Ok, this is a very touchy subject. Our last week’s TL;DR was mostly about how women have high standards for men. This TL;DR touches on men’s perspective, but then it spins off into issues of gender inequality, which is a giant can of worms to deal with. We’re not as thorough in this subject as many other sources you can find online. All we can do is offer you the stories we’ve been told and the discussions we’ve had.

So, when we started thinking about this TL;DR, we really wanted the video to be just a few seconds long. Guys want a pretty girl. Subscribe for more. GONG! That would be pretty effective, in my opinion. It wouldn’t say that much in the video, but it would say a lot altogether. All guys want is a pretty girl, and the brevity of the video would match the superficiality of the requirements. Brilliant! But then we decided to talk about it a bit more, because we were worried that people will think that men are just shallow a-holes.

Story time: a friend’s friend was looking to be set up with a girl. He’s not particularly attractive, but he’s got top grades in a top program in a top university. And so his requirements for the girl was for her to be SMOKING hot. Why? Because he’s got a great life set out for him, as will whatever girl he marries. Also, he worked really hard to get to where he is now, so he needs an appropriate girl to reflect his achievements. The phrase “trophy wife” definitely screams out at this moment. And, you know what? Even though this sounds ridiculous to us, he’ll totally get a smoking hot girl because of his circumstances.

Why doesn’t he want a girl that’s more than just really pretty? It’s not so much that men are utterly shallow, but more that women are oftentimes overwhelmingly pressured into dropping their careers and dedicating their lives to being stay at home wives, so a woman’s career stability isn’t an issue, since she going to be provided for once they’re married.

And, yes, things are changing now, and women are more and more continuing to pursue their careers, but their treatment at home at times hasn’t caught up to speed with their career fulfilment, in that they’re still required to do all the work of a housewife, on top of balancing their careers. That SUPER sucks, IMO.

More story time: we know of a Korean woman who, when she started her job, she was getting promotions left right and centre, up until she hit her mid 30s, when she hit a career roadblock. She wasn’t getting the big projects anymore, wasn’t growing in her career anymore, and she was frustrated, up until her late 30s, when she started getting promotions and big gigs again. Why the plateau at her mid 30s? Because it was assumed that she was going to get married and pregnant soon, that’s why. HARSH.

For women who are deciding to pursue their careers instead of their relationships, they’re still suffering from unfair treatment at work, not only for being a woman, but for being single as well. Who’s gonna get the shitty shift with terrible hours? The boss isn’t going to make the woman married with kids have that role! That’d be unfair! So give it to the single lady who has nothing to go home to. This is especially true for high school teachers. No one wants to teach the third grade, the university prep grade, because you have to work from 6AM to Midnight. We know of some high school teachers who will plan to get pregnant right around the level-assigning season, so that they can have an reason NOT to be given that position. But if you’re unmarried? Screw you: you get the job that no one wants.

So, yeah, we’re getting side tracked here. TL;DR – guys want pretty girls because that’s all that matters if you’re going to be a stay at home wife, while women pursuing their careers are treated unfairly.

To us, it seems like these ideal types that we’ve been talking about for the past two weeks are emphasizing the most pragmatic approach to pursuing an old-fashioned relationship. For other people – like in our case, for example – marriage is a joining of two life-partners, that want to be happy together and want to experience life together and to share experiences and stories and such. We got married for love, not for family economics, and though both are not mutually exclusive, the description of the ideal types suggests that old models for relationship are emphasized above love for marriage. Does that make sense?

Every country has different approaches, I’m sure, so we’d love to hear what things are like for you where you grew up.

