
  6. I think that men expecting women to perform a more servile role is really common in most East Asian cultures. My husband and I believe it is a major reason why there are so few successful Caucasian female/Asian male marriages comparatively. It works out for us because I enjoy doing all the cooking and cleaning, but let’s face it, most North American women expect equality in housework. However, in their defense, Asian males also tend to work harder to ensure their wives do not have to work or can work less strenuous jobs. Of course, this is simply in my personal experience.

    2 years ago
  7. I’m half Korean and I have experienced something somewhat similar in my own family. I live in the States, but when I was visiting a great-aunt of mine (in the States) with my grandparents and immediate family, we went to her house and had dinner. During dinner she barely sat down; all the men were served first and she spent the majority of her time running back and forth from the kitchen re-filling dishes for the table or making sure all the adults’ drinks were topped off; if the kids needed anything, away she went to get it for them. It’s important to mention that she grew up in Korea and she came to the U.S. when she was in her 20’s or 30’s, so this is a family member who both grew up in Korea and raised a family following a very Korean lifestyle, and at home everything is still very Korean in decoration, language, etc. Anyways, my aunt and I realized halfway through the meal that she had not eaten anything and we made her sit down to eat while we took care of the kitchen and serving the family. Throughout this, there wasn’t much comment from my grandparents, and my great-aunt was reluctant to actually sit down and surrender her “duties” to us. Now I love my family, and my own grandparents are very balanced when it comes to sharing responsibilities and such; I was shocked by how much work she was doing for one dinner, but I found out later that it was a combination of caring for guests and being a good host and also respecting both of my grandparents who are older and helped her and her family out a lot when they first came to the States. I don’t know if that helps shed some light on this, but I think it’s important to consider that some women, NOT ALL, see it as not only respect but also a duty. At least within friends and family, I’ve learned that a good relationship within a social circle or a favor owed often repays itself through acts of respect and finding ways to be helpful to make life more comfortable; this isn’t always applicable outside the Korean family/friends dynamic. This is my experience with this, no haters please!

    2 years ago
    • I’m Korean and to shed some light on this:

      Generally, when there is a family function/gathering, the women are doing all the cooking, serving, cleaning, etc.

      Though I’m not sure if this is that different from other cultures? I.e. a lot of the time the women seem to do these kinds of roles (not always)

      Don’t think this is a sexist issue though, more just division of labor that traditionally seems to happen in the way that women do more domestic things and men other things

      Workplace discrimination, etc is a different matter though and that is sexism

      2 years ago
  8. Please read above on ‘why’ do women get pay lesser than men. It is not a fact, it’s what other have said/heard but never proven. In addition, this is based on USA. Different Country are also have different treatment. Most Asian countries are another different field where it has not fully develop its course yet.

    4 years ago
  9. I know what you mean. A lot of times, the person will just do a little bow/nod instead of shaking my hand.
    Alternatively, we kiss all the other females on the cheek and just shake hands with the men.

    4 years ago
  10. Oh my god… Why are koreans so dramatic???

    4 years ago
  11. I find the term “woman belongs to a man” VERY problematic, with very being and understatement, but coming from the perspective of someone who is from another culture (cuban) and seriously almost married a Korean man I find that this is something that many cultures follow even if they don’t directly or openly admit it.

    My mother being a very liberal woman compared with the rest of my cuban family has unknowingly taught me to treat a man to think you belong to him, so let him think he does even if you not. I’ve trying to explain to her how wrong it is to continue that behave but she doesn’t understand. To her that is the way you need to treat a man and there is no other way.

    And on another note, again, just from my own experience I can’t speak for anyone else, but I will say that one of the reasons why I didn’t marry the korean guy I was dating was because of the way he was treating me. Not that this happened often, but he didn’t seem to understand that I have my own job and career that was very important to me. I mean I have serious and so far successful career in costume design. I just got a offered a full ride to attend grad school, but to him the idea of me going far away for a job, which is the typical life for a designer to be based in one place but be designing in many different places. He would tell me I can’t go away for the summer to work or take too many jobs far away and that it was more important to stay close to him and take care of him than it was to go a away for a little while and take a once in a lifetime opportunity. This is something I expect people who don’t work in theatre to have a hard time understanding, but after years of expressing this to him he still expected me to give up my career for him. Then when we finally did break up he would constantly show up at my home, text me, call me, show up at my work, etc to tell me that I should come back. I tried to tell him I was seriously not coming back and he would ignore what I say and follow me again after a few days. As if I wasn’t serious it was over. I finally had to call the cops to get him to understand how serious I was.

    Again sorry for the rant, but that was my experience and I can say that I’m very turned off to the idea of dating a korean man again, because of this. I would like to know if anyone else had any issues with when it comes to women having careers in korean culture.

    4 years ago
  12. … Ha ha. Everyone has jokes.

    4 years ago
  13. Lovely insight!

    I agree about Kim Sun Ah and Ha Ji Won ( except for a bit in Secret Garden when I wished she would be a bit more assertive at some points in time) this is why I adore those two actresses.

    4 years ago
  14. The topic really seems to have inspired a lot of discussion and sharing. The Nasty population really seems to enjoy this type of serious topic.

    4 years ago
  15. Great job!! this is the kind of topic many people avoid.

    I think Korea should learn that even when being polite you could hurt someone’s feelings (in “Marry Stayed Out All Night” there’s actually the first or second episode where we could encounter “polite rudeness” well it wasnt sexism related but still…). Even if they couldn’t shake Martina’s hand because she is married they could’ve at least acknowledged she was there and bow saying “Thank you for coming (as well)”.

    the part with the club is outrageous…

    Great work!

    ♥ ♥♥ ♥

    4 years ago
  16. Hi, Simon and Martina! I’m definitely a big fan–you two introduced me to the wonders of kpop. But I’d just like to point out something that bothered me in your video:

    1. (in your disclaimer) You’re not saying that Western culture is superior to others

    2. You tell your friends that Korea has 2050’s technology but a 1950’s mentality

    When you say 1950’s and 2050’s, it’s implied that this is Western/North American time. Korea has technology equivalent to that of North America’s future, and a mentality equivalent to that of North America’s past. Put this way, you can see how this could be problematic (though I hate using that word). By extension, Korea will someday progress to be as advanced as North America in their values. Now is the time for some disclaimers of my own: even though I’m pretty sure you meant to imply nothing of the sort, even though you said Korea is more advanced technology-wise, even though in your blog post you pointed out some positive aspects of Korea’s value system, I still feel uneasy about this.

    Also, disclaimers. I don’t like all of the ones you’re forced to make–for example, when you have to defend yourself against crazed fangirls/boys. But I do like the ones of the kind that you make in this video. You see, even though I am a fan of your videos and I’ve watched a lot of them, sometimes it’s still hard for me to remember/interpret some of these you mentioned at the beginning and end of this video. And I think that these points are important to make. Better to say them than left them unsaid. I know that having to censor yourselves sucks, but just remember, racism sucks more. In all its various forms. And again, a disclaimer: I’m not saying that you two are racist, just that some of your statements could be taken as such. Sometimes, by some people. Now that I’ve qualified myself enough, I’d like to hear what other people think about this.

    4 years ago
    • Sorry, I should have made myself more clear. I listed 1) and 2) as two separate statements that were made in the video that I considered to be contradictory.

      I think I understand the point you’re making. But I’m not completely convinced yet (on the other hand, I’m not not convinced–that is, I could be wrong). The idea of Korea or other Asian countries being backwards in the culture department just resonates with a lot of misconceptions and even imperialism on the part of the West over many, many years. Maybe I’m making a big deal over something small, but when I heard Simon and Martina say the bit about 1950’s North America, it just gave me a weird feeling. Even if you have a lot of respect for North America in the 50’s, it’s still part of our past. Even if there were positive and negative aspects of that time period, it’s something that the West has moved on from. Korea as 1950’s North America implies that one day, Korea will become as advanced as modern-day North American societies. The reason I pointed this out is because it contradicts what Simon and Martina said earlier: in their disclaimer, they reminded their watchers that they’re not trying to say one culture is better than another. My point is, it seems to me like statement number 2 works against what they’re trying to do in their videos.

      I don’t wish to level accusations at anyone here, so please don’t apologize. A lot of the words we pass around every day can carry underlying currents of racism, sexism, and other types of discrimination. I know I make mistakes all the time, but I think the important part is to become aware of the unintentional meanings of our words and to correct them when possible. Simon and Martina, by blogging publicly on Youtube, are especially vulnerable to having their words singled out. In the spirit of constructive criticism, I pointed out something that I still consider to be problematic. In my first post, I don’t think I made my thoughts really clear so hopefully this helps.

      4 years ago
      • I think I understand where you are coming from here. They may say something which is ‘ problematic’ without intending to?

        4 years ago
  17. Been here only two years but yea every staff dinner it is the women who pour the drinks (usually until the men get drunk and then they go around and start pouring for everyone lolzers). And the women usually arrive first at the dinners and if when the men arrive they are in a spot that the men would prefer to sit, they usually get up and move.

    My anecdote… and like you guys mentioned, I would NEVER want this story to discourage a foreign woman from coming to work in Korea. The women were all ok in the story and the men DID do the right thing at the time. The injustice is what happened afterwards.

    We went to Nami Island for a staff retreat this last December (Northwest of Seoul in the mountains in December are they crazy you ask? Yes.) After an evening of meetings and the such we went to the restaurant to drink. Being the foreign teacher I sit with my co-teachers who happen to be women, so I am with the women at dinner (the separate eating is another thing I wonder about). After an hour or so the maintenance guy / janitor was pretty drunk. He pretty soon was badly stumbling around and got it in his head that he was interested in my co-teacher. I don’t speak Korean but I guess he was saying pretty lewd things and I got the idea anyway when he started trying to grab her. It became so bad that it took a constant 2 or 3 of the other male teachers to hold him back (tenacity plus dead/drunk weight). The women left and retreated to their pension while the men stayed and finished dinner.

    Now here is where the old style vrs the new style comes in that I saw.

    My co-teacher and I are pretty close and so she was angry and embarrassed. Of course nobody wants to go to a staff dinner and be attacked by a drunk man. Can you imagine if everyone hadn’t been there to stop him? Well, frankly I don’t want to think about it. So needless to say I can’t imagine how embarrassed and downright unsettling/scary it probably was.

    Well most of the young teachers are women at my school and there was much support for her to go and demand an apology. She even asked me (a foreigner) if she should go do it. I told her she had all my support in the world but I was afraid my support doesn’t count for much (another discussion for another time on being “Korean” and that the lack of being such devalues your opinion). She opted not to ask for an apology due to Korean cultural pressure I assume. But of course, coming from an western culture, in my mind I was thinking that that dude should be apologizing not just to her but should be groveling for his job after sexually assaulting a co-worker.

    Anyway, my takeaway from this is that things are changing. The outcome should have been a lot different at my school. But the reality is that their was an acknowledgment from the faculty that some injustice had been done, even though that acknowledgment did not come from the administration. I think that 20 years ago, the support from other women to demand an apology may not have been there.

    Take it as you will. Korea is a country going through it’s growing pains like many countries. There is a good argument to be had for supporting older people. I am sure they feel like their culture is being ripped away from them far faster than they would like. Us younger folk see the light of justice on our side but we often leave our older generation in the dark.

    4 years ago
  18. Heh, not all of them are male. The most well known ( to me) drama writers are the two separate ‘ Hong Sisters’ writing team.

    One set ( Hong Mi Ran and Hong Jung Un) wrote stuff like ‘ Delightful Girl Choon Hyang’, ‘My Girl’ , ‘You’re Beautiful’, ‘Fantasy Couple’, ‘Hong Gil Dong’, ‘My Girlfriend is a Gumiho’, ‘Best Love / The Greatest Love’ and their last one was ‘Big’.

    The other Hong sister duo (Hong Jin Ah and Hong Ja Ram) wrote ‘King2Hearts’, ‘Beethoven Virus’ and ‘Over the Rainbow’.

    4 years ago
  19. This is hilarious and is totally relevant.

    4 years ago
  20. Hm, would men starting to wear makeup and take care of themselves for business and their love life fall under sexism too? I have been reading that Korea is the top in the world for men’s cosmetics and it is growing. And companies are now requiring classes for men too on make-up application and skin hygiene. I was just wondering if this had anything to do with sexism as well or if it was just something entirely different.

    4 years ago
  21. Martina I got ignored by an Asian male too!! I went to a Japanese restaurant with my boyfriend and our waiter was Japanese (i mean he was born in Japan). He only talked to my boyfriend and completely ignored my presence and everything I said! I felt like shit, but I know why they do this. By not looking at the “man’s woman”, (like women are somebody’s property) they are “respecting” the man or something like that. I hate this reactionary behaviours. I am from Argentina btw.

    4 years ago
  22. I’ve given up reading comments anywhere else but here. This, in my opinion, is the real residence of the Nasties! It is our comfortable little home where we can all communicate with each other but more specifically you guys. And it appears most people respect it as such and really don’t let others disrespect anyone on here. Plus your administrators do an awesome job cleaning house ;)

    4 years ago
    • ;_; Thanks for the compliment. Made me feel all schmoopy inside. I agree that people on the site tend to be a lot more respectful. They can often even usually disagree without name calling. And when they don’t we remind them of our guidelines.

      Be Respectful
      Do Not Spam
      Stay on Topic
      Mods are Watching.

      And then there is the almighty ban hammer. :-). Cari, Fuuko and I save that for the bad days.

      4 years ago
  23. I guess the wording “do they know it’s unacceptable in the Western world” sounds really kind of…ehhh. As if the fact that it’s “unacceptable” in the Western world (and to be honest, it’s not considered entirely unacceptable or even bizarre for a lot of people) matters that much.

    4 years ago
    • As a woman from a Western culture, yes, it matters that much. Because it is unacceptable. It only passes as acceptable to a lot of people because it’s institutionalized sexism — it’s been normalized for so long that we don’t see a problem with it anymore.

      But did I say that Western perspectives were the ABSOLUTE truth? No, so don’t put words in my mouth, or at least find a better argument than “ehhh”.

      4 years ago
      • Jeez, touchy. Like I’m agreeing with what you’re saying but I can’t really do it because that last sentence was dripping with condescension.

        First, I did follow up “ehhh” with an actual argument. Please read. What I meant that you said “Western” in a way that it was to be compared. Of course sexism in Western culture matters–but that’s completely out of context of this discussion. I mean that the COMPARISON–why should it matter to those Korean women that it is “unacceptable in Western society”? Why shouldn’t that question have been “unacceptable” as a general thing? It’s sort of like saying “Oh, well don’t they know that’s not what WE do”, with a rather superior/arrogant undertone. Of course, it’s difficult to really get an undertone in writing, but like I said; wording.

        And second, that wasn’t putting words in your mouth; that was this thing called interpretation and inferring, or implying. Like, reading between the lines. Like I said in my last comment (again, PLEASE READ) that the WORDING seemed like you were holding Western culture as some sort of standard or absolute point of comparison. If I was putting words in your mouth I would have said that “you said Western culture is the standard”. And if you really want to get defense-lawyer-nitpicky, I didn’t even say anything about making an interpretation or inference. I just said “don’t make Western culture into a standard”.

        Anyway, point is that there always tends to be this comparison, unconscious or not, between East and West, and with the wording (again, unconscious or not), it’s so ethnocentric, like instead of simply seeing differences people are gauging another culture based off their own. And when you say “don’t these women realize it’s unacceptable in the West”, it puts emphasis on Korean culture on a scale with Western culture (which actually is pretty broad and vague, now that I think about it). Again, it brings up the question of why Korean women would care about what’s acceptable or not in the West, as opposed to being concerned about sexism as a whole.

        4 years ago
        • Tl;dr. But you’re right, we aren’t disagreeing. So let’s leave it at that.

          4 years ago
        • Hey guys, you are having a really great debate. This is just a reminder to keep it respectful ( don’t worry you are doing a good job of it so far) which is one of our forum rules. Just keep it in the back of your head that on the Internet tone is implied and not necessarily what you actually meant it to come off as and ‘ it is ok to agree to disagree’.

          Please continue with your ongoing respectful and interesting debate.

          cheers!

          4 years ago
  24. A great Korean gender blog is http://thegrandnarrative.com/. It’s written by a professor at a Korean University, and covers many topics, from sexism to gender roles to body image.

    Thanks Martina!…..oh….and that dude that just works it for the camera.

    4 years ago
  25. You guys, your TL;DR videos are priceless… Seeriously! NOT saying that the rest of the videos aren’t (I watch all of them like a crazy nasty), it’s just that TL;DRs are kinda straight into the point about everyday life in Korea. And there was no other way for me to know all the things, and experiences, and behaviors you talk about. And I bet that there are many others like me that aren’t here just for the pretty Kpop boys and girls (no offence, I adore Kpop…..). I actually want to know this country….. ^_^

    As for the sexism issue, I hope Korea will evolve in time and Koreans will realise women are not shiny (not Shinee :P) products that you just place beside you…. And this is not only for Korea, but for most of the countries I guess, as “civilized” as they want to present themselves. Women are far from appreciated yet…. :( Fighting!!!!!!!!!

    4 years ago
  26. Thanks to all the Nasties below who responded to this comment in a constructive manner. This comment is a view that is widely held by many people who think it is not appropriate for anyone not a native of a culture to speak about it. I can understand that point, but I also note that Simon and Martina make a point to say -repeatedly- that this is a foreigner’s perspective with a few stories from their Korean Friends and not a end all be all. Thus why they asked us to engage in discussion about it and learn from each other. If we were all forced to not have conversations about cultures that we are not ethnically a part of then pretty much many interesting conversations discussing differences in culture would not be allowed to take place.

    Let us just agree to disagree with this person’s comment. Obviously they have their own perspective and take perfect fluency in Korean as an indicator of ability to speak about Korea. Whereas many of us are enjoying the discourse that this conversation began. Notice that this video has spurred comments from people all over the world talking about their own experience with sexism, because it is not just a Korean issue but an issue with cultures all over the world. I applaud all of you for being able to have this discourse in a respectful manner.

    Cheers!

    4 years ago
  27. I like what you said here about listening to the older people and their views ( even if their views obviously don’t measure up to yours. Coming from a small country I have seen how our people adopt ideas from larger countries en masse and don’t consider how drastically we are changing our own culture to another countries’. Tings need to change yes, but lots of wisdom can be gained from looking back at the past values and seeing what things are worthy of keeping.

    In the past, my country was known as one of the nicest, cleanest and safest places to visit. Now we are running into trouble with people who don’t have respect for anyone; themselves, their surroundings or elders and who see no problem with coming onto a school compound and cursing at their children or even at a teacher. That is one thing I think we need to get back to. Alas, materialism and entitlement culture has started to worm it’s way into our national psyche.

    So as much as sometimes things that the older people say make me want to roll my eyes, I look at the essence of what they are saying e.g. an older person saying ‘Dem wan gine church’ = we need to focus on morals and values.

    4 years ago
  28. Hahah! That image just made me laugh ( silently as I am hoarse) but way to go for all the shy girls!

    4 years ago
  29. “Instead of their own gender”. You make it sound like we should be supporting our own gender more so than the opposite, why do we need to take a side at all? But I think I see where you’re a coming from; you’re talking about those fans that don’t even give girl groups a chance, which is plain unfair.

    I think the bias for female fans to support boy groups partly has to do with eye candy, and generally female fans falling in love with male idols and madly supporting them. But I just also think that many people prefer to listen to the opposite gender. I prefer to listen to a male’s voice than a female’s voice when it comes to music, while most of my male friend’s prefer a female’s voice to a male’s. Of course that’s just my experience.

    As for males dominating the EYK charts, besides eye candy and voice preference I also agree with what Riley Kent mentioned, that the whole cute/innocent/girly image probably turns some people off.

    4 years ago
  30. Regarding Martina sometimes getting the invisible treatment, I think there are two reasons behind it. First one is obviously that there is this deeply rooted idea of a man as the head of family/organization. The guy takes care of the business (and his women), hence you deal the the guy. (And I don’t think this idea is exclusively Asian or Confucian concept. Same attitude used to be, and even in some cases still, prevalent in Western societies as well. Remember the SATC episode where Samantha was getting an apartment for herself?)

    The other reason, and I think this actually is far more applicable for physical meet and greets, is the rule of sexual segregation, which stems from Confucianism, but exists in somewhat altered version. Grown or married men are not supposed to physically interact with women who are not their family, and vice versa. So if a guy meets a couple, he would shake the husband’s hands, but it would be strange for him to offer to shake the wife’s hands as well (it could actually be seen as very rude and disrespectful to the husband to do so. After all, hand-holding is the first step of the “skinship”). Instead, he would just nod and bow to greet her (and he might even altogether ignore her until the husband formerly introduces his wife to him). Similarly, if a woman meets a couple, there would be no touching involved between her and the husband. And if a couple meets a couple, typically only guys shakes hands and women just nods to greet. Even if they are close, any kind of physical contact (handshaking, hugging, patting, etc) will be limited to between wives or husbands.

    Now, in a formal business setting, handshakes between a man and a woman do naturally occur, even if one or both of them are married. However, even in such cases, shaking hands of the other sex while the spouse is present can be a delicate thing, which I guess applies to you guise all the time since you work together. So even in professional meetings, guys will probably avoid shaking Martina’s hands and women won’t offer to shake Simon’s hands. In those situations, it would probably help if Simon introduces Martina to the guy to sort of set off (i.e. allow) the interaction.

    4 years ago
  31. It took me a really long time to get into girl groups because a lot of them really seem to play up a cute/innocent/overly-girly image that feels wrong to me. it took me a really long time to like Gee, for instance. 2NE1 is the exclusion, obviously (there are others as well, I know). Now I can appreciate whatever “concept” they’re going for at the moment, although that overly romanticized dolly-innocent thing still irks me, unless it’s played up/exaggerated to the point of being borderline ironic (Orange Caramel!).

    4 years ago
  32. To be honest, the only western country with the most stringent anti-discrimination laws is Canada. So in terms of sexism and other discriminatory issues, Canada would win (from a legal perspective).

    Every other Western country still holds on to legal technicalities when addressing issues such as discrimination in the workplace and rape and sexual assault. An example of this can be seen in New York -the definition of rape is strictly limited to vaginal penetration. A woman was raped in other intrusive ways by a police officer and despite the overwhelming evidence against him – he was convicted of sexual assault. Sure, the prison sentence was in her favour – but the fact that socially and legally the definition of rape is so constrained doesn’t help the continued cycle of sexism and oppression for women.

    Its interesting to realise that in New York, where they have legalised gay marriage and are considered to be liberal, women are still let down by the legal system.

    PS. Simon and Martina – LOVE the fact that you discuss serious issues in your TL;DR :) – BTW, if you did decide to make a 30 minute video, there would be a audience for it…just sayin’…

    :) xo

    4 years ago
  33. Watch My Girlfriend is a Nine-Tailed Fox.

    4 years ago
  34. Oh geez, dramas and the girl main characters. .__. How they can make a strong woman go to a sudden wimp amazes me.
    Soo Zee’s idea is brilliant. It reminds me of this time, although it’s not too similar, when I was around 6, my dad and I were on a walk. Two Caucasian women were talking to each other really loudly making racist comments about Asians, assuming that we wouldn’t be able to understand them. Then I just started talking to my dad in English casually. Stereotypes…. e.o
    Anyways, back to sexism. Thanks for the TLDR about this. It was really interesting to hear about what it’s like in Korea. ^_^

    4 years ago
  35. If you want to see the gender tables turned in a Korean drama, you should watch My Girlfriend Is A Nine-Tailed Fox! It’s pretty great how a ton of those stereotypes (the man dragging the woman around, the woman not being interested in sex) are reversed. And it’s just a fun drama all around.

    4 years ago
  36. A few years ago, I was in Korea for about a month and had an experience with these club bouncers. My friend and I were walking around a part of Seoul and unknowingly walked down a street full of clubs. Now I have to say that both of us are white, and my friend is like super model attractive, tall and blonde. As we were walking down the street, we saw all these guys in suits with like secret agent earpieces walking around. We had no idea why and just thought it was weird. But then a couple of the guys come to us and ask us to come and dance in their club. We smile and say that we can’t. And then one of the guys grabs my friend and starts to pull her into the club. Me being the older one (she was only 16 and I was 22) and having now idea why these strange guys are taking her, I like freak out and grab her arm. I tell them very clearly no, and pull her away. As we were leaving the street, other bouncers moved toward us, but I just glared at them and we kept walking. I have to say that we were pretty freaked out about it afterwards.
    Maybe they only went after my friend, who was clearly foreign, because she was so attractive? Or maybe they were weird bouncers? Because most of everyone else’s experience is that they leave foreigners alone, but the definitely did not leave my friend alone.

    4 years ago
  37. Meh, I wouldn’t get so riled up over k-dramas. Is it bad that they portray the women like this a lot? Probably, especially with the modern world changing and women being more independent. However, these plots are modeled after fairy tales. Damsel in distress is saved by prince charming. Lots of western movies are all about men swooping girls off their feet and making them fall in love, and yes, even in western media the men save women constantly. It’s just more prominent in korean media. You can’t blame the drama character for falling for the jerky rich guy when I’m willing to bet a large majority of girls would do the same. As they say, girls love bad boys. :P

    I’m a tough girl, I’ve got muscles and can take care of myself, but I still have those girly instincts. I do long for a guy to treat me like I’m special and come to my rescue when I’m distressed. That doesn’t make me any less of a strong independent female.

    4 years ago
  38. I love you both, dont pay attention to harmful comments, pay attention to me n_n *yeiiiiiiiiiiiiii* … I personally like that you also include this kind of topics in your videos, afterall you are introducing to us a whole new culture, so thank you thank you ! *hugs*

    4 years ago
  39. ooooh, this was very interesting!

    4 years ago
  40. Hello??Martina experienced racism in Korea at least to some degree, so I think she can talk about it. It’s not like they are talking bad or anything they are talking about their experiences living in Korea. That’s all.

    4 years ago
  41. Because most of the fangirls don’t give a crap about talent or musical quality, they just want eye candy. :P

    4 years ago
  42. There’s no doubt that sexism exists, however, I don’t think it’s necessarily a problem. I mean Martina is a Western woman, where women enjoy perhaps even more power than men when it comes to court cases and treatment in public. So when somebody doesn’t take her seriously simply because she’s a woman, it’s a pretty big insult. But Korean women tend to be submissive and they look for a strong wealthy dude who do things for them. It’s normal, and I don’t think it’s truly a bad aspect of their society. The woman’s job is to look pretty, and I think many Korean women feel just fine having that job. Likewise, many men are just fine making lots of money and hoping to attract one of the pretty girls

    4 years ago
  43. We are only permitted to discuss the things in which we have personal and close knowledge? Well, gee, I’m so glad you let me know that! I will be sure to let all of the world’s school’s and universities know your opinion. I’m sure they will take action immediately. First things to go, ALL world history classes. I mean, unless we speak fluent French, what gives us the right to discuss Napoleon! What were we all thinking?! Sociology classes, gone. Psychology classes, gone. Anthropology is downright criminal! GONE. Oh dear, the political science department, with all of those classes on international policy…yeah, we can’t have that anymore. While we’re at it, we better get rid of all literature classes too. I mean, what gave me the right, the absolute nerve, to discuss Pride and Prejudice in my university literature class? I am not English! I did not live during the 18th century! What a jerk I was to think it was okay to have an opinion about it! I read plays by Chekov. CHEKOV. I actually argued with someone about a Chekov play once. Jesus Christ I don’t speak Russian! Oh this is just awful. You know what, why bother talking at all? The risk of offending people is too great. If I can’t agree with everyone and I can’t make everyone happy, then I shouldn’t speak at all. I will just sit, and stare at a wall. Thank you for your wisdom.

    4 years ago
  44. Thanks. EYK, for this video. I always wondered about this as well, because I have experience it here in so. California…and I’m white. It is interesting to here your experiences as well..ha, at least I know now that it is not personal!
    Side note – why do there always have to be haters? Never trust the comments of someone who is only a ‘guest’, :P

    4 years ago
  45. Like in GO AWAY by 2NE1.

    4 years ago
  46. Seeing as you had a terrible experience at a school is worrying because I’ve applied to teach there and I’ll be there alone… coupled with the fact that my parents are terrified I’m going to get myself raped and/or killed (fear not unfounded since I’ve had a couple unnerving experiences in other parts of Asia). You said there is virtually no crime (read: theft) but I’m a little dubious. Any advice on how I can protect myself, in the workplace and physically?

    Also, a ‘scandal’ involving a rape case has recently caught my attention; people were blaming the woman victim for being a gold digger because the other party is a famous celebrity, before there was any evidence. What the actual f*ck.

    4 years ago
    • Hi Annie! I am a teacher here in South Korea. I am actually in Gyeongsangbuk-do, which is a south-east province in Korea. I moved here by myself as well. There is a great, well-connected community of foreign teachers here. There are many facebook groups you can use to connect. Each year there is a large incoming group of new teachers from all over, in August and February. So there are always many new people to meet, and the teachers that stay longer are very helpful with any concerns or problems you may have. I have had zero issues with physical harassment in the workplace. Since you are a foreigner, many Koreans will be scared to even approach you because of the language barrier. However, the missionaries are not deterred at all.

      4 years ago
  47. I liked this Tldr :) because that is actually a very common discussion between people who like korea (and are not korean). Geat job Simon & Martina :D

    4 years ago
  48. Some stories from Japan: An acquaintance of mine is a Canadian biochemical engineer who often travels to other countries for work. She speaks Japanese fluently and has worked there off and on for the last ten years, but hates doing it because of the sexism. One example is when a male co-worker told her with all seriousness that she should go to the gym more often because she’s getting fat. She’s one of the thinnest people I know… A Japanese friend of mine had a similar problem with male co-workers taking credit for her work and getting told off by her manager for not holding doors open for male co-workers, but she also said that it’s more of a problem with the older companies and that newer ones don’t have the same level of sexism.

    4 years ago
  49. Maybe this is why many Korean women are attracted to foreign men…..and many Korean guys may not like it, but can you blame them? I hope things change soon. Korea has a female president so it’s possible.

    4 years ago
  50. This video made me think so much on how chinese/taiwanese people have improved on sexism. First, god knows I can’t talk for all of China and Taiwan and chinese people but, I know there are very traditional gender roles, and now in China and Taiwan the gender roles are very prominent BUT interchangeable, such as, it is expected to have a home maker and a worker, I mean it’s kind of like that everywhere, but stay at home dad’s have been slightly more acceptable in China and Taiwan which is nice. The improvement is nice, though I do think it’s unfortunate if you are a female who cannot cook, no matter how much money you have, you are not fulfilling your role as a female. Second, I think it’s also important females in China also bring them upon themselves somewhat. They have expectations for guys to do things such as always pay the bill, open the car door, carry everything for them, I think they take the line between chivalry and sexism and push it as far as possible. Recently I was listening to my mother’s friend rant about how a guy did not pay for her coffee when they went to hang out as friends and how he was rude and less of a man. A lot of asian women I know DO criticize men for not being more dominant or playing THEIR gender role accordingly.

    Lastly, the one thing that I despise and have multiple people, it seems that some asian housewives turn a blind eye to their husbands and their mistresses and are under the impression “as long as he comes home to the family and takes care of us.” Gross, I have heard this from MANY of my friend’s friends or even mother’s friends.

    4 years ago
    • My Japanese friend said the same thing about cheating husbands. She said that her father has cheated on her mother multiple times. When my friend’s boyfriend cheated on her, her mother told her to forgive him because that’s what just men do.

      4 years ago
  51. When I first moved to Korea (I’m also from Toronto, U of T, woot woot!) I had two very opposing experiences which I think help to show how Korea is, as you indicated, making advances while still somewhat stuck in the past. I worked at two elementary schools in rural (read: older, more conservative) areas around the city of Gimcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do. At one school, in the east end, it was your usual mix of staff, with a male Principal & VP. One day, I asked one of the male teachers if he could help me figure out the coffee machine in the office, since he was the only one around. Big mistake – the response I got was “you should ask a female teacher about that”. I should note he was relatively young, and so one would possibly think more liberal in ideologies, but no.
    At the same time, my other school, in the north end, was completely the opposite. Practically the entire staff was made up of females, including the Principal and VP (not very common, especially outside bigger cities). All the staff were very respectful of each other, and the typical ‘gender roles’ were almost non-existent there.
    Korea definitely needs to keep improving, but even in just the few years I have been here I can tell that progress is being made, and at a typical Korean ‘bali bali’ speed, which is great for everyone here, foreign and local.

    4 years ago
  52. My little brother always grabs me by the wrist to drag me somewhere and he knows it makes me so incredibly uncomfortable and “trapped” in a way. I can’t even imagine a stranger doing that to me….I’d probably kick him where it hurts by reflex haha.

    I really like when you do all these serious topics. As a Lebanese American, I have witnessed a strong sense of sexism from Lebanese men, especially compared to the American men around me. Luckily, they are mostly stupid, sexist jokes and not things related to business like what you experienced. Either way, most of the Lebanese men I know act as if they are superior to women and it ticks me off like no other….which is why I only have 1 Lebanese male friend. haha. I haven’t been to Lebanon in several years, so I’m quite curious about whether the sexism of Lebanese men and Lebanese-American men is different.

    4 years ago
  53. Martina have you ever seen the drama Playful kiss? That in my opinion is the BIGGEST offender of that whole “weak girl” “strong man” thing. I LOVE Kim Hyun Joong, but finally halfway through the drama I just had to stop watching because it pissed me off so much. Smh.

    4 years ago
  54. I actually love these serious segments…I love you guys <3 lots of love from Miami

    4 years ago
  55. Hello! I’d like to share my experience with you!

    I lived in Korea for a few months last year. I was working as an intern, teaching in a very remote area of the country side (seriously there wasn’t even a supermarket in that place but they had high speed internet). I did my homework before going so I knew about the Culture and women’s role. I had expected to see sexism a lot, specially because I was surrounded by many elders. While there was a definite role with women and men, it wasn’t really marked. Like I could see women and men working on the fields, working with animals and such. Particularly, in the family I lived with (full Korean family Mom, Dad, Aunt, and two children) I noticed that the Husband washed clothes, cooked, cleaned and did most housework together with his Wife or even alone if she was busy working. The only difference was that his chopsticks were gold instead of silver like the rest of us. That was it! This really surprised me but it might be that particular family. I just thought I’d share this with you.

    4 years ago
  56. I’m Korean American, and I recently went to Korea on family business. Usually at home, me and my brothers split the chores, and go together to greet people that come into the house; we all shake hands and introduce ourselves. I noticed (to my dismay)- I did ALL the housework when I was in Korea (my grandmother is old and my mom was helping her out with stuff) while my brothers got to laze around. Though I never spoke up about it- it was like a silent rule- and neither did my brothers, when I thought about it, I was a little pissed off. Also, when my father’s friends would come over, I would introduce myself to be polite, at the same time as my older brothers, and the guy would walk past me, then go to my brothers first and shake their hands, then just barely acknowledge me (with a smile, that was the biggest thing that pissed me off). They were surprised when I just took the hand and shook it with a smile. By the way, the only time that my brothers did the chores was the dishes- once. We were watching TV and I won a random bet. Also, when the extended family was over, I and the other women were cooking and preparing while the men were drinking and talking at the table. When my brothers asked if they needed help, they were very surprised and told them to sit down and relax with the other boys, then immediately proceeded to tell me that something needed to be washed/cooked,etc. By the way, if I didn’t mention it before, I am female.

    4 years ago
  57. As they stated in the beginning of the video, a fellow NASTY Riley Kent asked the question and obviously people thumb up the question so they can answer it base on their experience. WE NASTIES ask the questions for TLDR and if people like the question they thumb it up and if you don’t then thumb it down. It’s not to be rude but make your voice/opinion heard by participating on selecting the questions for TLDR.

    4 years ago
  58. The purpose of TL;DR questions is to get SIMON AND MARTINA’S perspective AS FOREIGNERS on what they see LIVING IN KOREA. In what world does living in Korea for 5 years not give you at least enough experience with Korean culture to express what you’ve PERSONALLY encountered?

    And yes, they do speak the language. Obviously they don’t do it in their videos, because their videos are for an english-speaking audience.

    4 years ago
    • Simon and Martina might be able to order food and ask directions but that doesn’t mean they can speak Korean. When I say “speaking korean” I mean speaking it fluently. My friend, who is Korean and raised in Seoul, says that Simon and Martina’s Korean is not good at all…

      4 years ago
  59. everyone knows sexism exist everywhere, i think is more notable on asian cultures because they stick to their traditions, but is just as easy to point the concept of a girl in american culture for example; in some cases when a guy have sex with a lot of women between them is regarded like a winner although we see them as jerks but if a women do the same thing is just a slut.

    I think that even this issue is more remarkable in some countries than others the key to change this is us, women educating our sons our daughters how women have to be treated

    *SIDE NOTE*

    I Love serious TLDR

    4 years ago
  60. In all fairness, they are not fluent. So some things may get lost in translation. Still, being fluent has nothing to do with writing a blog about their own experiences and how they felt about them.

    4 years ago
  61. You don’t have to be Korean to be knowledgeable about Korean culture. They’ve been living in Korea for a while now. And they have made it clear they are only sharing their experience. Not posing as experts.

    4 years ago
    • I never said you have to be Korean to be knowledgeable about Korean culture. But I do think you have to at least know the language. I’ve watched a lot of EYK’s videos and from what I can tell they live in their own little foreigner bubble, so I don’t think they are knowledgeable about Korean culture. I’m fine with them doing kpop stuff, and making videos of food and places to visit, but for things like sexism in Korea I don’t think they should talk about, since they are an influence on a lot of their young fans and they could be giving wrong impressions of Korea…

      4 years ago
  62. Compared to my grandparents’ generation, Korea has come a loooong way in terms of treatment of women. But it still has a long way to go. And having seen way too many K dramas, upon occasion, they do feature a strong independent female character under the age of 50. So it’s not always the same old story. But I hope people don’t think K dramas reflect how real Korean women are. Most Korean women have dreams and ambitions for themselves beyond the hope of marriage. Anyway, I too am pleased to see Korea elect a female president, even if I don’t agree with all her politics. Mansae!