Yeah! That’s it for this week. I hope you found this topic interesting, because we sure did. If you like these TL;DRs, subscribe for more! Speaking of marriage for love, our WANK is almost ready to be uploaded, and the video’s about us going on date night and showing you what we did. OOOH SO SAPPY. No, but seriously, how many of you could understand what we were saying to each other at the end of the video? Hands up if you did. Two hands up if you were slightly disturbed by our weirdness :D

  1. Everyone here is like, “let’s all move to Sweden!”
    While Sweden does a great job in gender equality, remember that it is HARD to be a Swedish immigrant or a citizen.
    Because of the conflict with Muslims throughout Europe, EU in fact, is shutting down immigration doors.
    France is currently not accepting immigration, or not very easily at least.
    So good luck with that. I personally like a society like Sweden,
    but I would rather put the effort to change the community I live in,
    instead of getting shitload of paperwork done and learning a new language.
    It will be strenuous, but will be worth it in the long run.

  2. Rewatching this I’m reminded of the cultural components we sometimes came across when I was studying in Japan. Among the many grammatical examples along the lines of “my Dad has this and that job” and “mr Tanaka’s wife is very good at cleaning” (and never the opposite, that is. It was a strong tendency), one of them was “if you earn a lot of money, you can have a pretty wife!” And that wasn’t even an example sentence. It was the teacher who said it. I almist threw up right then and there.

  3. I mean the ideas don’t differ that much. I mean in South Africa you do get guys who want a girl who will just cook clean and do all the house work, which is all fair and good and like some korean men they may not want their wives to persure a career but they could make here do it if she wanted to but she would still need to perform the roles of a house wife as well. Which in some cases people may find okay or unfair. I for one live in a home where my father was medically rid off from the army cause of an injury that he had. In all honesty its hard for him to find work but the main bread winner was my mom who worked at her job for a while she then just retired is year but all seems well cause my dad has got work now. But in all the roles will depend on how people a raised because you can find that teens or youth these days still think that the traditional way of dating is okay but it all depends on an individuals view on the subject. I for one would not mind being a stay at home mom but i would first like to do my career before i get a family.

  4. Keeping half of the population uneducated and their minds untapped can be disastrous in the long run. I have a Korean friend who threw away her career as a brilliant nuclear physicist (masters in nuclear physics) because her new husband couldn’t bare the fact that his new wife was incredibly smart. Even though she earned more than him and obviously had more potential, he didn’t want to be embarrassed and demanded that she have a baby immediately.

    Reading some of these comments make me grateful for my Korean girlfriend. She is hard working, refuses to let me pay anything more than what is fair, and is my equal in each and every way. She is very pretty, but is not subservient to me in any way. While I would welcome her raising our kids at home if we were ever to have any, it is just as much my responsibility and just as feasible for it to be me who works and chips in at home. Marriage is teamwork, not servitude.

  5. About women not being hired or promoted when in their mid-30s, my Japanese relatives were telling me about that happening in Japan.
    As for marrying for love, I feel like Korea is at one extreme and America is at another. Koreans apparently don’t marry for love as much as they do for family economics. Where as ALOT of Americans marry purely for love/lust and don’t pay any attention to family economics, the evidence being our high divorce rate, and fact that the most common reasons for divorce are money related.
    I think marrying because you both have common goals in life and similar interests is just as vain as marrying someone because of their career or status. My dad likes gaming, my mom likes watching costume dramas and looking at fashion magazines. My dad studied to be an engineer, my mom was an art major. But they both have mutual respect for each others interest, and honestly that’s all I think is necessary. The most important thing is respect and have the same life principles and values.
    I think there could be a balance between the practicality of Korean marriage and the emotion of American marriage :)

  6. Where I come from, men look for women with jobs. It’s mostly arranged marriage where the girl and guy don’t meet until the engagement day. The girl doesn’t even have to be that pretty as long as she has a paying job!

  7. I understood what you were saying in the end! I’m not kidding, I’ve been watching your videos for so long, I started baby talking a few years ago, and it’s spread to my brother. I am ABSOLUTELY sure it will spread to my boyfriend whenever I find one. XD Enjoyed the shabu shabu, I hope. :)

  8. So as far as Mirotic being your favorite, I think Breath, by Beast was a pretty ground breaking MV, but still…sigh…not the best.