    4 years ago
  63. Hi, I am a Korean nasty. Yay!

    I really appreciated your video and the blog. I find everything you said and wrote pretty reasonable. There are only two things I wanted to add. First, Korean men not shaking Martina’s hand might be just them trying to be polite. If the guy is not so close to you, he might feel it will be rude to suggest shaking hands, because you won’t be able to say no and feel pressured to do it even though you don’t want (which can be patriarchal just in a different way). I just want you to know they are not shaking hands not necessarily because they don’t respect you. (But people who wouldn’t talk or listen to Martina, they don’t have any excuse of course.)

    Another thing is about women having to pour drinks for men at the company dinner. I don’t think this is a norm at all currently. Of course, there will always be some jerks who would want it. But this will be considered very bad. The norm is that subordinates pour drinks for bosses regardless of gender. In my experience (which was 5 years ago), they wouldn’t let me pour drinks because I am a woman.

    This is my first time commenting. My husband and I have been enjoying all your work very much. Best wishes!

    4 years ago
  64. I feel sorry for the korean girls who can’t speak another language…

    4 years ago
  65. Yea…let some stranger try to drag me into a club. Like Martina said, they would get knocked out! I also don’t like the whole dragging thing in K-Dramas, it pisses me off along with some other issues in K-Dramas, like realistically what girl stays liking the same guy that has no interest in her while another guy shows interest in her. Eventually she’ll start to like the other guy. My other pet peeve with K-Dramas is the love sick guy that just can’t take NO for an answer and goes berserk and the girl doesn’t say anything just lets him drag her around every freakin where. Anyway, nice TLDR, I didn’t know about the sexism, just thought it was only in the dramas.

    4 years ago
  66. Speaking from a view point of a Singaporean, I’m really awed by the sexism in Korea. It’s not that I’m not aware of it but I didn’t think that it would be such of a huge issue? I now really do have to consider my plans of moving to Korea…Martina, do you have any advice for me on this? If I do really move to Korea and work for a Korean company, will I have less chances of getting a job in there compared to the males?

    4 years ago
  67. Simon and Martina (I should I say Martina and Simon?) you guys are so admirable. I like your ideas and I think is important for the “Nasties” to understand in a simpler way why is going on in Korea. I have a Korean friend and she oftentimes talk to me about the frustration she feel about the treat of Korean women. I know is a serious subject but once in while is important to talk about it… And you do it so well, in a sensitive, funny, cleaver and honest way!!

    Now for my question for next TL;DR: what are some of the best places to visit while in Korea? For a vacation trip, is Korea expensive? A part from Seoul I would love to hear about other great places in Korea. In dramas they mention a lot of parts of the country to visit… I want to visit Korea but I don’t want to go to the same places every tourist go, I want a unique experience!

    Shantal, From: Panama

    4 years ago
  68. While I don’t think it’s ok to not shake someones hand, I feel like a lot of the time in TV shows korean guys get really mad when another guy touches their girlfriend even if it is in a friendly way. I feel like I’ve seen it in almost every we got married season, so maybe by not shaking Martina’s hand they feel they are being more respectful to Simon?….again I still think its dumb but maybe thats the thinking behind it

    4 years ago
  69. “Go up to a random woman and tell her you’re a feminist; you’ll get a strange look most of the time, but a lot of times you’ll be laughed at and told that ‘sexism/racism/ism-ism doesn’t exist anymore!'”
    Really? Most people I know would just say “Okay” in response to that. XD

    4 years ago
  70. Emi

    First of all; this was a great video and I found it very informative and I’m glad that you spoke out about things that you have found annoying and upsetting. Secondly; I’m so sorry for you guys… because discussions about sexism equals shitstorms on the internet. I don’t get how that is since the internet is such a source of knowledge (logically people on the internet should be supersmart and knowledegable about eveything… oh boy… logic doesn’t apply on the internet) but when it comes to sexism, rape and gender equality you soon find out that it’s a wasps nest and you go near it on your own risk. But someone has to do it! *proud of you guys*

    What I mean to say is that I love what you did and I hope that you don’t feel disheartened by the creeps on the internet who can’t take an adult discussion about real and important issues without going berserk.

    Thumbs up for Martina and Simon!!! 파이팅!

    4 years ago
  71. I’m sure many of you have read the blog The Grand Narrative, but if you haven’t and this topic interests you make sure to visit. It’s a blog about gender, sociology, feminism and sexism in Korea. It’s incredibly fascinating and very thorough. http://thegrandnarrative.com/

    4 years ago
  72. I loved this video!! You guys speak so passionately about this topic. I loved living in Korea but I found the sexism was one of things that I really struggled to stomach (along with hongeo). The worst thing I experienced was a guy grabbing my boobs in the subway, I tried to get him off, there were lots of men around me and noone helped. I feel like if that happened to me here, someone would come to my assistance. Not sure if that’s a sexism thing or a westerner thing though.

    4 years ago
    • Yeh it wasn’t fun. I don’t think it’s normal, there were three occassions were I was touched inappropriately or followed whilst I was in Korea that really stick in my mind, and I was there a year. All 3 times it was men who were in their late 40s/early 50s. I think it probably happened more to me because I stand out more as a foreigner maybe, and I have big boobs. They weren’t on show or anything though.

      It wasn’t the actual grabbing that bothered me as such, although it wasn’t pleasant, there are weirdos everywhere, it was more the fact that people were stood all around and noone came to help. They just stared.

      But definitely don’t let it put you off going to Korea! It’s not a hugely regular thing, and as a whole Korean guys are as polite and nice as any other :) xx

      4 years ago
  73. High five, girlfriend. That’s how I feel exactly.

    4 years ago
  74. That seems to be more like “respect” for a woman. They don’t want to touch a woman especially with a family member there, especially if she isn’t married.

    4 years ago
  75. A friend and I just experienced that whole not looking at the “Woman” thing here in the good old US of A.

    We were looking to buy a used car for commuting and brought along one of her brothers on a scouting trip. That day no one talked or even tried to upsell to my friend who was in fact buying. Everyone just ignored her.

    4 years ago
  76. i learn o much bout S. Korea from u guys ! thanks!

    4 years ago
  77. Oh, and FYI: In some situations (like student loans, government paperwork..etc) women are considered a minority. ~half the population is a minority??

    4 years ago
  78. So in this mentioned the girl who in her workplace was told to wear more makeup etc? I’m currently at university in Australia and I was born /raised here although I’ve moved state to state. I work at a prominent supermarket during my uni job and I was told to supervise. The amount of times I’ve had male staff say “oh you need to straighten your hair and wear makeup” or “why don’t you wear x y and z” over my SUPERMARKET job is ridiculous.

    Not only that though, is that when I tell the guys I’m supervising to do things, they’ll whisper behind my back things like “b*tch” and complain that I’m making them work when that’s their job! It’s gotten to the point where I’ve had some really extreme cases such as when I told one of the guys (who wasn’t doing any work at the time) that he needed to go along and clean the floors he said “pick it up yourself you stupid b*tch”.

    In another case another male in the department, while I was stacking a low shelf came along and pushed my face towards his crotch as a “joke”. When I told him that was inappropriate he said angrily “what are you getting serious now?” and walked off.

    Another issue is that I can be working hard in the back room with 5 guys standing around on their phones not doing anything, and they won’t get in trouble, but the minute my work pace slows down I would be told off (in a very rude manner, too actually, almost like telling a dog to “fetch”) immediately. So there’s something wrong there.

    A final example that wasn’t directed towards me but I witnessed one day is that while I was working in the back room cleaning, one guy came in and said to the other guy already standing there; “You know what this store needs? More SLUTS! *Name* and I would be taking home girls every night!”

    These are just a few of the things that have happened. I hope this doesn’t come across as complaining, I just wanted to demonstrate that it’s not only Korea where there is a lot of sexism, and that even major nations like ours have a lot of issues in gender politics that need to be resolved.

    4 years ago
  79. I really like that you guys spoke on this topic. I’m heading to Korea in September for a study abroad, so I’m trying to read all the facts I’ve missed in the last few years. Especially because I have a good size group of Korean friends, all female, who want me to hang out with them at clubs and such when I’m over there. It leaves me wondering what I should do if a situation pops up where one of them gets dragged in. Are women, Korean or foreign, allowed to pull their friends away from the club guys?

    Do you think with Korea electing a woman as president this will further help women’s role in Korean society? Have you seen any change as of yet?

    4 years ago
    • Who cares if you’re allowed to pull yourself or friends away from those club guys? Just do it anyway. You’re not cattle being herded!

      4 years ago
  80. This is just my idea but the fact that women used to change their last name(some still do) to their husbands’ to show they are BELONGED to men is holding the women to the position where they are “under the men”. The idea of changing his last name to a woman’s would be bizarre. So women can officially make themselves belonged to someone but men cannot? Names might seems like a small subject to talk about but it influences greatly I think.

    4 years ago
  81. In all honestly… I think Koreans are quite racist. They hate japan as a nation and japanese people because of that, but they don’t really think less of them. But to blacks and other asians… I think they think less of them a bit… But they won’t hate black celebrities or chinese of japanese celebrities. Often think’s they’re cool. But when chinese immigrants or workers come, they kind of shy away from them. There is also the issue that foreign asian people commit quite a lot of crimes in korea and they might be scared of them a little.

    4 years ago
  82. wow, i never thought that the wrist dragging actually..really happens.
    hearing you guys talk about it actually shocked me o_o

    i’m not going to say more and just read the rest of the discussion in the comments now, i wonder if anyone else was shocked like me.

    4 years ago
  83. I don’t know if anyone has offered up this site yet, but I frequent
    http://thegrandnarrative.com/ . The author, James Turnbull, is a gender studies professor
    in Korea. If you go, I guarantee you’ll spend the better part of the week reading articles.
    Sexism, in any culture, is so much like an onion that it’s difficult to
    simplify into black and white. It goes well with this posting because
    he discusses sexuality and gender politics in K-Pop as well. Seriously,
    it’s a fascinating website. I went to read one article and I been
    reading it religiously for the last year!

    4 years ago
  84. I live in the southern United States, and there has always been a difference in gender roles. The community I live in specifically is very religious and traditional which adds to the separation between men and women. It’s like you know what is expected of you, since I am a 21 year old girl…. Everyone around believes I should already be married. Ha! I’m expected to get married and start a family and stay at home with the children while my husband brings home the money. I’ve always enjoyed K Dramas because they remind a lot of my own life in what expected of a women. Here are something’s that are expected of me: be at church on Sunday even if your dying, wear modest clothing at all time( skirts and tops that cover), never disrespect your father…he is the final say,

    4 years ago
  85. For dramas with more equal partnerships between the man and the woman, these are my favs. –Faith, Kimchi Family, When it’s late at Night, The woman who still wants to Marry (with Kim Bum), Runaway Plan B, Protect the Boss, 12 Men in a Year, Queen of Reversals, Sungkyunkwan Scandal, and yes I would say Coffee Prince too.

    4 years ago
  86. With all this talk about sexism, I wonder what is all the legal right women have in South Korea? Do woman actually have equal right as men?

    4 years ago
  87. you two should just make a disclaimer video you can link to/playlist mode at the front of every potentially controversial video :P

    4 years ago
  88. Hey guys! Just wanted to add that the anecdote about your friend and her boss sounds almost exactly like what happened to my sister at her workplace. My sister teaches English in Korea and her two female bosses went up to her and her friend and told them that they need to wear nice dresses and wear nice makeup. Not only that but they made them go shopping and offered to pay for this “makeover.” I know both my sister and her friend and neither of them are slobs nor do they look so terrible that they need tons of makeup, so I don’t really understand why their bosses felt the need to do this. On top of that, her bosses apparently don’t even dress that nice themselves! So to read that you guys know someone that went through a similar experience makes me wonder if this is a “Korea” thing or….? I don’t know but regardless, my sister and her friend refused to wear dresses and heels to work in the middle of winter.

    4 years ago
  89. I live in America, and there is definitely sexism here, even if it isn’t necessarily to the same extremes as in some other countries. Most of the sexism in America stems from the existence of the double standard, which, in my personal experience, has manifested itself in two different ways.

    The first way that I’ve experienced sexism is simply in the fact that there are things that I as a girl am not allowed to do that my brothers and other guys can simply because it’s not safe for me. When I was little, I had never really experienced this – the only thing I disliked about being a girl was the fact that my school then had made us wear skirts while the boys could wear pants. I had lived in an area outside of the city where there weren’t a lot of people and most of the land was woods, and there was nothing that my three older brothers could do that I wasn’t allowed to. I ran around in the woods and climbed trees and jumped off roofs and dug holes in the dirt and fished and played with fire just like my brothers did. However, when I was about 8, I moved into the city, and all of a sudden there were things that I wasn’t allowed to do because my mom said it wasn’t safe for me, even though it was fine for my brothers. I was 11 before I was allowed to ride my bike in my neighborhood by myself. Even now that I’m nearly 16, I’m not allowed to walk the half a mile from my house to the grocery store to pick something up, even though my brothers have been doing that since they were even younger than I am now, be it day or night, with no more than a simple cautionary warning from my mother to not get hit by cars. And the thing is, as much as I hate that double standard, there’s a reason for it. In the last few years, there have been 4 women kidnapped and raped in my neighborhood or just outside of my neighborhood, and I don’t even live in a big city. When I started high school, my mom rearranged her work schedule just so that i wouldn’t have to walk home from my bus stop. And even though I’m not supposed to walk to the grocery store, there have been a few times where I needed to because my mom was out of town and my brothers were gone and I needed food. And I walked there with a knife slid up my sleeve just in case, and it was a good thing that I did, because one time on my way back, I actually did have to pull it out because there was this man threatening me. And that terrified the crap out of me and the fact that this happens bothers me so much, because while I have pay attention to what time of day it is when I go somewhere and have to think about whether or not I should bring a knife just in case, my brothers never have to think about those things for even a second, because it’s not a danger to them like it is for me.

    The second way I’ve personally experienced sexism has been in school. I’m currently a high school junior, and I’m planning on majoring in Computer Engineering in college. Last year I took my school’s Honors Programming class. Out of 48 students, only 6 were girls. This year I’m taking AP Computer Science, and in a class of 24, everyone but me is male. Even though none of the guys have ever actually done or said anything sexist to me, there are times when I still feel uncomfortable in that class. Even though I know that I’m one of the best students in that class and that I make better grades than most of the guys, I still feel like i’m inadequate and that I’m not good enough simply because I’m a girl. And the fact that I have this mindset, the fact that there are so few girls who choose to pursue a more technical career really bothers me as well. That’s not right. I know that I make good grades and that I deserve to be in that classroom, but I can’t help but doubt myself, and a society where this is still so prevalent just isn’t okay.

    4 years ago
    • Hey! I’m a Computer Engineering major in uni right now (also named Sarah, 4th year student). I do have moments where it feels like I don’t belong. I’ve had a really hard time making university friends because I don’t connect with guys like I do with girls and there are soooo few girls (sometimes I’m the only one even though I go to one of the largest universities in the USA, usually there’s less than 5 even in really large classes, like 70+ students, but I don’t know if the other girls are just staying home and not showing up for class). It is a challenge but I think, if it’s something you’re really interested in, you should go for it anyway! I have finally found people who I feel treat me equally when we do our lab assignments, who aren’t all like “let me do all this because I already know how to do it”. I don’t consider them my friends (we rarely talk about anything but school) but it’s nice having people who I can plan my schedules with so that we can be in labs together and be lab partners. Before I went to university I actually chose an “easy” form of engineering at first (Industrial Engineering) because I thought there was no way I could be as good as my male classmates in the more technical majors. I ended up finding it boring and switched to Computer Engineering halfway through my sophomore year. I usually score above average on our exams and I do really well in my classes and I learn and understand the material just as well as anyone else. If you have any questions or just want someone to talk to about being a female Computer Engineering major let me know and I can give you a way to contact me about it ^^ I don’t want to see another girl discouraged from such an interesting major when I’m sure you’re absolutely capable of succeeding and doing just as well as the others!

      4 years ago
  90. off topic: i LOVE your sweater Martina!!! ELEPHANTSSS
    plus i agree with Simon’s “that’s disgusting.”s

    4 years ago
  91. I much agree. Some people just simply won’t be listened to. I was a pretty mousy person at school and I remember getting my ass kicked during debates. I would always bring up legitimate arguments that nobody would pick up on. They would just stare at me and move on, then the teacher would always chime in at the end of the debate and say “Jen made a great point that I wish would talked more about” I mean people on MY SIDE of the arguments would just dismiss what I said too.

    4 years ago
  92. oh the wrist grabbing…when a male character grabs a female character’s HAND instead of her wrist, I’m ready to faithfully ship him with the girl to the end of the drama, that’s how desperate I am…

    4 years ago
  93. A Question for You Two:
    Hi! The other night on Australian tv there was this mini-documentary program called Dateline talking about the overwhelming amount of plastic surgeries in Korea and how it has the highest rate of cosmetic procedures per capita in the world – and how this is a result from the kpop culture and more particularly the “perfect” idols.

    I found it really interesting. I know you guys have already done a TL;DR on beauty standards and talked about how in Korea there is one sort of “ideal look” and so I thought that this rise in plastic surgery was probably a result of cultural things which is just embodied in the idols and promoted everywhere.

    So TL;DR, basically what I want to know is: Is plastic surgery a really big part in South Korea for the average person? and particularly is it accepted? Is it really normal to get double eyelid surgery after graduating school for example? Are many people getting plastic surgery? What do you guys think about it?

    PLEASE AND THANK YOU <3 <3 <3

    4 years ago
    • I don’t know fully how many people get a double eyelid surgery but I remember one person comparing it to braces. I think this is a great comparison. We don’t question the necessity of braces, but most of the time it is just for looks. Rarely is you messed up teeth going to cause migraines, or major health issues in the future.

      4 years ago
      • There isn’t always something wrong with teeth being in odd position. I’m from Britain, so I’m quite aware that there’s the stereotype that the British have awful teeth. Americans, particularly, seem to have this emphasis on teeth that fit a particular norm (white, straightened, etc). You could argue a lot of people have braces to look different (to fit an accepted ideal) the same way that some Koreans have eyelid surgery to look different, to fit another accepted ideal.

        4 years ago
      • Maybe braces aren’t the best comparison. I think the deal with fixing teeth is mostly for health reasons. Crooked teeth make flossing difficult.

        4 years ago
  94. dang, that they won’t even acknowledge martina is just…. really rude :/ i kind of remember learning ’bout Confucianism back in the day, but nothing about ignoring the women folk. oh well, it can only get better, right?

    4 years ago
  95. You’re not annoying at all with your disclaimer. Anyone who has been on the internet and ever had to struggle to keep their sanity with the anonymous, blinders-wearing conclusion-jumpers should completely understand why you have to do that.

    I’m glad you guys talked a little about this, though! It’s quite interesting. Just going from what I’ve heard and read about sexism in South Korea and what I’ve personally experienced in the US, the only real difference is that SK’s sexism is overt and unapologetic while the US is more sly and attempts to pretend it’s not sexist when it is. It is an every day struggle for me, especially in the workplace, for me and my female colleagues to be taken seriously by most of the men we have to work with.

    4 years ago
  96. Hmmm. I’m wondering now if I should go on an internship in Korea…I’m a business major, studying management and if someone is going to ignore me..well I would be pretty upset as well. How am I supposed to learn!!

    Anyway, thanks for this. This was a very interesting video :D

    4 years ago
  97. TL;DR question:
    Hi Simon and Martina! I was wondering how y’all handled the initial adjustment period when you first arrived in Korea (for example, getting around without much knowledge of the Korean language). Do you have any tips for people who are visiting/moving to Korea to make the adjustment go more smoothly?

    4 years ago
  98. I really enjoy it when you two do these serious videos, they’re always very interesting and informative! I can’t even imagine how it could be okay for some bouncer to grab a girl for their club. True about the foreign part though, most foreign women would *pinch harmonic* their *pinch harmonic* straight up. Least I would, haha.

    I’ve got a question about K-Pop and worldwide marketability. Obviously PSY has ruled for the last few months, and SNSD danced on Letterman, etc, but that’s definitely not the norm for groups/singers outside Asia. Do you two think any groups or solo artists could gain appeal to non-Asian audiences? There are cult followings everywhere due to globalization but in your opinion could they gain ‘household name’ status, even taking in to account image, language, music style, audience choice, etc?

    4 years ago
  99. Someone asked “When did this all start?” About 2000 years ago with Confusion. There are rules about relationships in society and within the family that are all about men. Women are at the bottom. Age matters on this topic I think. I am 40 and have traveled in Korea 3 times now with my two Korean children. I have had men all but run me down on the subway, and there are definitely not the same rules of “chivalry” here that their are in Western countries, but I have found that most men looked me in the eye and spoke to me (those who didn’t I forced to by moving until they had to look at me).
    Traveling with my husband and 2 other families, the women all found it funny to watch the Korean women glare at us and fuss over our husbands. While eating bibimbop at Haeundae Dept. store the adjuma (sp) glared at the wives, who all sat together at one table, then went to our husbands, seasoned and stirred their food for them. They then brought the men fresh strawberries, but none for us. Clearly, we were bad wives!
    Korea’s industrialization period was so fast compared to the west that it’s social values haven’t kept up with his economy.

    4 years ago
  100. 1- I like the fact that almost everybody is respectful in their comments below. Nice nasties!
    2- My boyfriend is Korean, he is 32, and he gets angry when a guy mistreats a girl in the dramas. He came to Canada 4 years ago, so he’s been living in Korea almost all his life. Still, he keeps telling me to stop watching those dramas because the way they are acting is ridiculous.
    3- One of my friends in Korea found a job in a pub in Seoul. The CANADIAN owner gave her a ridiculously small uniform and told her she had to fit in as there was no bigger sizes available….yaaaaa right…

    4 years ago
  101. Ooo Martina is fired up and I like it :)
    That was a really clear and concise overview of sexism in Korea. I think I’ll use some of it in my presentation on the lingering effects of Confucianism in East Asia tommorow, so thanks guys :)

    4 years ago
  102. “shower regulary” Bahaha that actually needed to be stated?

    4 years ago
  103. Hey, i really appreciate this video because i always wondered that and i thought i wouldn’t be treated like those girls in kshows. Since i’ll be visiting Seoul soon, it’s good to know. But i do believe that if my arm is grabbed in the wrong way at a wrong time– someones going to get hurt. ^^

    4 years ago
  104. Ooooh hatin on the smokers :( wah

    4 years ago
  105. This was interesting as always! Well, sexism is a thing you can find in every culture, and it’s true that religion and education have a great part in it…I mean, I’m from South Italy, and here the traditional idea of woman (considered as wife and mother in the first place) it’s quite common…I’m not really bothered by this, because I deeply believe that a good brain and a strong will can bring you everywhere, but it’s true that the road ahead can be really difficult sometime… I’ve experimented this kind of problem a bit during my short work experience and even if at some point I was really pissed, I never really cared about it…in the end, i’m sure of myself, who cares about what they think?
    I just have to go forward on my way, doing my best, and one day they’ll come to understand whom they’re dealing with…Surely enough, as time goes by the things will get better, expecially if there are people willing to open up and change!

    4 years ago
  106. A male friend of mine once complained to a female friend of mine saying how “unfair” it was that she was a girl because its easier for us to get jobs….:/ needless to say he deserves a slap for being stupid, it is SO hard for women to get hired anywhere even if they are more qualified, most the jobs i got were because of people i knew, but two of my jobs i got on my own merit and i will cling to those victories haha, but almost every workplace ive been in have been very male dominant, and if they arent, the few males who do work there are treated like angels who can do no wrong (and this doesnt matter if the boss is male or female cause i have experienced this in both situations).

    history has women being essentially sold into families for marriage and titles and has them being homemakers and doing nothing but bearing children (except in sparta….women be badasses in sparta lol), those were the way things were back then and the fact that some people still think its a womans job to just make babies and stay home is appalling. women can do whatever they want to do and no man has any right to stop her. i truly believe that the world would be a better place if women held more positions of power.

    (o btw im from canada lol)

    4 years ago
    • During the Middle Ages, women and men were basically equal. They both had to work doing the same thing, so it didn’t really put anyone above the other in that sense.

      4 years ago
  107. My cousin is serving in the army in Seoul, and whenever I try to ask him how he’s doing, he says that the Korean people there don’t like/appreciate him and his army buddies. Is there something about Korea against Foreign army men?

    4 years ago
  108. As a Korean born and raised in Korea, I agree with most of your observations in this video, except for the hand shaking. It is sometimes considered socially awkward of a man to shake hands with a woman, especially when her husband or boyfriend is present.

    And yes, I am sick and tired of the countless dramas with the beaten-to-death story line featuring a spoiled brat from a Chaebul family and an innocent and submissive girl.

    4 years ago
  109. I’ve actually experienced this in a much less dramatic way. I live in NYC and there is a Korean street called k-town or Korea way depending on how people want to call it. Well during the daytime it is nice and calm but during the night time it seems like only very attractive men can roam the streets and they seem to be promoting clubs. I haven’t personally seen wrist grabbing of sorts but I’ve been what can only be described as herding. These guys travel in groups. There are seriously about 20+ so good looking Korean men in suits walking that small area and just walking really close to women of all sorts. They will then proceed to show you a flyer for a show, club, event etc. Meanwhile, the females will try to walk away but then suddenly LIKE NINJAS another guy will come out of left field and kinda circle them…….Thank goodness they haven’t bothered me cause I’d just punch or push them away. But I’ve seen these poor girls just get surrounded and slowly herded over to the club or whatever other place and they wind up going in by accident and all of this happening without touching them lol. I feel bad for laughing but it is a very amusing thing to observe. Let’s see them try to do this to me! I DARE THEM!

    4 years ago
  110. From my own and other people’s experiences, this is not true. Granted, a lot of the people with whom I surround myself and interact are very open and usually on the same page, but this is not about “most people I know” and rather people who aren’t in my circle of friends (thus usually sharing a similar opinion). It’s about random people, the “average” person–because life’s not like tumblr where people are (apparently, anyway…god the “social justice” crap on tumblr is so stupid sometimes) educated about social and political issues like this. It’s because a lot of people are privileged or fooled into thinking they’re privilege.

    I get a lot of eye rolls or scoffs whenever I bring up sexism and racism, or that it’s “not a big issue anymore”. I mean, I guess most people aren’t as concerned and they’ll think you’re being strange in some way for seeing it as a “big deal”.

    And for the record, I’m Canadian, and for the most part we’re better than some (*coughamuricacough*) when it comes to gender equality (bless you, section 15 of the charter of Rights and Freedoms), and I compare the reaction of the people here with those in other countries (obviously, this wouldn’t be face-to-face). Most people are naive. “Most people I know” aren’t, because I luckily know pretty good people, but “most people” in general are.

    (Also, please refer to the rest of my comment about how the perpetrators of slut-shaming and victim blaming and such are mostly women; if all women understand that sexism exists *on this level* then one would think they wouldn’t be actively falling into it like this.)

    4 years ago
    • I never said that. I said that while “most people I KNOW” are on the same page, “most people” that I’ve TALKED TO can barely acknowledge these issues, or believe they’re either non-existent or negligible. And I don’t understand what you’re saying, because you don’t mean “most people” literally but then you just say “majority of women” which is the same as “most women”. So maybe you were trying to say “most women”?

      And also, a number of those people denying racism, sexism, isms in general no longer exist are actually American.

      And again, a number of those issues are backed not only by men, but by many, many women. If these women are so aware that sexism exists, that it IS an issue…why would they be partaking in it, discriminating against themselves? Even as I speak as a feminist, I’ll have to admit that before I really, really looked into these issues, I was unaware of the magnitude of gender discrimination. Oh sure, I knew the basics of it, but up until recently I shrugged most things off as “the way they are” and not sexism. And even when you talk about sexism, people think about “oppressed and developing countries”, and not about the West, when–although granted the microaggressions and political issues present in the West are no where near the level of discrimination in a number of other countries–so much of it is happening right here. So tell me again why it’s unreasonable to think that a good portion of women, even those in the good ol’ West, aren’t savvy about patriarchy and gender discrimination?

      4 years ago
    • Lol, Saeri didn’t imply that sexism doesn’t exist in Canada at all. If you weren’t trying to pick an argument, you’d see that. What she’s saying (and I agree) is that it’s simply better over here than in other countries, which includes America. The US is great, but the sexism can be quite awful, so please don’t try to downplay it. Perhaps where you are it isn’t so bad, but you can’t ignore the rest of the country. Canada has its fair share too! This country isn’t perfect.

      4 years ago
      • PZ

        I never tried to downplay the sexism in America though. And I do know that Canada has better gender equality then the US. All I meant was that women in America realize that there is sexism. Lol, I don’t think you read my post.
        And honestly, I was never trying to pick a fight. It just pissed me off that she had to compare Canada to America in gender equality.

        4 years ago
  111. I’m not sure if this is on topic, but a lot of daughters are brought up to be ‘submissive’ or like subservient to men. I was talking to my mom, and it astounded me that she can even say what she said. I never knew sexism was that close to me before. Basically, she said that in order to marry well off and to find a good husband, they like it if the wife listens to them and lets them make the major decisions. To me, decision making and whatever in a relationship is two people collaborating together, so when my mom told me this I was really shocked. She also said for me to not be as loud and not to say so many of my opinions and thoughts, as husbands like it for their wives to be more agreeable and ‘meek’ and etc. I told her that it’s the 21st century, and women are people that can have opinions and make decisions. It’s even more shocking, when my friends are like ‘I’ll just marry well with a rich guy and take care of him instead of finding a job’. It’s these thoughts that make women looked down upon. Women should have just as much as the right to be independent, to have a job, and to find someone that’s their other ‘half’ and not their other 90%… Anyways, I’m Asian, not Korean specifically, and want to be independent in the future. I believe in the fact that relationships are people working together, and not one serving the other. This was a great video, thanks simon and martina! :)

    4 years ago
  112. PZ

    Actually, men do get payed more than women. Isn’t it pretty stereotypical and sexist of you to say that women are more emotional and men are more aggressive? You do have a point with your argument, but they say “chivalry is dead”, so door opening does not apply as much anymore

    4 years ago
  113. I love your serious TL:DRs. Gives us nasties a chance to view your scholarly side in EYK style. :) Onto my commentary on sexism… Yes, the Asian culture in general is mostly sexist; however, this forms part of social protocols that are being constantly changed by the new generation of men and women. Older people still tend to follow them, and respecting your elders usually supercedes the desire to correct them. Eventually, South Korea will become a more gender-neutral culture – in time – like all countries. There is no need to rush them or judge them (and I totally agree with S&M on this one) without first having a deep understanding of the culture.

    In a related topic, I wanna hear about women’s opinions about this: Chivalry. Whenever I am chivalrous (I mostly am), 30% of the time I get bashed because of being “bigoted”. Girls have often lashed out at me because I hold doors for them (“what? u think i can’t open a door?”) or by letting them go first in a queue (“u think i can’t hold my own spot?”) or giving my seat in a crowded bus for instance. This doesn’t discourage me; though I’d like to hear some opinions: Do you think chivalry is not a step towards a gender neutral society? Am I in fact being a bigot?

    4 years ago
    • Hah, I hold the door whenever I am in front. So I don’t mind someone holding the door for me. I actually get annoyed if I was walking right behind anyone, male or female and they don’t at least attempt to hold the door for a second or two so I can at least grab it myself.

      I know there is this big issue with sexism versus chivalry. I honestly don’t mind chivalry once it is done because you want to show care and respect for someone and not because you think they are weak or incapable.

      4 years ago
  114. I’m not sure, but I think men not shaking women’s hands has more to do with not touching women than disregarding them. Handshaking is not a common sign of greeting in Korea like it is in North America. In western societies, you’re introduced to a new group of people in ANY setting and you shake their hand as you introduce yourself. In Korea, you don’t. I think it’s mostly a business type thing.
    Also, I know that in Canada, a lot of males and females in non-business settings hug each other as a greeting, whether they’re close friends or just-more-than-acquaintances. But in Korea, I’ve noticed that it doesn’t really work that way… I’ve never really seen girls and guys just run in to each other and say like, “Oh, Hi! How are you doing?” and then hug each other casually.

    So I’m not sure if men in Korea don’t shake women’s hands because women in serious business is a newer idea in Korea, or if it’s just a cultural thing of being modest when greeting people of the other gender.

    4 years ago
  115. I think people need to be really careful about passing judgement on Korean culture and their views on women just based on this video. I’m really glad that Simon and Martina put their disclaimers at the beginning, emphasizing that these are just THEIR experiences, but even them, I think people can get a bit carried away because it’s tempting to see Korean culture as being just straight up misogynistic based on some of the things they said.

    Let me say now I am not trying to defend the mistreatment of women, obviously women deserve equal rights as men, I just think that people need to to be careful in the jumping to classify an ENTIRE culture as backwords or wrong, which I see a lot on the internet. Being from Canada or the US, were we view ourselves as progressive and intrinsicly “right” in the way that we do things, the idea that women aren’t treated exactly the same as men can lead some people to jump to conclusions. I’ve seen a lot of people call Koreans and Korea, backwords, psychotic, stupid and a whole bunch of other nasty things because Korea is more “conservative” than we are used to.
    I also think people need to realize that sexism is not a thing that is limited to theses more “conservative” countries, it is definitely alive and kicking in world wide today. Kind of like Simon and Martina’s friend, one of my professors at UofT was told NOT to dress to feminine for her job interview because she wouldn’t be taken seriously. My friends and I get cat-called at by strange guys in the street, which is a step up from grabbing but still sucks. My other friend basically got her chest fondled by a waiter as he was serving her in a restaurant, in front of everyone!
    What I’m trying to say is that I think people need to be careful when judging Korea, because yes it is different from what we may be used to, but people should still be careful and not jump to viewing it all as being “bad” or “wrong”.

    4 years ago
    • I agree with what you’re saying – we need to recognise and acknowledge the sexism in our own countries, and realise it’s not just something that occurs elsewhere.

      4 years ago
  116. I have a possible explanation for why that guy didn’t shake Martina’s hand. I come from an American/Indian (as in India) and Muslim culture, and in my community it’s a custom for men to not shake a woman’s hand as a sign of respect for her personal space. I know Koreans (or at least the ones in variety shows) are so sensitive about “skinship”, so maybe he just didn’t want to touch Martina and risk making her uncomfortable? It totally contradicts the story you told about men grabbing women’s arms and dragging them into clubs, but the particular hand-shaking thing I actually understand. This was a long awkward answer, but I hope it helped.

    4 years ago
  117. Wow, I came to Canada from Korea when I was 13 and I’ve worked at a few Korean companies here in Vancouver. I just realized that I’ve shook hands with every Korean guy I’ve worked with, worked for or supervised, but never the women. I consider myself somewhat a feminist and I respect women maybe more than men in work places but I think it has more to do with what we’d consider appropriate (yeah, super conservative – don’t touch women if you’re a man kind of deal), and not to show disrespect. That anecdote about the manager telling all the women to dress prettier is totally messed up though, and he should be fired for it but the company is going to just go, “oh, all the men are dressed in dress shirts/suits, he was just trying to say that women need to comply with the dress code standards for this company”. I don’t know the whole story and I don’t know how he worded it, but I’ve heard a Korean manager tell this to men at work place too if they start to get a bit slobby. The company dinners I’ve been to have always had youngest guys going around serving drinks… and maybe that can be a girl but have not seen that yet.

    4 years ago
  118. I live in the United States, and as a young female, I have to say sexism, even if not as blatant, is alive and well in every country. Most of the things I deal with are similar to Martina, sort of micro-aggressions. I was a wedding photographer for a long time, and I would always have a second-shooter who was often male. It astounded me how often people would gravitate towards him as the person in charge simply because he was male. Similarly, working in the film industry which is almost ENTIRELY composed of men, the comments that I hear sometimes astound me. I often feel like I have to prove myself ten-fold to be let into some sort of inner circle, while a guy with the same skills (or even less sometimes) can waltz right in and feel at home. All of these things, can be tolerated, and ignored, but they build up after a while. I just think the lack of respect within all of these interactions is the common link, meaning, women are still undervalued and under respected in a world that values masculinity above all things..

    4 years ago
    • I am glad you pointed out the wedding photography thing. I am in the middle of planning my wedding, and my fiancee and I sort of divided the jobs around. One of his was a DJ, and when we met with him the DJ kept looking at me. I was REALLY annoyed by that. I actually get really irked by it, and feel a little dirty hiring him. Even when I told him that Jon was head of it, he still kept looking at me and asking me questions.

      4 years ago
    • Oh yeah at my work place customers always want to talk to the male manager and not me if I try to resolve an issue for them especially other men and older women. I even got a comment once “women shouldn’t be in management they have to many feelings” I told him to kiss my all feeling ass which my store manager said I would get scolded for later but he just gave me a high five when the customer left haha. People say we have progressed but honestly it is still very much there. I really hate how guys think stuff like the make me a sandwich joke is hilarious its really regressing. I should reply ok go out and hunt me down a wild boar and a few rabbits so I can make you a god damned stew.

      4 years ago
  119. Regardless of how the Korean companies you work with see gender roles themselves, as they are dealing with foreigners, you’d think they’d make a conscious effort to talk to Martina as well..

    4 years ago
  120. Hi Simon and Martina, what do Koreans think of foreign musicians promoting in Korea?
    Do Koreans really look down on non-Asians in the K-POP music scene, and is it true that Korean entertainment companies won’t take a non-Asian? Thanks!