  9. I think the girl from Mirotic is very pretty. What do you think?

  10. Do you guys plan to have kids? Other then Spudgy and Meemers?

  11. I’m not sure if this was already asked, but why is there so much playback/lypsinc in Kpop?

  12. since we’re talking about gender roles i was wondering, how do koreans feel about how that is depicted in dramas, like when male characters grab a girl and pull her around or when they try to make it “romantic” for a dude to call a chick ugly and stupid or when gu jun pyo…well ALL of boys over flowers really. since they are so worried about junsu thrusting on tv i was wondering if they are worried about what sort of impact things like this could have on thier young women especially.

  13. Martina said something along the lines: Ducky I love you. I’m really really hungry. Where are we going to eat?
    Simon: We are going to go somewhere after the shoot.
    Martina: Are you going to wait for me [something something meemers?] ?
    I’m not really sure about the last one…lol

  14. I understand about gender equality–and I think its super important! I love my husband, and when we got married I was very happy to quit my job making cheeseburgers to pursue my dream of owning my own knitting/blog business full time! I also married for love. My husband does not help out around the home a lot, but thats really because he works 60 plus hours a week. Poor thing. But, he LOVES his job (works for the mounted police in Canada–he’s not a police man, he does programing for their radios) I love our relationship and the things we do to help each other.

  15. That was kind of the way that was in my country (México) a couple of decades ago my grandma still grew up with that kind of mentality, that the wife must stay at home, clean the house, cook, do the loundry, take care of the children and be ready when her husband came. But recently everyting is more equal it doesnt matter if she has a better job, if it brings more money to the house is welcome, it doesn’t matter if she doesn’t know how to cook, in fact all those thing are becoming more irrelevant, boys now want girls with ambition, with things in common to pursue, the newest generations are more like: both of them contribute to have a nice home; there’s nothing weird in men cleaning the house, or cooking (i can say that my uncle cooks almost better than my aunt) of course the “machismo” is very present even now but i can say that things are getting better. Women now have the same oportunities as men in almost every area (we still have some to improve), in the house most of the parents tell their kids( boy or girl) that the most important thing is to study and go to the university, and to have a good job. Of course there are some pressure from old people (the aunt that never fails in telling “when are you going to get married?” while your mom is more like: “you better not have any children until you finish colleage” so yeah now it has really changed a lot, and i can say that for the way that my family has raised me i would rather pursue my dreams first and become independent than marry at a young age, NO WAY. What i want in a partner is someone who can understand me and can ecourage me in my dreams and goals, someone who can be like my bestfriend, and one of the things that i’d like the most someone who i can laugh until my sotomach hurts, and of course i’d do the same for him, i think love is give and take, you can not ask for something that your not willing to give
    And there’s a phrase: Love is about flying together but not tied… (something like that, dont know how to translate it well)

    PS. I love the way you love and support each other, really guys you are a very good role model for marriage, .<

  16. all i thought of when you guys started furbie talk… :/

  17. Well, lmao, looks like I don’t meet requirements to get married in Korea.

    Maybe when I was 18 that would’ve made me sad but 10 years older and wiser and I figure I probably won’t get married and even if I ever did, I definitely won’t have kids (a matter that would be discussed with anyone who could likely be a life partner).
    In the meantime…
    *continues learning new hobbies and playing video games*

  18. Hey guys, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The name’s Lee. Maybe we could talk about the gay ideal man in Korea. Even though, through your older videos (older TL;DR’s) you have mentioned homosexuality in Korea. However, I’m an avid Asian studies student. I’ve come to find out that people in the Philippines and Japan pay men to have relations with them. But they are not seen dating. Now, I know that this has changed over the years, but it’s still a thing. I just want to know from your homosexual friends if there are any ideals, seeing as gay men kinda go against the mainstream (because they’re totally hipster that way).
    I’ve been a long time watcher, even since your older posts (yes, including the ones you wanted to send only to your parents to let them know you’re okay) and I was wondering when are you going to bring the challenges back for the W.A.N.K.’s? If they’re not coming back, please let me know. You can even send it to my email.