    4 years ago
  121. I say this as someone who’s a more traditional woman in terms of her lifestyle and relationships, but there’s such a HUGE line between gender roles, and abuse of someone because of their gender. In no way is it acceptable for a man to ever grab or harass a woman, or have a woman act subservient towards them without question. Even the way I live my life requires respect on both ends of the equation. Don’t expect respect or acceptance from me if you don’t show the same! Lots of love from Canada, really appreciated this topic!

    4 years ago
  122. I might get a ton of criticism for this- which is good, I want to spark conversation and deeper understanding on the subject.

    Women who are “considered” to be in a lower social position- by appearance to outsiders, is misunderstood as negative, and is actually empowering in many ways.

    In other words, although to a Western sense of sexism is a negative part of culture, just as in any social caste system where the bottoms seem to be the most repressed, there are actually kinds of freedoms in being in a lower caste.

    I am not saying the objectifying, physical/ emotional/ psychological abuse, the mistreatment, the abuse of humanist and social rights are ok- they most certainly not.

    However, there is a sort of power, and always has been a sort of power, in being in charge of the household- women have a significant place where the man does not have a place. In traditional Confucianism this meant women had control over performing family rites, the part of culture that is passed down that influences all generations.Lady Chang of Choson Korea (1590-1680) is a historical hero for her role in Confucianism, proving herself a capable woman by how Confucianism defined her- pious to her family (she managed to visit her parents once a year, back then if you were a married woman you would never see your family again basically), looked after her servants and household, and performed all her adopted family’s rites. What Confucianism defined for people was a (supposedly) peaceful social structure- Confucius came up with his philosophy/ theory during China’s Spring and Autumn Period- a time where sons/ nephews/ other houses tried to take power through militaristic slaughter. Confucianism, which values respecting your elders, your family, and you neighbours and expects you to not only to respect those above you, but to be looked after as well. Men weren’t (suppose) to be like “make me a sandwich!” but was suppose to provide a home and family for the woman. Women had their social role of upholding familial culture and the household as the men worked- their social roles were not any more significant, nor any more insignificant than their male counterparts- and although often neglected, women did in fact shape just as much history as men.

    Now fast-forward to the 21st century, what Confucius roles are defined for women in contemporary Korean culture? Thing is, I believe Korea is still trying to figure it out. Yes, the fact that women are often treated as beings who need to be looked after more than often turns into their submission because of their gender is way too common- and even currently, being a part of Kendo and the Japanese-Korean community, I see Confucianism of elders enforcing their will on the youngers kinda common and it messes with my perception that the elders should be looking after the youngers, not shaping the youngers will for revenge on the next generation (lol- a bit of an extreme, though I do sometimes feel this way).

    Atm, I have a Korean boyfriend and we’re still negotiating this out. He is older and raised in a patriarchy, but I was raised in a matriarchy, surrounded by strong female figures that I aspire to, including my mother. The key is communication- how does that make you feel when I do or say this? I am sure there are many Korean men willing to listen and come to an understanding on what it is like for Korean women (and in turn, globally including Canada as this is an always on-going issue) in their new social roles outside of the home. It’s exciting, and although I do not wish any sort of horrible experience on anyone, including women, this struggle means there is progression and an attempt at understanding. Isn’t that rather awesome, that people are getting their voices heard?

    4 years ago
  123. really?! wow. I think if more Korean women started kneeing the bouncers maybe this would stop or happen less.

    4 years ago
  124. regarding Korea having a female president – I think she should be judged on her policies not on the fact she is a woman. Women politicians are not necessarily more progressive and less sexist than male politicians, take Margaret Thatcher for example. The recently elected Korean President is Park Geun-hye and she is the daughter of the former Korean president and dictator Park Chung-hee who seized power in a military coup, was well known for human rights abuses and declared himself president for life. Park Geun-hye is from the extremely conservative, Grand National Party/Saenuri Party and was in fact considered the most conservative politician running in the election. She is a fiscal conservative and has refused to take stand in support of women’s rights. According to the Korean Women’s Association United, Park Geun-hye has never proposed a single bill which deals with addressing women’s rights or inequality in Korea despite the fact she campaigned around becoming the first female Korean president. Her campaign was also endorsed by anti-feminist men’s groups who are opposed to feminism and gender equality.

    4 years ago
    • Another sad thing is that she wouldn’t have gotten a lot of the votes if her father wasn’t Park Chung-hee. So the first woman president of Korea became president mainly because of a man :(

      4 years ago
  125. I would freak out all over the person if some random man grabbed my wrist and started pulling me somewhere. That sounds pretty scary, actually. (And good for Suzy! I’m so proud of her for finding a way to get them to back off without being violent!)

    But the funny thing is that my Mom gets ticked off because people will brush her off too because she’s a woman. We live in America, it’s not the 1950’s anymore, but when someone calls on the phone, they typically only want to talk to my Dad. The hilarious thing, though, is that they ESPECIALLY want to talk to him if it’s about finances or construction work, but that is my MOM’S area of expertise. She said that there was a time when someone flat out REFUSED to talk to her on the phone, so the conversation was the guy on the phone telling my Dad something, then Dad telling Mom, who’d tell him what to tell the guy on the phone…

    Granted, I think that was a while ago and they’re getting better about talking to Mom, especially since she’s become more assertive, but I still find it strange how there seems to be ideas all over the world (perhaps more subtle in some places) that there are certain things that women cannot understand. I see change, and I’m sure that the younger generation in Korea will probably implement more changes there too.

    Anyway, I’m glad that you did this video because I have been wondering about that. It stinks that you have to do those disclaimers, because, honestly, if people watched your whole video, how could they be upset with you? All you did was relate personal experiences. If they want to be angry, they should be angry at the people who were disrespectful to Martina, not at you two for sharing it with us. And maybe if more people know about these things that happen, they’ll work harder to make it better! :) Maybe young Korean girls will find motivation in this video to learn another language well so that they can avoid those wrist-grabbers!

    Take care!

    4 years ago
    • That unfortunatelynot that uncommon in Australia either.

      When Iwas studying Feminism in English class and the female English teacher gave a similarexample of a work man turning up to her house to do some work walked pass her and started to talk to her boyfriend who just happened to be there at the time(he didn’t live there). She was expecting her BF to tell the worker to talk to her, but he didn’t.

      I couldn’t help myself but argue with the teacher that, for her to wait for a guy to defend her and stand up for her and point out the workman’s behavior was insulting (and even the BF’s), she was supporting the stereo type that females need men to defend them.

      Mind you if it was me in that situation I would have told the workman to leave and I would hire someone else for the job.

      4 years ago
  126. Take your two thumbs, start in the inside part of their eyes, dig in and claw their eyes out. (of course, that requires you have your hands free, but any form of damaging their eyes usually gets them to let go.)

    There are also pressure points you can use to cause a lot of pain, but I can never remember those. The pinky is a pretty good place to go as well. If you can get a hold of that you can usually easily yank back on it and dislocate or break it.

    Oh, and rather than slapping their face, using your fingernails to claw and draw blood is always better. No guy wants to have bloody claw marks on his face. Kind of makes him look like, well a pervert who grabbed a girl that was willing to defend herself. :)

    4 years ago
  127. I immediately thought Star King.

    4 years ago
    • Woah I don’t even know what that is lol, so I googled Star King eatyourkimchi, got this http://www.eatyourkimchi.com/our-episode-of-star-king/
      and then at 2:30 saw Hyeri from Girl’s Day yay! (Sorry random lol)

      Well considering I have no idea what in the world is going on besides what S&M said below the vid I guess I might have to watch this Eng subbed.

      You ever see the episode w/ S&M on Running Man? I don’t think most ppl realize they were on it once.

      4 years ago
      • Oh yes, I’ve seen them on Running Man. (Fellow Lizzy fan!) They had to taste test what the participants made. But despite the predominantly male cast, they don’t strike me as the type who would bypass Martina to shake only Simon’s hand. The cast seems a lot more … “worldly” … for the lack of a better term.

        4 years ago
        • lol Poor Lizzy, you see her Tick Talk interview where she said she wants back on RM but they won’t invite her?
          She’s who got me to 1st watch RM and I loved it.
          You also see the S&M vid where they see Lizzy and she approaches them and says she remembers them from RM? lol

          I really wish they’d interview OC… :/

          4 years ago
  128. A good friend of mine was in Korea last semester and she told me about an experience she had. She was going shopping with an American male friend of hers and they walked past a Korean couple. The Korean boy took the girl by the back of the neck and forced her to look away from the American guy in a really possessive sort of way. I don’t know how frequent of an occurrence this type of thing is but I’ll be in Korea in the fall so I can see for myself then.

    4 years ago
  129. Three hands up for Protect the Boss! That’s the closest I’ve seen to a strong female lead that is actually strong, and often pushes around the male lead instead of vice versa. It was immensely satisfying to watch after all those Korean dramas.

    4 years ago
  130. This is a topic I always wanted to ask about so I’m really happy right now!! Also, I always wanted to know if S&M (feels weird to write it) do define* themselves as feminist.
    *P.S: Note sure what word to write here since English is not my primary language.

    4 years ago
  131. Sexism IS still prevalent everywhere. It comes in part from gender constructs. Traditionally, women are supposed to be submissive and men are the rule makers. In American schools boys are challenged in the classroom more and are geared toward hard math and sciences while girls are gears toward humanities. Women are taught that they have to choose between motherhood and a career. And in the work field it is proven that prettier women are hired more often and are given higher leadership positions than their older, heftier counterparts. Everywhere in the world always needs to progress.

    4 years ago
    • In response to the latter portion of your comment, I have to agree with you completely. (that’s not to say I don’t agree with the rest of your statement, but I think it goes without saying that certain countries who push out of boxes ie: North America often are less so. i have to say more sexually objectified rather than blatantly insulting or ignoring one’s intelligence only due to their gender. not saying one is better than the other, but you know, if i only have to see it in music videos, i guess i’ll take it.) Anyway, I’m 100% with you on the looks department for careers/jobs. I think I have seen 3 documentaries geared toward the same ideas that woman who are more attractive will gain a position over a less “typically attractive stereotype of that region”. Even if the less attractive is more qualified! Man, things are crazy.

      Also, Martina, I love how you’re a tough cookie :) I get irritated by that too. I remember watching Bread Love and Dreams “Baker King Tak Gu” and Joo Won’s character goes into the female’s work and forces himself on her and holds her hands behind her head to kiss her and she’s clearly refusing yet he doesn’t care. Another instance was in the movie Rough Cut (I still really like the movie, but…) So Ji Sub’s character was supposed to pretend to sexually assault the lead female, when he actually really did (in the movie, not real life!) but it was portrayed he raped her for real, and she still ended up being in love with him at the end! W. T. F.

      4 years ago
    • Yup, but that also gives out this spark – if we look at the Norwegian trend, we clearly can see that its more woman overall that takes higher education then men. So I don’t think it will be too much noticable just yet, but I’m quite sure at some point (at least in Norway) we will have a much bigger shift of power balance. Though I usual try to keep away from the hardcore discussion about sexism, since a lot of is very objective and touchy theme. I rather look at it with no feelings and just numbers to dictate what should be done or not. :)

      4 years ago
  132. And this is why I love Kim Sun Ah. Kim Sam Soon was really the beginning of a love story with her for me. She does tend to play those ‘slightly foul mouthed’ roles. And usually gets type cast as the girl who they are forcing to act more ‘ girly’ so she can get married: 1. Because her characters are opinionated and 2. Because they are over 30.

    4 years ago
  133. OMO! I knew about some of the sexism stuff in Asia, but the grabbing by the wrist stuff, gosh! I’m really thankfull that I know that now cuz I want to go to Korea and if it would happen right in front of me, I would probably jump on the guy to protect the korean girls who are being drag inside the club.

    And I really happy to see that I’m not the only one who’s not ok with some of the weird dominant scene in dramas. I LOVED Coffee Prince, but the scene when [spoiler] Han Kyul force-kiss Go Eun Chan [/spoiler] always makes me really really mad. For the grabbing the wrist kind of scene, it really depends. Sometimes I hate it if the girl is really angry/sad/don’t want to go (but, a lot of the time, it’s done so that you feel the girl say she doesn’t want to go but really want to in her twisted mind) and really weak, I don’t mind if it’s not as bad and it’s a scene where the guy grabs her wrist but she pulls him back and it goes back and forth (less dominant, less brutal too). But sometimes, it can be endearing : in Gentleman’s Dignity, everytime Choi Yoon grabs the arm of Me Ha Ri, I’m like “awwwwwwwwwww”. But he rarely does it in a “dominant” way, it’s more like a “caring/protecting” way of doing it.

    4 years ago
  134. “Oh, I wasn’t smoking I just happen to smell like a jar of pickled butt-holes.”-Lol nice one simon.

    4 years ago
  135. Hmmm, sexism… Yeah, lets not mention how India is doing in that issue…
    But nice TL;DR, guise!

    4 years ago
  136. A few months ago I read an article about the restoration of a hanok, the person who was in charge was also the owner, a woman with years of experience. She says, among other things, that she struggled with the workers because they didn’t liked to take orders from a woman. They made the exterior walls straight, not a good thing because they were supposed to be in a certain angle so she told them to do it again, they didn’t like that.
    It’s true that in many parts of the world, sadly, the most; men are raised to think women as inferior minds with the only purpose of being pretty and then become good mothers. What I find “interesting” is that in Korea seems like the whole society think this is a good thing and encourages.

    4 years ago
  137. Hi guise! I have a question about racism. I know it’s a sensitive issue and netizens will be all up in your grill(I know, thug life). But i was wondering how darker skinned people are treated in there. Like for me i am south asian, so i am not necessarily pale or white. I am more tan. So i was wondering how would they treat people who are darker skinned. I would love it if you answered it!

    4 years ago
    • no i mean like they use a lot of dark skinned jokes like when simon and martina said on a tl;dr. I don’t remember which one. Simon said “Somebody saw a dark skinned guy and went ooh look teacher obama.” I was also wondering because you know how korean beauty standards are. I was watching we got married and this girl was a bit tanned. Her husband was like “I can go out with her at night because i will loose her in the dark” things like that. Like if you were going to live there for full time; if people would accept you as part of their country or just a foreigner.

      4 years ago
  138. This was a great TLDR;, very informative, funny, and interesting – thanks Simon and Martina.

    Martina, I don’t know if Korean men care as much as their “face/reputation” as other asian cultures but when I was in Shanghai, I found that sometimes, making a point of offering your hand first (to shake) or what, usually helped to break the ice. Also, specifically introducing yourselves at the beginning of meetings as co-creators/partners will help to make it clear that Martina is an equal partner and make things less awkward. Sometimes, it may be less that the men you are meeting with are sexist than that they are afraid of being seen accidentally shaking hands or discussing with the secretary, especially if they don’t know your work well.

    As for the disclaimers, they don’t ruin the TLDR, but they are kind of distracting. I guess I haven’t been around here long enough to see any haters, but maybe you are giving them too much attention by acknowledging them through the excessive disclaimers. I know it’s hard but it’s a little like feeding the trolls. Don’t let them affect your good work/mood, one disclaimer should be enough.

    Cyber_3 – is no expert, but has lot of experience in dealing with sexist men in the workplace……oy vey

    4 years ago
    • The haters are mostly on youtube and tumblr. Places where we Nasty Mods can’t really control. Also, they kinda have to do the disclaimers for the Korean people who may stumble upon the videos. Simon has gotten into trouble before with Korean netizens and people who did not understand their humour. It was part of the reason he left teaching in Korea ( He talked about it in a previous video) So yes, they still have to be careful.

      4 years ago
      • Oh Natz, I certainly agree, they need to be careful, I wasn’t saying that. More, I was saying that I think that one disclaimer (whether vocalized or run at the bottom of the screen or something) should be enough. Sometimes, it seems as if every paragraph has one. Harping on it has a chilling effect on the fun and only makes it seem as if they are doing something wrong, which they are not. I did see the part about Simon and I can understand his frustration, but honestly, there is just no pleasing some people, no matter what you do. What I would hate, is to have Simon and Martina saying “this is why we can’t do fun things in our videos” because of a few (vocal) haters. There will be people who hate you for no reason, no matter what, there is nothing you can do about it, ever and as a fellow Canadian, I know how this can burn, especially when you have never even met the people. And you just can’t help wanting to make them understand you and like you because you are really nice but sometimes, it’s just not possible. And on the internet, there are people who deliberately seek out people to harrass and take great delight in it, regardless of their personal opinions. What can you do? All you can do is put in a disclaimer and move on and have fun without them. If it is Koreans who aren’t getting the jokes, I can see that this might make waves for S&M but are they really going to quit being themselves when this is what they’ve essentially built Eat Your Kimchi on? I find that sad. If one disclaimer isn’t enough, I can’t see how two, or three, or even a hundred will improve the situation, I was just suggesting that in trying to be accomodating to the haters so much, they’re starting to put a bit of a wet blanket on everything for the lovers/Nasties. I wish they would be more confident that, they’re good enough, they’re smart enough, and doggone it, people like them! ;)

        4 years ago
        • I agree with you. It is sad. But I also know that it sucks when people msiconstrue things you say or do and get mad at you, especially on the Internet. Alas.

          4 years ago
  139. Do you know most Koreans hated her father as a president?

    4 years ago
  140. Future TLDR Question! : To foreigners, Seoul is probably the most known city in South Korea and probably the most visited by tourists (Like Tokyo in Japan, and other capitals /big cities around the world)

    My question for you two is besides Seoul, can you tell us your opinions about some of the best places to visit in South Korea and why you enjoyed them so much? Also are their certain areas that are known for certain things that you think we shouldn’t miss out on if we visit? … <3 You guys….stay NASSSTY :)

    4 years ago
    • Yes yes yes!!! All of the US is not New York and LA, like many foreigners seem to think, and all of Korea is not Seoul, so I would love to know more about the REST of the country.

      4 years ago
    • Well, the studio is a must. Haha! But I so need your guises opinion on this!

      4 years ago
  141. I’ll flat out say it: You are not a Nastie if you anger bomb S&M! discussions are fine! Even heated discussions, but flat out &!tchin is not acceptable and Meemers will cut you! He’s a doctor you know,….he can do it…

    4 years ago
  142. watch Level 7 Civil Servant (no am not advertising this show) but there are a couple of scenes where she kicks her boss/and even then potential bf back in the right path ;) very enjoyable… yes Martina there are a few of those scenes at alast in Kdramas.. unlike the usual subdued quentescential housewife/divorcee in so many others

    4 years ago
  143. I’m not sure of the intent of the person who didn’t shake Martina’s hand but I think we also have to remember that Korea is not a country that normally shake hands but instead they bow. So they probably were trying to be nice and shake Simon’s hand. The reason they didn’t shake Martina’s hand could be because she is a female and they are male and she is with her husband Simon. They don’t want to be put in a position where Simon might react as “why you touching my girl!” haha you know what I mean? Not that it will happen but since Korea is a culture where women and men are still treated differently in some ways, it might have been out of respect instead. But who knows there still is a possibility that they were just being sexists. The only reason why I think this could be possible is because when I visited my friends in Korea, I gave them a hug like I always do here in America and they were just weirded out by it and my friend actually got a bit mad that I hugged her boyfriend although we are all friends for over 10 years! It is just part of our cultural differences.
    With the club scene, this happens a lot because I think girls in Korea don’t mind that. This makes them seem like they are “wanted” and they get to go in without paying cover! Guys though, will have to pay cover to go into clubs. Not that this applies to every club in Korea but that is the case of many (this also is the same here in North America). I have done the same thing Soo Zee did when I lived in Korea for a year. I just started speaking in English and they backed off.
    Sexism still exists in Korea but it goes both ways not just against females. And they are actually getting better in respecting females in the workforce. South Korea is a country that developed very quickly and just needs time. As I have mentioned in another post, South Korea did just elect their first female president! That would have been unheard of just a few years ago. They are trying.
    Thanks for sharing this Martina and Simon!!! (Not just Simon and Martina because why does Simon have to come first? Alphabetically, “M” comes before “S”. :-p)

    4 years ago
  144. Thank you very (!!!) much for addressing this issue and sharing your experiences because it’s one that is absolutely necessary since it’s unfortunately an apparent existential matter as much as racism. As an (not esp.) Asian woman, I very well understand our culture has a lot to do with the roles of men and women though as do other cultures and religions. We are taught to have a strong characteristic yet to be also reserved and proper; nothing is wrong with this unless it involves with violent, prejudice and chauvinism. Which is why I am glad to be born in a Asian country that has a more liberal lifestyle even though sexism is mostly caused by an individual, and what doesn’t kill you definitely makes us stronger in this case.. in fact, it did made me more violent towards men when I was younger to defend myself. I moved to US at about 8 and faced more racism than sexism, but people will be more likely to attack you for anything that is stated to be inferior in ‘society standards’ even if we do not agree. My friend and I were so angered when we saw a woman treated like a guy’s pet at the mall (he whistled to command her..). And of course, sexism goes both ways, and that is equally and completely not acceptable by any means. As we can see that Asian men are seen as weak in Western culture, and Western women are ridiculously sexualised. Anyhow, I also wanted to say that I am way disappointed at the treatment of Martina (and other women) in Korea in those situations. Not exactly shocked, but it is awfully disrespectful and just crass to be so disdaining in a social and business engagement. Some things are good to keep traditionally though not stubbornly nor when it brings substandard to your culture.

    4 years ago
    • Ah, almost forgot– it also sucks a lot that sexism puts so much pressure on how we treat our own sex/gender as well. You know the whole shabang like ‘oh who would someone believe? someone who is more attractive (all aspects) or blah blah’ In sexism, it would be believing the men who seem to have it together/respected (in any means) or the women who is attractive and plays the victim. :(
      One of the first & good movie that displays/tells this kind of topic is ‘Fight Lady’

      4 years ago
  145. I’m really glad that there is some form of discussion regarding an issue like this. And I’m really thankful for your disclaimers because it shows an awareness of your positions in the grand scheme of things because with something as sensitive as this there’s always a danger of making a big boo boo like inadvertently passing judgment on a culture that is not yours. Even then, when my friend and I have discussions about not just sexism, but the larger social structure in Korea, it still makes me feel somewhat uncomfortable for expressing my opinions as someone who does not live in that culture and have the kinds of immediate lived experiences of those circumstances. And you’re both absolutely right, it’s a very difficult thing to talk about not just because of the responses that you might get but all these attending issues as well.

    It isn’t the K-dramas that I’m struggling with but rather the variety shows. Lately, I’ve been escaping into Korean variety shows but I’m finding it increasingly difficult to watch it mindlessly with the kind of sensibilities that they promote; the heteronormative gender roles, the non-existence of the queer community and alternative sexualities, the hierarchical structure with regards to age etc. I’m also particularly interested in the ways that they film these shows too. For example, with something like We Got Married, how much of what we see is scripted and how much is ‘reality’. On that point, I find shows like We Got Married a very strange concept in a place as conservative as Korea. The premise of the show itself is kinda creepy and voyeuristic to me although I love the sh*t out of it. Just the way that Koreans handle romance and sex is very chaste to the point that I find it very hard to believe that any kind of physical intimacy or sexual references can exist in their media. But perhaps that is too extreme an extrapolation.

    One thing that really struck me in the video was that these bouncers who pull girls into clubs are aware that it isn’t ok to do something like to foreigners but they still do it anyway with Korean girls. I guess it contributes to the passivity and dehumanisation of women in Korea. Let’s also not forget that women themselves are complicit in and contribute to maintaining the status quo, perhaps not of their own agency.

    I’m just wondering at what point does it become alright to say that things aren’t right. I mean, it is another culture we’re talking about and I’m only an outsider looking in. I guess the problem is where to draw the line between ethics, morality, social justice and culture.

    4 years ago
  146. i was actually scratching my butt while watching this video LOL

    4 years ago
  147. here’s a site where there’s more anecdotes about sexism in Korea http://theunlikelyexpat.blogspot.ie/2012/01/sexism-and-patriarchy-in-korea.html

    4 years ago
  148. The fact that those guys aren’t shaking your hand or addressing you directly might be partly due to the fact that you are married and they are trying not to look like they are hitting on you or that they aren’t supposed to touch you because you are married.

    4 years ago
  149. Look for aikido or ju-jutsu videos, 90% of all beginner defense moves start with someone grabbing your wrist…….and now I know why! LOL! This is the stuff you see most often used in American TV sitcoms, but it works and it’s pretty easy too. You actually a bit of an advantage if you’re smaller than your attacker.

    4 years ago
  150. Hmm, well, as far as I can tell:
    1. That manager dude should be sent to North America and then say all that. We’ll see how long he lasts then.
    2. People will forever take offense to the most stupidest things and yell, and they are the ones that are doing those things in the first place.
    3. SK is wayyyy ahead of US in terms of female elected leaders, as are many other industrialized nations in the world.
    4. The new president’s politics are a little aggressive, which may be why she won in the first place, but I don’t know enough about SK politics, unlike American politics.
    5. The world is still a very patriarchal place, and it honestly sucks because of all of the stereotypes women have to face; being a female engineering student, I’ve already faced quite a few not-so-nice remarks in my first year. (Makes my sadistic side itch for some action… sadly, it’s not very humane. /sigh/)

    6. I don’t think people in SK perceive that to be sexism, even the women. They seem to see sexism in a different light than the European and North American countries. Now, I may be completely wrong about this, but this is just a small observation I’ve made based on the things I’ve read and seen and heard about the past couple of years. I think Korean society there has this enormous fear of feminism because of the straw feminism stereotypes that are persistent throughout it. Even drama characters, the badass girls in the beginning turns out to be a docile little kitty by the end because of love. The message that seems to be sent to all of the children is “Girls, even if you are aggressive now, you need to become more feminine in the future. Boys, don’t even bother trying to love an aggressive woman; it’s not worth your time.” Maybe I’m being a little too cynical or too harsh, but that’s the observation.

    4 years ago
  151. Great video guys! I just wanted to take the time to say that I think when it comes to more serious matters and touchy subjects, you guys handle it very well. I’m sorry you guys have to deal with nasty people (oh the irony lol). Even though you guys aren’t experts on the subjects, you both do try by showing from your perspectives, as you guys said. It’s all very informative and thank you for being so great! :D OOH SO NASTY :)

    4 years ago
  152. That’s definitely possible, but I am 5’8″ and I didn’t really have this problem when I worked in Shanghai, China (and trust me – I was the tallest by far in most of those rooms). But I have found in the town where I currently live in Canada, that a lot of Mennonite men won’t talk with me, or look at me directly while talking to me, because they are too distracted by my looks because I am different from the women they are used to (not that I’m any great beauty or anything). I think that, more than her height, it’s that Martina is exotic (blond – blue-eyed) and very pretty and that the men may be worried about being mesmerized since they probably only ever dreamed of meeting such a woman and then will end up looking stupid. Sounds crazy, but I’ve seen it happen quite a few times with Asian men of my acquaintance.

    I don’t think that this is what is happening MOST of the time with respect to Martina, but it probably happens just as often as the height intimidation. If anything, I would think that Simon’s height would be more intimidating. You really forget about the height difference until you see Simon and Martina together out on the street for a WANK without the stepstool – LOL!

    4 years ago
    • Sorry, no. I live in Milverton, Ontario – a horse tie-up at every business in town. It’s even got 5 different levels of Mennonite, including hard core oldskool open horse buggy only type. It’s all in the wiki page. I looked up Niverville’s wiki page, seems like a nice town.

      Cyber_3 – likely we would have a lot of stories to swap ;) it’s SWAT team time….er…I mean harvest time!

      4 years ago
  153. omg I’m Mexican too and the same thing happened in my family! Ever since I was a kid, my mom made it a point to feed the kids first, and then she would make the men feed themselves. She would always make parties buffet style so everyone has to make their own plate. :D

    4 years ago
  154. Canada had Kim Campbell as Prime Minister, after which she was completely abandoned by her party and out of office in about 4 months. The entire ordeal wreaks of sexism.

    4 years ago
  155. I think it’s a little unfair to dismiss the struggles these women have faced by only tying their success to a man… I believe that these women are all self-made, even for privileged women, it’s not easy to achieve such positions in such patriarchal and sexist societies.

    4 years ago
    • I get your point, and I don’t think they didn’t struggle. But without a big name among their close relatives, they wouldn’t be where they are.

      4 years ago
  156. Very interesting, well thought-out TL;DR! Really interesting to hear how you guys have been treated as foreigners versus some of your friends and staff, etc.

    Been a really interesting couple of TL;DRs! I was very interested and happy about last week’s as well. It was something I definitely had been wondering about.

    It’s rough that even as a co-owner of EYK Martina is still treated very differently. It’s rough, too, that even in Canada I have friends who are in the video game industry and the girls are treated as having opinions that are less valuable than the men’s. (I have 2 male friends and 2 female friends, and even the guys notice it. The CEO even asked one of the girls to do his son’s homework/contest entry because “he really wanted to win”. WTH??) So, very sadly, in Canada we’re still not up to snuff as much as we should be, but I think that also has a lot to do with the industry they’re in.

    Augh, that wrist-dragging in Korean dramas always drives me nuts… It looks really painful! I can’t believe that bouncers even DRAG women into the clubs… I would be so terrified! Not only that, but how easily could one be abducted if it just LOOKED like they were dragging her into a club and actually was taking her somewhere else? To people witnessing it, it wouldn’t appear “bad”, would it? The idea of that is very frightening. Also kind of curious – when they drag women into the club, are the women still expected to pay? I mean, they’re practically doing the club a favor, it seems; it would be ridiculous if they still had to pay to get into a place where they’d been brought whether they liked it or not.

    4 years ago
  157. The bit about how the host would not shake Martina’s hand reminded me about how my Grandpa would never talk to me directly. If he ever had a question about me (he didn’t have many, he usually just asked about my brother), he would just ask my dad. I would be right there, he could have easily asked me! So we never actually spoke to each other.

    4 years ago
  158. You should watch Gentleman Dignity :) It’s really good, and it’s the opposite of Secret Garden (I never finished it)

    4 years ago
    • I’m the opposite and couldn’t disagree more. All the men in that show had the power in the relationship while the women were running around being silly, and being shown to not act with a brain.

      4 years ago
  159. Get ready for a long post

    I am a Korean raised in the States and if there is one thing that sticks out to me about sexism in Korea is marriage.

    Simon and Martina I think you know what I am talking about. Coming from the Korean community I am surrounded by they expect me and several other of my close Korean female friends to marry off in the evening of their twenties. I apparently must start to look for a beau when I am around 26 and if I do not find one until, the latest, when I am 31 then I am considered an old maid. Yes you heard me there is a time limit for Korean women. Where Korean women are encouraged to go to college pursue your dreams and earn your way in life until you turn 26. When you age into the twilight years of your twenties you must struggle to find someone to earn a living with or for you.

    This way of thought is changing where we see some celebrities like Lee Hyori and Uhm Jung Hwa are well past that age limit and are not married off yet and it is okay for them. 2ne1’s Dara and Bom are also past the age limit and many fans love them and want them to continue their careers. But there is a pressure for them to get married. Other female celebrities like Son Dam Bi, Ka Hee, Gummy, BoA, Kim Tae Hee, Bada, Song Hye Kyo, and the members of Brown Eyed Girls and many more are pressured to get married and settle down like Kim Hee Sun and recently Jun Ji Hyun. There is even more stigma towards divorced women like Ko Hyun Jung, Yang Pa, and Choi Ji Woo. Now Korea is changing in the way they think towards marriage and divorce as three women mentioned before are living very successful lives and are taking things in stride. But one of the attacks toward President Park Geun Hye during the race was that she was a single woman with no children. ‘How can she lead a country when she has never fostered and nurtured a family?’ Hopefully these women will change mainstream Korea to think differently about gender norms in terms of marriage and divorce where women do not need to marry to lean on a man but marry to have a man or woman compliment and support them in their careers.

    4 years ago
    • Yes ^^

      4 years ago
    • that “marriage age” doesn’t just apply for koreans, I think it’s the eastern mentality in general … high school>college>job>marriage all before you hit 30 … everyone has to go by that handbook , getting married earlier is even better … marriage= future .. forget your goals and dreams, they’re just accessories/luxuries ..

      *sigh* I have to admit, am an advocate for being independent and getting married only when you find that right special someone you actually want to settle with… However, living in a society where the norm is to get married as early as possible, that stupid mentality starts to get to you, you start questioning maybe you got it all wrong… but when am online and I find people who do agree with my out-of-the-norms thoughts, it gets me back to my senses…

      4 years ago
      • I agree with the above views. Marriage is important and it’s wonderful if you do it right. But getting married at a certain age or in a certain way because you feel pressured by culture, family, or religion, or because you don’t know what else to do with your life, or because you just want someone else to take care of you is a bad idea.

        4 years ago
    • I was born and raised in the US but my mother is from Cambodia. It has been ingrained in me that men do one thing one way and women do another. It’s just a really big part of the culture and I was expected to be a “proper” lady and acting a certain way. That included how i dress, how i sit, how i eat, how speak, and walk. I’m 26 now and my mother swears if i dont feed my fiance, he’ll leave me and I’ll never find anyone again. How tragic -_- I’m 26 year old but if we were to split, I’d be the old maid in my family. Its seems like her generation honestly believes women need men in their lives for it to be complete and whole.

      Now i don’t believe you need a man but there have been occasion when I’m in conversion with older female friends and those same ideas have slipped out of me. The first time my friend (who is in her late thirties) told me she doesnt want kids, I was so taken aback and shocked. Don’t you want to get married? Why wouldn’t you want children? Don’t you want to live in a house with yur and and kids?I actually said all that and then when i stopped to think about it, I was so confused as to why I would say those thing when know there is nothing wrong with what she wants and in fact, its actually what i preferr myself. I’ve caught myself saying “because you’re a girl” or “because they’re older” to younger cousin even though I know thats not right but it just slips out. It was an automatic rsponse.
      These ideas and beliefs are so strong in the culture and they are being passed down generation after generation even if you don’t realize it.

      4 years ago
    • Oh god, I have to deal with this all the time. I’m currently 20 and am Pre-Med which means that (hoping that all goes well) I’ll have 2 more years of undergrad, 4 years of med school and another 4-6 years for residency/specialization which will mean that I’ll be all done by the time I’m 30-32. My dad, for the past 2 years, has been trying to get me to pick a different occupation. He’s been trying to get me to give up on my medicine and go for pharmacy because “you’ll be around 26 when you graduate and then you can get married. If you go for medicine, you’ll be too old and then how are you supposed to find a husband?” Every time we’re in the house together for an extended period of time, he’ll bring this up over and over again, “So you’re still staying with medicine? Look at your cousin though. She’s done with school and already working and she’s only 24. Her parents are already looking around for a husband.” I mean, you’d think my parents would be happy that I found something that I think I might enjoy and that I focused my attention on something livable (I was going to go into art before that) but no, they don’t care because doctors require too much schooling and that means that I’ll be too old for anyone to want to marry me.

      They’ve started to back off a bit, but I’ve heard them talking to each other about trying to find someone when I’m in med school…

      4 years ago
      • Wow kudos to you for going into medicine :). Keep it up Doc ;). At the end of the day, love and respect your parents for wanting the best for you. But realize that what “the best” is may look different to them than it does to you. You are the only one that can really make that decision. Speaking from a hard won sense of identity, be who you are. You’re the only one that can be yourself, the world needs more people being whole, especially passionate people with skills like yours. (dang, art & medicine, what can’t you do?)

        If they’re anything like my parents, if you keep going after your goal, after awhile they may be less combative and more supportive when they see how much you love what you do. That’s my personal experience and belief.

        If they want to help you “find someone” why not let them? Could you make a deal with them that romance is important but secondary to your goals? Something like the occassional dinner date is fine, but my studies come first? Although my family isn’t Asian, so culturally things might be somewhat different with family responsibilities to parents.

        4 years ago
      • do older people never marry? What happens if someone gets divorced or a spouse dies? Does that person never remarry? People elsewhere do. But considering that there is a huge push for marriage by a certain age, I understand that your choices would be fewer, but what is the ratio of men to women in Korea? Is there far more females than males? I hope you are not pressured into dropping out of school or changing majors just to get a mate. I cross my fingers for you.

        4 years ago
      • Wow that sounds intense. Keep strong!

        4 years ago
    • I’m not korean but I just had a huge row with my mother a few days ago because she was all “now that you’ve finished high school you have to start thinking of the future! After you finish college, it will be the right time for you to get married after finding a decent job! I need to start keeping an eye out for good looking men from now!” that was everything she said. word to word because it’s still ringing in my head. dammit i’m 17! i feel like they raised me to get married or something..

      4 years ago
      • What makes you happy and whole as a person should be your first priority as an individual. While your mother is from a different time, with different perspectives and goals, she is not you. Understanding between two people-especially a parent and child-is very difficult, but with your mother and you it’ll take a lot more work because there is some unwritten rule in most people’s minds that if they are your kid then obviously they will be like you. It’s not true. You are 17 and you have the world ahead of you, go and explore, discover yourself and find out what it is you want, even if it’s just pizza for next Tuesday. Just remember that loving who you are is what it’ll take for you to lead a happy life and maybe one day bring happiness to another.

        4 years ago
  160. Omg !! Martina !! That’s just so rude . Awwhh Hun , you just stay strong and firm . Your an awesome , beautiful ,strong , talented and wonderful woman . Never let how they treat you affect you . I hope Korea is changing for the better cause lots of foreigners are actually really interested to visit Korea . Including me !! ^0^ . Hope to see you guys someday . Stay positive guys ;)

    4 years ago
  161. So you guys are close to Suzy? woah that’s so daebak :D

    4 years ago
  162. Awesome video guys! Very interesting topic :)

    4 years ago
  163. THANK YOU!!! I’m sorry you had to do two more-serious, rile-inviting topics in a row (but way to work in butt-scratching to make it fun). Also thanks for the tips on reading up on Confucianism – I wouldn’t have known to do that. And I’ll look up other sites now on sexism in Korea, but I really wanted a first-hand perspective on it from people who I think (through copious video watching) share similar values as me. Thanks again!!! You are awwwwesome! AND Nasty. :P

    4 years ago
  164. I really dislike the fact you have to be so apologetic in these kind of videos that touch upon serious subject matter. I understand the reason of course, some people can be plain stupid, but it takes away from the force of your legitimate criticisms when you always have to be putting up disclaimers and watching every word you say.