  19. although my dad works longer shifts and earns more, his job means he has 3 days off a week, and that he’s home during the day 2 days a week, so he cooks 5 days a week and is a much better cook than my mum! lol

  20. Gender inequality in the workplace gives me a headache simply by thinking about it. It’s interesting that a lot of ladies (such as myself) start thinking about work/maternal lifestyle balance way before they even have kids, or are even in a relationship.

    It’s funny that I watched this Ted talk video yesterday that helped clear my mind on when the big elephant that is pregnancy pops in the corporate room. I encourage others to listen to it as well. It’s about the lack of women in leadership roles. The beginning does raise some eyebrows but when it starts getting more enlightening towards the end. esp. at the 3 pts/solutions she raises.


    The point about going back is really what gets me.

  21. Here in Germany We don`t have the Ideals like which uniiversity you coming from, what your working blah. Its about if you love each other that much, then get married.. After the womans pregnancy ,you get 8 weeks automatic as maternity.THEN you can get the Maternity leave( Parentstime) The funny Fact is you can choose who can have it.. Like the woman is working and the men use the Mother Holiday ( 3Years.) Or both together. Until the baby is old enough. for the Kindergarten(german word tehe)

    It think my country is really open, even that we have dark sites too. But I mean our federal Chancellor is a Woman LOL

    It was a big change for everyone.

  22. Martina, your hair looks AMAZING here btw. Just thought I would tell ya.

  23. Where I am it’s kind of looked down upon to be a stay-at-home wife and mother. Because women CAN pursue careers now we simply HAVE to. I’m pursuing my career, which is one of the reasons why the man I’m with is with me; he loves that I know what I want and that I’m working hard to get there. However, after he and I were together for a while I decided that if we had kids I’d be a stay-at-home Mom and put my career on hold until the kids were in school. I’d probably try to work from home, though… But, I mostly want to do that because I’d NEVER trust anyone with my kids, lol.

  24. In my country, married women usually both have a job and do housework, while men just work and do no housework…So unfair!

  25. omg are all families like this..?

  26. I literally had to pause the video for about three minutes just to laugh at Martina’s bagel face XD

    So am I the only one thinking a bagel shirt would be awesome? Something like “The perfect woman” with a picture of a bagel underneath. And nobody would truly understand but the Nasties!

  27. I’M Indian, but for most of my life (like literally from primary school) i was brought up in Oman and Bahrain (Arab countries). so in my household, we have mix of Indian culture and Arab culture and not to mention the occasional are worlds that pop into our conversation. this later changed coz i moved to England and now we have the influences of the English culture too. now when it comes to thins such as fining the your Prince Charming or Princesses Charming, our extended families still look into the fact that the person is INDIAN. so we literally start from the nationality. (Some of my family members even asked me if i have an English BF, where even one went unto the extent of asking me, if i’ve lost ‘it’ to an English guy!! weird!) then of course comes the education. the guy should at least have an MBA or an advanced degree. then we also do have the culture of giving dowry (which is like a cash or jewellery or property that the girl’s parents gig tot he guy for taking care of their little girl. ridiculous i know!) so, it all comes down to, 1. the guy should be from a well off family, must be educated in a good university and if he is educated abroad he is Superman,. 3. he should have a great job and if he is working abroad, he is Avengers put together. now mind you, in the Indian culture, arranged marriage still exist. so when the guy’ family is looking for a girl, they do want their daughter -in-law to be again from a well off family, educated, but not as much as the guy, should have a job which she should quit after the marriage, and she should be at least an inch shorter than the guy. so, it’s mostly like the guy will protect you kinda thing. however, with this being said, the mentality of men and with more modernisation, things are changing now. men are looking fro girls who are well educated (to have a decent conversation), a good job, a fantastic fashion sense, really good English, skills such as driving, scuba diving and stuff. the arab culture is also changing in this perspective, as men are allowing their wives to work and be another bread winner.