    I am amazed by how positive you two always are, in the face of any situation. As an Asian woman (not Japanese despite my screen name) I am infuriated by all types of sexist and gender discriminatory behavior. The fact that I know many in South Korea are extremely sexist and would consider me an inferior (mostly the men) if they met me keeps me from fully enjoying the positive cultural aspects.

    However, with regards to the person who would not shake Martina’s hand- skinship between opposite genders is discouraged in some cultures. Perhaps the person thought from a purely ethnocentric perspective and did not want to touch a woman he was not close with, especially since her husband was standing right next to her?

    But the letters being addressed to the guy only reeks of patriarchy. Martina is a strong woman and co-owner of EYK! XD

    And Simon, you are wonderful man. More men should be like you.

    4 years ago
    • I agree, it does make their argument less fierce when they have to disclaim everything… But then, just think, if they had somehow said something that inadvertently targeted your country (or just anything that hit you personally–no matter how true or false), you can’t deny that for just a half a second you would be offended… And that’s where the people with no self-control flock to the comments to stand up for themselves or their country…
      Lastly, agree with everything else in your post, too… I didn’t think about how other cultures might view that skinship, and you’re right–more men should be like Simon!

      4 years ago
    • I agree about the disclaimers; people are gonna idiots, regardless of the fact that you tried to make them understand that your videos are just your opinion and experiences. It’s just annoying >_>

      4 years ago
  165. Dear Jesus. Don’t even get me started on that wrist grabbing crap. They’re like “I have two choices. Both are attractive, one is smart, funny, cute and TREATS ME WITH RESPECT. While the OTHER guy is smart, funny, cute and is physically and verbally abusive. I’ll pick the OTHER guy!” Really? REALLY? REAAAALLLLY!? She is obviously trying to get away from you. She is obviously uncomfortable. She obviously HATES THIS. Yet YOU keep putting your hands on her. FUUUUUUCK YOUUUUUU!

    I’m watching Pasta and I was hoping that he would be (outside work) the way he was with her when they first met, and NO SUCH LUCK. Granted, she gets even and seems to enjoy his torment. And when she doesn’t, she fucking TELLS HIM. She’s like “WHY DO YOU ACT LIKE THAT!? DON’T BE A DIIIIIIIIIICK!” And I’m like THANK YOU!

    4 years ago
    • Oh, I picked up on the kdrama relationship rule really fast. The heroine always ends up with the guy who she can be of most “help” to. The one who will be a better man because of her. The smart, funny, cute guy who treats her with respect doesn’t “need” her to make him a better man as much as the other one does. So while he’s very nice, he doesn’t allow her to fulfill her true womanly potential, which is to help a man fulfill his full potential.
      Yeah. Whatevs. I want a man who helps me fulfill MY full potential and I’ll try to help him with his. It’s a shared responsibility. I always think basic chemistry provides the best analogy for this. So many cultures think a relationship between a man and a woman should be an ionic bond. One atom happily gives to another. Yet most women want a covalent bond. Two atoms share their electrons to mutually benefit.

      4 years ago
    • I had given up on k-drama after watching the same plot line over and over. But I really liked Queen In Hyun’s Man, for once the girl chose the nice guy.

      Sexism seems prevalent in every county, albeit by varying degrees.

      4 years ago
    • Yeah same here, I was glad that Pasta has a character who pointed out how much of a jerk the guy is. Granted, I still don’t see how they are suppose to be a couple, or why she even liked him at all. Oh he helped her with a goldfish, cute, then he fired her. I would would of sued his sorry ass, not try and chase it.

      4 years ago
    • To be honest, in several dramas I’ve watched so far, the other guy(that she always ends up picking) won’t even be nice or funny or cute. He’ll just be a total jerk, and she’ll still pick him for God knows what reason. I did really like watching Secret Garden though; the idea of the vulnerable weak female and dominant alpha male is definitely a lot less apparent in that show.

      4 years ago
      • i see the same thing! the nice guy never wins in k-dramas! it’s like they’re teaching their men if you’re a jerk you’ll get the girl. i don’t think i’ve ever seen a k-drama where the nice guy has gotten the girl.

        4 years ago
  166. Something I’ve noticed is that in America companies have even recently been sexist, but have been getting better (especially if the woman or women are strong and stand up for themselves). For instance, my mom when she started working at her office (she’s the only woman CPA at her firm, while the other two women are kind of like secretaries) she was forced to wear a skirt everyday for the longest time and when she finally stood up to the men they finally accepted her wearing pants. So, I guess what could be taken out of this is that maybe if more Korean women stepped out of their gender rolls, Korea could move closer to equality.

    4 years ago
  167. I agree with you guys for this topic and Im korean thats been born and raised in America but i have experienced these sort of situations all the time from my relatives and other korean foreigners. In ways korea still goes through this system of ideas on how woman are suppose to act and look. When i was a lot younger i used to be extremely tomboyish and i dont know how many times others had told me that i should behave and act like a normal girl. I would be so furious that moments where i would wrestle with my sister for fun, my korean relatives would totally freak out and yell at me for not acting like a real woman. Ive been told several times “That is not how a girl should behave!” I still get comments about how i should look even though i dont consider myself a tomboy anymore my family would say stuff like “Wow im so glad you’re becoming more girly now and we were so worried about how boyish you used to be.” Also ive seen countless times (including my parents and mostly for the older generation) that parents or couples who are married would immediately change their relationship into a male dominant relationship where the husband would be the master of the family and no one could go against his will. Now i know this is changing but i still see it even today. Korea sometimes seem to be stuck in the old traditional ways of thinking of how woman and man are different and should behave accordingly by whats accepted.

    4 years ago
  168. Martina, people who don’t want to shake my hand happened to me in China as well! Not nice Chinese Manager refused to shake my hand, I just grabbed his hand and forced a handshake on him ^^ He looked like he was super-grossed out…I was SO upset!!

    4 years ago
  169. Twist your wrist and move it sideways, not pull. Learned it in a self defense class.

    4 years ago
    • Ren

      Or you could just use your other hand to dig your nails into their skin. *shrugs*
      Or spin towards their body ballroom dance style and kick ’em in the shin or elbow ’em in the gut. Well, that’s what I picture anyway, but idk if it’d work.. Looks cool in my head though. >_>

      4 years ago
      • If we’re talking ways to make people let go, the base of the thumbnail is VERY sensitive when pressed down…

        Or you could always just carry around a set of keys and position them like wolverine claws.

        4 years ago
  170. LOL keyboard warriors :’D

    I’m glad I’m not the only one felt uncomfortable with the weak simpering female leads vs. suave handsome male leads in dramas. One of the reasons why I can’t watch kdramas and opt to read the online synopsis lol ;___;

    But the workplace thing sounds so ridiculous, seriously. You’re right, this wouldn’t fly in Canada at all, the manager would get a big fat lawsuit and maybe a big fat lip from me if that ever occurred. And go Soozee! The dragging into the club thing sounds really scary… It’s bad enough girls get groped in places like these but to be taken into them against their will is pretty horrifying :(

    4 years ago
  171. I feel it prudent to mention that only 60 years ago, Korea was essentially a third-world country and far behind Japan and the West in technology and such. After the Korean War, they started to industrialize and have rapidly gained pace til today where they are competitive with the superpowers of the 20th century. So, while the US, UK, France, etc. have all had centuries to progress human rights and allow for generations to accept the changes, Korea has had only 60 years!!! It’s incredible they’ve come so far, but to expect the elder generation to be so open-minded and accepting of values opposite those they were raised with is a bit far-fetched (no matter how much I wish they would as well).

    Just thought it might be important to recognize this difference between Korea and other developed nations ^-^

    4 years ago
  172. My Korean friend told me that one of the Korean girls graduating with us from college landed a job with a Korean company in America. He said she was going to earn less than one of his friends who just graduated highschool and got a job there too.

    4 years ago
  173. Thank you guys for you hard work ♥ this kind of things (sexism) happends a lot in my country,Mexico (machismo :/ maybe you heard of it? ) But of course to all the people who are seeing this videos they need to know tht you have to see the positive side on things you need to look tho whole scenario, im not saying sexism is good (its not ! its not! ) im just saying people have to understand their culture :/

    4 years ago
  174. Ohhh, man. This is a touchy topic for me, especially since here in the US the Republican party has been spewing sexist diarrhea out of their mouths more and more lately, the media reaction to the Steubenville rape trial and then international incidents such as the rape of the med student in New Delhi or Malala Yousafzai’s shooting.

    Having grown up in an exceptional Chinese household with a strong, stubborn immigrant mother and only daughters, I believe the patriarchal attitude in Asia is still prevalent but at least waning. You’ll be hard-pressed to find gender-wide discussion about it though (it’s very hush hush). In Hong Kong, there is a term “see lai” for hardcore career-driven women who instantly turn into submissive housewives after marriage–not that being a housewife is a bad thing, but that it’s REALLY expected for a woman to just drop everything and take care of cooking/cleaning/childcare as that is her societal role.

    And there are support groups all over the place here in the US specifically for immigrant Asian women in abusive marriages–they tend not to leave them because leaving the marriage would bring shame to them and their family (and of course the preservation of face is more important than the woman’s well-being).

    I can’t watch Korean dramas due to the portrayal of the incompetent girl and the rich dominant boy theme (with outspoken undesirable bitch on the side lol) that seems to be so common, and the same goes for shows over here in the US (*COUGH*GameofThrones*COUGH* SORRY SIMON). And I can’t stand that it’s the female pop idols that receive outrage whenever they’re caught leaving the house of a male companion. Anyway, globally there’s still a sexism issue and I hope the world continues to progress in the right direction.

    4 years ago
  175. Wow I really like this TLDR! Well no… it kinda made me upset since im a girl and don’t like guys trying to dominate me. Ill be like you Martina and beat someone up if they ever try to drag me away. But anyways, what i enjoyed was the topic and how interesting it was. The sexism in S.Korea from what you guys are saying isn’t that bad compared to other countries…. but yeah sexism is everywhere. Martina! I think you should totally be blunt and tell them what you think! If you don’t, then nothing will ever change. Every person makes a difference! Martina and Simon FIGHTING! :D

    4 years ago
  176. A couple notes:
    1. I think the only people that count as “Nasties” ARE the nice ones. Abusing you guys with profane language just because you’re stating your opinion and your experiences… it’s ridiculously juvenile.
    2. I can’t tell you guys enough about how appalled I am by all this. When did this all begin? How can women be treated as sub-humans when we’re the ones who carry and bring EVERYONE into the world.
    3. Thank you for your courage and bravery in tackling tough and controversial topics such as this whole sexism business.
    I seriously develop more and more respect for you guys everyday.

    4 years ago
    • Amen!

      4 years ago
    • Towards your second point, I would definitely do research on the rise of Confucianism (Neo-Confucianism -ESPECIALLY during the Han Dynasty-/Mandate of Heaven/ etc.) in China and other Asian countries. It’s all apart of World History. Confucianism was used for both governmental structure and social rules. You can see the parallels, as families were largely patriarchal (father at the head of the house) and the emperor of the country was basically the father of the country. The way of thinking just assured that it was natural for woman to be subservient. I can’t explain it well myself since it’s just a longggg topic, but the answer is there. Confucianism still has a direct showing in China, Taiwan, Korea, and others.

      4 years ago
    • Where did it all begin? Briefly, it’s how we see ourselves as humans and how we socialize with one another; we love making social rules when we get the time. Sighs… I really recommend taking classes on female subjectivity, Confucianism, feminism/ sexism, gender etc. It is a really important subject matter, for both men and women, to understand how we categorize social values. Film can be really great in conveying these ideas. And of course keep talking about various social issues can definitely help in awareness. For example, talking to my friends who are LGBTQ there is one close friend who no longer wants to be referred to as “she”- or in consequence “he”, but rather gender neutral- by name or “they”. Difficult concept, but in Chinese for example there are no gender specific words, and in other cultures like India, there can be up to 5 genders and that classifies how people determine class-structure. Film I’d recommend: Water by Deepa Mehta, a Canadian who did a series on women in India. It’s deep and emotional, but worth the time.

      4 years ago
      • They’re not classic mandarin but 20th century innovations for the purpose of translating foreign, gender-specific nouns in books etc. There’s also written pronouns for God these days: 他 and 你 have the left 人 replaced by the left radical in 神. But point is, originally mandarin didn’t have 她 and 妳

        3 years ago
      • Have you guys ever heard of Spivak pronouns? They’re gender neutral, and super fun to use :) Gender neutral language is awesome. Language is such a powerful tool that affects so much of our collective morality, it’s absolutely astonishing to me that we as a society still accept and use language that was created by the patriarchy, for the patriarchy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spivak_pronoun

        4 years ago
      • Actually for ni there is male 你 and female 妳

        4 years ago
      • i speak bengali so there is no word for he or she, its the same for both :3
        well actually there is but i’ve never heard it being used

        also if you speak in third person (they) i guess it counts as gender neutral?

        4 years ago
      • Kat

        In Tagalog/Filipino, I think all of our pronouns are also gender neutral except for mom/dad, sister/brother, etc., but I agree, having gender neutral pronouns doesn’t necessarily remove sexism, though it is a step towards that.

        4 years ago
      • omg i fellow michigander! :D

        4 years ago
      • I’m in Washington state and we do that here also. Everyone is referred to as guys. I like that you’re at least trying to get students to use polite words. It might just work on some.

        4 years ago
      • It isn’t something that happens all over the US? I’m from Georgia and we use “guys” as gender nuetral a lot, I guess I don’t really know about outside of Georgia, but Michigan is pretty far away.

        4 years ago
        • If you look up the word in a dictionary you will find that guys can refer to anyone, so it is common English usage. BTW, I’m from deepest dark South GA.

          4 years ago
        • This is fascinating! I grew up in Indiana and I used ‘guys’ to address my group of friends but when I moved to Texas, I got a lot of flack from people when I used it. They told me that it was a ‘northern’ thing and that it sounded weird, especially if I was talking to a group of girls. I suppose they used ‘y’all’ in lieu of ‘guys’ which in its own way is gender neutral.

          4 years ago
        • Wow, I’ve lived in Texas for my whole 24 years of my life and I always use “guys” and no one says anything. People say it more often than not as well.

          4 years ago
        • I’ve lived in San Antonio for most of my life (born and raised), and I use “guys” as a plural noun regardless of gender too. I believe some people think that ALL Texans have a “Ya’ll” accent, because I only hear that accent when I am in the far east of texas and the traffic horror of the Dallas area. But I’ved used Ya’ll, however, even being born and raised here I can’t stand those east Texan ccents. On the sexism, I don’t see much of it. The only thing I can say is that I see some Hispanic girls looked down upon.

          4 years ago
        • What can I say? I used it and it got commented on. It wasn’t meant to be spiteful but more of a “Ha-ha! You’re a yankee!” kind of way. I made the switch to the insidious ‘y’all’ and settled for just my northern family making fun of me instead of all my co-workers and students.

          4 years ago
        • Hm, well, I guess whatever worked. I’m sorry you experienced something as annoying as that when you were here.

          4 years ago
        • Oh wow, that’s interesting. I was born in Texas, but I wasn’t there long enough to notice. I’m moving back there next year for college, so I’ll keep that in mind :)

          4 years ago
        • Way more people actually say guys than y’all, especially if you’re going to go to school in the DFW or Austin areas. You might hear a lot of y’alls if you go to Texas Tech, for example, because Lubbock is in West Texas and people from West Texas typically (not always) have somewhat heavier Texan accents. I’m not saying that people don’t say y’all all over Texas because they do, especially some of the older folks and kids from some of the more rural areas, but pretty much everyone says guys.

          4 years ago
        • Yeah. It happens in Massachusetts a lot too. I know I do it a lot… My English teacher uses Y’all though to get around it. Pretty interesting though how gender affects the English language heavily.

          4 years ago
      • I kinda agree with your dad. The neutral gender word “hen” can seem silly, since there obviously is a difference between men and women. There’s a reason for that male elite athletes run/jump/whatever faster than the female athletes, because men do have better genes for building muscles (and with that, I’m not saying girls CAN’T be strong too). This, however, does not justify any social crap bring brought up by a man or a woman – it shouldn’t be any difference in the way you’re treated because of your gender. It doesn’t justify Martina being denied shaking hands with a company’s representative, or any similar case on Simon’s part.
        I do see what you’re getting at though. For official papers, like lawsuits, etc, it could be very useful, so you can’t judge a person of his/her gender. But otherwise, I don’t really see the need for it. With this, I don’t want to imply that there is no sexism in Sweden (Because it surely is – I had a TEACHER telling my friend some sexist crap some month ago), I just can’t seem to find the word very useful or that it will actually make a change in the Swedish society.

        4 years ago
        • I don’t think that the differences between men and women are down to “socio-cultural” archetypes. I think it’s simply natural and I’m finding it hard nowadays to wonder why people seem to be pitting the sexes against one another instead of highlighting and appreciating the differences between the two (strengths and weaknesses).

          4 years ago
        • Yes, a small biological change, indeed. There’s no psychical difference whatsoever besides from the differences we, the society or others have put upon ourselves. If it’s a cultural relief meant to break a tradition of discrimination, then I fully understand that it is needed.
          Though, that we need a word for this change to happen is quite stupid. I would like to be treated as anyone else, without prejudices or sexism, and still be able to be called “hon” (her in swedish) instead of “hen” (the gender neutral word). This is perhaps hard to do without something to actually make a break through with. So well, I’m not perfectly content with it, but I see what you’re getting at and that it might be useful :)

          4 years ago
        • I don’t think a gender neutral word traps people in gender roles I mean, the word itself doesn’t. But it can be related to those issues. I doubt the word itself that makes such a difference – instead, it’s the sentence following that does it. Just the word “she” doesn’t put any obligations or expectations on me (personal opinion though), it’s what comes afterwards.
          The exception is, as you said, the people that doesn’t identify themselves with their born gender, or feels trapped in their body. For those people, it’s great. But in public, to merge that word with the entire society, I’m not so sure of. Especially since where the word might reduce prejudices and sexism in writing and official documents, it doesn’t stop anything from happening on a workplace, for instance being sexually harassed by your co-worker. Biologically, you’ll still be a women even if you refer to yourself as “hen” (well, not if you’ve swapped gender), and I think that’s were the problem is. In real life, where treatment based on genders happen.

          I feel for you though. I’ve only felt badly treated based on my gender a few times, but I don’t think I’ve felt limited by it. But, it might be because I simply don’t care what people think…? I kinda do things how I want, and if someone’s bothered by it, I take it as a sign of their narrow-mindedness on gender roles. However, I too get really frustrated when people put limitations on me because of my gender, but I don’t think the gender itself should suffer for it. I guess you could say I’m kinda proud of my gender? :)

          4 years ago
        • A valid point. An easy way to divide people is to create distinctive traits in each one of them. I subtly recall something I read about a study that took several boys with identical backgrounds, origins and growth, and divided them into two groups. Soon enough, the two groups started fighting, claiming that the “differences” between the two groups were to large to be overlooked. I believe the Nazis used the same method in segregating the Jews from the “average German Aryan” using a “we against them” approach.

          The means of having to use a gender neutral word is what I think is necessary. While it might help, I don’t think we should need that to stop creating and having stereotypes in society. Besides being a woman, I’m human too. I don’t see why this should limit me – when will I stop to be judged my gender when were all the same humans? The focus shouldn’t be on my gender, but who I am. But my gender is a part of who I am, and shouldn’t give me advantages or disadvantages. Therefore, I am still for addressing people by gender but I’m not against the gender valued word, just using as a complete replacement.

          In contrary, I don’t believe it’s the language itself, rather culture and people. While the culture might have influenced the language, I think that the main issue here is our own history and culture that create stereotypes for us, we’re basically used to treating women as inferior. The stereotypes linked together with a gender based word don’t come naturally – it is we who create the stereotypes, not the language.

          Yes, it truly is rewarding discussion since there is no real ‘winner’, just a comparison of opinions. I find that the most enjoyable, because I get to hear everything from a different perspective than my own, and compare and value them against my own, and perhaps reconsider a bit. So thank you for a great discussion :)

          4 years ago
      • I want a gender neutral pronoun…

        4 years ago
        • That sounds like someone speaking with the french accent, no offense hey!, but reading it out loud is heelarious xD

          4 years ago
  177. About the wrist-grab… I thought the same thing at first too, you know, “What the crap, that’s not romantic…”, haha. And I still am not a fan of the dragging part. But I have noticed among Koreans, grabbing the wrist instead of the hand (not just in dramas but in general) has been described as “manner hands” because it is less intimate and/or lessens skin contact. It’s the same way that people are praised for “manner hands” when they put their arm around someone for a picture but close their fist instead of laying their palm flat on the person’s shoulder or back. Just thought this was an interesting tidbit! :)

    Love Soozee’s story, hahaha! Anyway, I generally love Korean culture, but this is a rather unfortunate part of it. :( If they could balance out the 50s values with some good ol’ fairness, that would be great~.

    4 years ago
  178. The only experience i have felt here in Canada is being a girl and going to school for engineering. (only about 10% of the class is female…. if your lucky). Of course there is some males that don’t feel you should be in the field and should transfer to nursing, but I feel like a majority of them are respectful. However, the girls are not always treated poorly and I have heard of accounts of them getting special treatment and answers from professors because “they are girls”. I don’t feel this is acceptable either and we should all be treated equally regardless of sex, race, religion, etc..

    4 years ago
    • I had similar experiences as both a girl and woman in engineering in Canada. In school, no profs EVER gave me a break though, just the opposite most of the time because they assumed I had been let in because of a quota 9_9 and expected me to fail out eventually. Most of the guys in my class were great because they would rather have some girls than no girls because you’re with/in your class pretty much all the time for 5 years and it gets boring without the other sex to distract you. Mind you, these guys were sometimes the worst gossips, there were times I had to sit by myself (in a class of 300 – where?) because someone always thought I “liked” a guy if I should sit next to him or be left out of class events because I was cramping their hooligan all-guy style….. In the work place it was actually a lot worse. Engineers can be lonely guys and I got hit on A LOT A LOT. Like, A LOT. It’s funny how the extremely rare days when my group had to pull cables in the ceiling were always the days that I wore skirts. Sigh. As I climbed the corporate ladder I also hit the glass ceiling. When you’re a guy who’s forceful and cares about details – you’re a leader, when you do the same as a woman, you’re thought of as naggy. It’s the “mom syndrome”? It can be hard to keep weedling ego-maniacs to do their job if you can’t pull rank occasionally.

      My solution – find good allies, dress appropriately for your status (skirts and all), bring in cookies only for the secretaries (to get the good gossip to know what’s going on – let them distribute the treats), try to discipline subordinates quietly but never privately, keep contentious conversations via e-mail-rather than talking in person- copy others, and if your boss doesn’t support you, transfer to a different department or change jobs. Seriously, it’s not worth the hassle and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. I think this works pretty well at both school and work.

      Cyber_3 – has a green belt in aiki-ju-jutsu, has never had to use it in the workplace but some days…..oh some days……

      4 years ago
      • Glad to hear from another female engineer and congrats on making it through!! I feel so far the gossip has been pretty much nothing, but that may be because I have a boyfriend who is in engineering with me (we are off the market for the whole “he likes her/she likes him gossip game XD ) I do agree with the whole “They will just drop out eventually” mentality and I find it quite annoying. Also with there being less females I find all the guys know who you are and you are more “on display” (ex. names for marks and stuff you see a girls name and you pretty much know who it is, since there is such a small pool). Sadly, I know this won’t be the end and that I will be facing it in the work place, so school will just help me prepare more for it! (fighting!) For all my presentations I will only wear a pencil skirt! hahaha it’s my way of saying YES I AM A FEMALE ENGINEER! DEAL WITH IT! :D

        4 years ago
        • Good for you! And no matter what you may think, always ALWAYS wear a skirt/dress to interviews. Not for the female advantage type reason (although that can’t hurt I guess), more that it says that you are powerful without feeling the need to look like a man. Plus, it helps the interviewer remember you over all the others.

          Cyber_3 – loves pencil skirts too *^.^*

          4 years ago
      • I have worked with male and female engineers before. I understand exactly where you are coming from. Funnily enough, because I worked in the engineering department at an HBCU there were a lot more females than would normally be in an engineering class, so the gender gap was not so huge. But I do remember the evenings of sitting around while the comp eng guys had their ‘ Warcraft’ evenings and there were maybe one or two other girls there, other than myself and they were the girlfriends of one of the males.

        4 years ago
        • Hahah! No, I don’t. I have been out of the College for yeeeears now.

          4 years ago
        • I’m American, and that was my experience in college (Computer Science) until I hit my junior year and had more international women in my classes. But I was also very very popular because I was single, not lesbian, and had many of the same interests. My freshman year there were only 6 women in the entire comp-sci class for my year.There were alot more in Engineering, but not in CS.

          I’ve also only worked with 3 other IT/Software Dev women in my career. Unfortunately (or fortunately) because I’m in and out of a warehouse and crawling underneath desks sometimes, no skirts for me. Not that i’m particularly sad, but as good as I am at my job it can be so very frustrating to sometimes to wonder if management (mostly, although there are some regular employees too) overlooks me because I’m female or if there is some shortcoming I’m unaware of. Cyber_3 how did you manage the glass ceiling?

          4 years ago
        • The sad/frustrating part about my class was that there were 4 other girls (in the class of 300) and I didn’t like ANY of them: 1) didn’t speak english, had a boyfriend in the class that just did all her work, 2) chose a new boytoy every term to do all her work then dropped him at the end of the term and faked sick for the exams, rinse repeat, 3)trustfund child who never showed up because she was too busy jetsetting, and 4) just a crazy stuck up biatch. Sigh. I did have lots of male friends but I was too scared to date someone in my class (my class was together for EVERY class for 4 years, all the time, what if I broke up with him? That could get nasty).

          The irony of my life though is that I didn’t want to marry an engineer because I thought that it was better for a relationship to have only 1 person with a high stress career and, when I married my husband he was an electrician. Now, he’s an engineer and I make casual wedding dresses – LOL!

          Cyber_3 – would still be an engineer except for the recession…..but I like pretty dresses and being my own boss too ^_^

          4 years ago
        • Ya, I have also heard that central Canada has a much better female to male ratio for engineering (although not close to 50/50). Not going to lie though! I have definitely become so much more of a “man” from engineering lol (must watch more of Martina’s cute tutorials!!!!) My boyfriend and our friends have got me addicted to the game “League of Legends” and I am now one of the few girls at those computer sit down evenings!

          4 years ago
        • Starcraft was the game back in my day……though I always got the slow compy in the basement…….damn you zerg!

          4 years ago
        • Haha my boyfriend loooooves Starcraft (I made him a StarCraft cake for his birthday here: http://puppichu.deviantart.com/art/Starcraft-Terran-Cake-324193393
          he insists that when we go to Korea he is watching a live game!) I find the game strategy is to difficult for me to understand! It’s intense to play! So I stick to League of Legends :P

          4 years ago
        • WOWZA! That is one fanf*ckingtastic cake! You must really be in love…..awwwwwww……so cute! My friend gave me a recipe for butterscotch cake with butterscotch fudge icing that I’m going to try to make for Easter….that’s about the level of my ambition – mad props on that cake – you could go into business!

          4 years ago
        • Awe thanks!! and yes we’ve been high school sweethearts for awhile now! ^.^ I want to make an EYK cake for myself sometime, hopefully I’l get it done and show simon and martina! :D also, Butterscotch is delicious!! :O such a good Easter treat!

          4 years ago
        • Well I am a dork so I have no shame in going in with the gaming guys and grabbing a console.

          When I was a little girl though, I remember not being allowed to play Nintendo, but was instead relegated to watching. My male best friend would prefer to play with his male cousin. * rolls eyes*

          4 years ago
        • Hahaha oh yes! I am such a dork too! I love playing video games with the boys! I’m also a huge cosplayer so I’m used to being looked at awkwardly in public! I have no shame! :P

          4 years ago
  179. 1) Soo Zee, you are a badass. Keep doin’ what you do.
    2) I have a very…adverse reaction to people suddenly grabbing me without my permission, so it would be interesting for somebody to try and do that to me. lol
    3) It’s sad that sexism is a thing, but as long as we continue to have open conversations without raging-mcragerson reactions, we can work to change that around the world.
    Great TL;DR guise! I hope that it can spark some intelligent conversation. lol

    4 years ago
  180. When watching korean dramas and movies I always stop for a sec when girls are dragged away by guys or they treat girls like stupid things that are meant to look cute. For someone who has been raised in a country where gender equality is an important matter, Korea’s treatment towards girls is rather annoying and it makes me irritated. I love Korea and I would very much like to live there, but in Sweden everyone is raised to think of each other as equals and schools and companies discuss it regularly in order to not accidentally offend each other. I am not saying discrimination is non-existent, you can see hints of it every day, but I fear that if I were to move to Korea, I would be seen as a crazy bitch for beating guys up all the time. ;)

    4 years ago
    • Ren

      Like they said, you’ll probably be fine if you don’t look Korean.

      4 years ago
  181. Martina! Showin’ some fire here!!! Niceah! My taekwondo sabomnim and kwanjanim said, “Western girls come to Korea and become Korean men.” To which I replied, “Yeah well if being a man is just about having a nice job and a great apartment then women are going to have to raise their expectations.” I think men and women are secure in gender roles here. It’s not a bad thing necessarily, it’s just different. Sometimes I wish I just knew what I was supposed to do as a woman and didn’t want anything more than to cook, clean and take care of a family.

    4 years ago
  182. Korea seems so nice in the hardly any drugs thing part and the safety and community!!
    i smell so much weed in my area while walking down the streets!! even in the city centre!! and in Uni……

    aaawww Martina!!! that’s not nice of those guys!! what the heck!!
    O_O what???? they can’t just drag girls in!! that’s crazy!!

    4 years ago
  183. Kk

    Wow yes! Thank you for talking about this. I’ve seen it all the time in K dramas (the wrist grabbing, the male dominance, the almost rape scene in Secret Garden… consent, anyone?!). I love watching Korean dramas, but the unchanging plot lines consistent with female subservience is getting so old so fast. Sometimes it makes me super frustrated and I have to stop watching the drama. When can we see a truly strong female character?

    4 years ago
  184. That dragging women into clubs are very scary. but what’s keeping them in? free booze? vip treatment? were they confined….

    4 years ago
  185. What about sporty women, because sometimes, they are like….well, I haven’t seen a drama/kpop idol who is a girl, and has muscle, is it because men hate it? Does that mean, if you are fit you won’t be liked? ° _ °

    4 years ago
    • What???? But that is crazy! MUSCLES ARE BEAUTIFUL ! Without training and sport, how are you supposed to have a good body without starving yourselves? Plus how would you deffend yourself? What would happen if there is too much wind, you would be flown away! You must tell your friends the dangers of not having muscles.
      Maybe I’m a bit exagerating, but, I play football and do cross country biking this year, and when I was growing up as a kid, I used to play Rugby with my father…and I managed to get boyfriends (but not asian….°_° noooooooooooo!)
      I hope that one day people will see the goods sides of women having muscles

      4 years ago
    • ewww

      4 years ago
    • so i find what sport truly depends… i am the only adult female at taekwondo and find that the attractive girls don’t try very hard and complain about sweating and the unattractive girls get much more into the sport. hiking – i’ve seen girls in pointy toed stilettos power up the mountain faster than their boyfriends and not even break a sweat. but to be really honest, no, sporty athletically built women aren’t truly deemed attractive. and strong opinionated women aren’t asked out as often either.

      4 years ago
  186. Sexism exists everywhere, Canada just doesn’t tolerate that type of behaviour in the workplace.

    4 years ago
  187. I just watched a North Korean refugee video on TED.com…

    It’s funny but I now realize that we tend to just say “Korea” when we mean “South Korea”. Does anyone know/have a theory about how we came to that ?

    (The video testimonial was quite moving by the way. Title is : “Hyeonseo Lee: My escape from North Korea”)

    EDIT: sorry about being off topic, it’s just that the new EYK video came just after I watched the video I just mentioned.

    One thing I try to do when talking about other cultures is to drill it into my head that Asian cultures are far removed from my own, just so I can see information and deal with it with a clear head. Only then can you hear about the sexism you speak of and understand it doesn’t mean the country is doomed!

    4 years ago
    • We tend to block out North Korea as a sense to try and make them realise they aren’t doing the right thing for their people. The United Nations keeps putting sanctions on North Korea to try and make them comply with international standards for human rights because they refuse to do it willingly. Here in the United States, our government refuses to recognise North Korea as a serious problem and many others have as well. The reason for this is because they have determined from all the empty threats that North Korea just wants to be accepted as a superpower. We refuse it though because of their human rights violations. To answer your question about why we started calling South Korea, “Korea,” is because we are trying to make people not think about North Korea.

      4 years ago
  188. Oh my god! I’m so glad you addressed this topic. I watch a lot of kdramas, and if I see one more guy wrist-grab and drag a girl anywhere, I just might scream. It even happens in dramas like Secret Garden where the girl is supposed to be all bad ass and strong, but the second the guy gets his hand on her wrist, she’s like a weak little bambi! Much as I love kdramas, this (clearly) drives me crazy.

    4 years ago
    • Ugh, seriously, I’m in the middle of an episode of That Winter, The Wind Blows and there’s a close-up shot of a wrist-grab with sweet, romantic music playing. In my head, I’m shouting, “Her hand is RIGHT there! RIGHT below her wrist!!! Why?!?!!” Good grief, that gesture is just so dominating and controlling, like I am a man and I will lead you where I want you to go. It totally kills the mood and pulls me right out of the moment *harumph*

      4 years ago
    • I liked KIng 2 Hearts but that was one of my biggest problems with it. I stopped watching it for awhile cause of that.

      4 years ago
      • meeeee too. i finally went back and finished it, but it took a long time.

        4 years ago
      • Really? I actually thought Ha Ji-won as Hang-ah in K2H was portrayed WAY better than Ra-Im (although I’m ship her and Joo won coz, Hyun Bin) And that her character in K2H was very consistent through the series… you must mean Secret Garden right?

        4 years ago
    • I hate that types of dramas but I don’t think secret garden is a good example of that behavior. I find Gil Ra Im really consistent as a strong woman character.

      4 years ago
      • I could be remembering wrong, and I will admit I couldn’t get through the whole drama, but I remember her being very passive in their relationship and never really feeling her attraction to Joo-won. It could be that that one bedroom scene blocked out my memory of any of their other interactions. I found that scene (in episode 13) to be very uncomfortable, played so romantically when it felt more like assault (I’m sure plenty of people will disagree, but the image of a man forcing his way into a woman’s room and then pinning her to her bed, ignoring her pleas for him to stop is just pushing it for me).

        4 years ago
    • this was the only thing i hated about city hunter!

      4 years ago
    • For most of Protect the Boss the lead woman remained in character. …most of it

      4 years ago
      • That was one of my favourite things about PtB. (Except the last couple episodes where she got all weepy.) Not only the main female lead, but even the second lead and the heroine’s best friend were confident, outspoken women that didn’t take any sh*t. Very, very rare in a kdrama. :)

        4 years ago
        • Yea it was def better than Secret Garden’s portrayal of a badass woman. I know that in the West women try to be strong and whatnot & cutesy is a sign of being naive but there are still the weaker types portrayed in films and tv. Every k-drama I’ve seen acts as though stronger type women don’t exist or aren’t desirable.

          4 years ago
      • That one is totally my favorite. :D

        4 years ago
  189. OMG! I would love to see a bouncer’s reaction when Soozee speaks english!!!

    4 years ago
  190. Hello nice nasties XD that cracked me up! don’t worry we are here for you guise! <3

    4 years ago
  191. 10 years ago during nursing school in the US, we were told to wear makep and look presentable to our patients by our FEMALE instructor. What the heck!? How does that contribute to patient care?

    4 years ago
    • Ivy

      I don’t think this is sexist, I think this is more about being presentable, if you take out the part about wearing make-up that is. It’s the same as telling a guy to shave and wear a suit. I don’t think telling someone to look professional is sexists and I generally think it’s a good professional move. People take you more seriously if you look presentable. It’s that whole saying about dressing for the job you want, not the job you have. Now if you were told to wear short skirts to show off your pretty legs… (points to whoever got the madmen reference)

      4 years ago
    • Ren

      Yeah. The makeup thing though is pretty ridiculous.

      4 years ago
    • It’s psycology at its best. Patients have a opinion/view on how a nurse should be. It can be small things like neat, care about yourself and such. This again will convey to your patients that you’re tide, you care about yourself/thus can take care of them as well.

      If I don’t remember quickly this goes into Caldini’s six principle of influence. Where this goes into the principle called liking: Where you get patients or in Natz comment above me parents to like you, by having the right image that they believe a person in your role should have.

      But to keep this short, I will just WANK off now. :p

      4 years ago
    • Heh, a few years ago we had a meeting with the female head of the education ministry here and she informed us that we should always wear heels, pearls and nice clothes so the students will admire how we look.

      In a way I understood it. She was coming from the old traditions. And to tell the truth my primary school aged students do notice when I wear new jewelry or shoes or even wear makeup. They tell me how nice I look. Does this mean that they admire me more and pay more attention… Maybe. I do also find that the students are drawn to the younger and prettier teachers. Also, parents tend to respect me more if I am dressed up and looking nice.

      Not that I wear heels every day. But when the officers come around checking the younger contract teachers make sure we have a pair of ‘appropriate’ shoes under the desk if we were wearing flats that day instead.

      4 years ago
    • It doesn’t. but somehow it gives comfort. I get nervous when the person attending to me looks young and untidy. same goes for guys.

      4 years ago