    Now mind you, i’m an talking about the general population. things and opinions vary for every family and individual. my family…..we are bit crazy…so lets not got there! :)

  28. Ah the gender inequality is a vast factor in India, but the things improve a lot after the British abolished lot of unfair practices like sati, etc. But you can still find subtle hints of gender inequality, i think even girls sometimes don’t want to work or study hard because they believe they will end up with their husband any day, and would be a housewife, so why bother studying, but things definitely is going for better. Woman became conscious and even men wants their woman to work to support the family

  29. This is obviously one of the biggest reasons why (most) Korean women love getting plastic surgery. Why be ugly when you can be pretty and marry a rich guy who’s seeking a pretty wife? It’s a domino effect essentially. A small majority of girls get PS and become pretty and find nice husbands? More women will opt to go under the knife in order to do the same. It’s a sad state really of traditionalist values.

  30. IMHO most developing countries still have this kind of mentality (seeing that Korea took the twilight express into being a developed country, its not surprising that the traditional societal norms still exist). I’m from Malaysia, and women are always expected to shoulder traditional housewife roles regardless of careers, education background, etc etc. Besides, it wasn’t too long ago that women in developing countries (including Malaysia) started getting opportunity to enroll in university and get better education for themselves. Most women who are now in the age range of 50 and above are housewives. 30+ years ago they would have been in their prime education years, but very few had the opportunity.

    I will say this, though – in modern Malaysia, it’s mostly acknowledged that one source of income in a family is often times insufficient to get by with. Nowadays women are actually EXPECTED to work, especially if you’re a graduate. The pressure is actually for women to become “superwomen” – be flawlessly beautiful, graduate, work and help pay bills, cook, bake, clean, keep husband happy, have children, short maternity leaves, do all sorts of amazing things, etc etc. Similar to the Korean norm, I think.

  31. Do you think the Plastic Surgery epidemic will result in future situations like the recent case in China where a man sued his wife for giving him “ugly” children?

    (She had spent over 100k USD on plastic surgery and totally transformed her look, and the children predictably didn’t look like her.) Plastic surgery in Korea seems so prevalent and skilled, if men are really only looking for pretty wives to have their babies, and prettiness can now be bought, this seems like a disaster waiting to happen?

  32. In all honesty, many Western cultures are also struggling with adjusting to changing gender roles, etc. I see women, here in Canada, who are expected to work (mainly because one income is no longer enough to support a regular family of 4) and take care of the household. Granted, Canadian men appear to be more willing to share household chores and take care of the kids, but I believe we still have a looonngg way to go before we (as women) reach parity with men in this regard. There are still double standards that exists with reference to expectations held for women in almost every modern society. GREAT post guys.

  33. HEy! I love me some seemingly brick-chewing man.. haha <3 Simon … too funny haha

  34. I found a site that shows you what your name looks like in Korean! Totally cool! Classic American names are not always available.
    An example would be Jet, It really doesn’t make the jump to Korean.


    (This really has squat to do with the video but I figured this was the video the most people would visit.)

  35. Martina: Ducky, I thought that you said after we did this we would go get something to eat
    Simon: I didn’t, I said after work we were gonna get food
    Martina: ???????????????????????? shabu-shabu xD

  36. I’m pretty sure both of u know (like u mentioned breifly in the
    beginning of this TLDR) that it’s obviously common in all cultures…no
    one sets out to find an unattractive life partner. Let’s face it, most
    of us will notice looks before anything. I’m always so intrigued by
    your TLDR’s…2 non-Korean people, 2 non- Korean speaking people living
    in Korea for only approx 5 yrs seem to “know” so much about the
    culture. Asking Soozi or a few of your friends or watching K dramas is
    not something I think either one of u can form opinions on and discuss
    same in an entire segment. Obv men would want their women to go to
    school so that they weren’t living with someone who was less educated
    despite the fact that some women do choose to “abandon” what they
    learned in school to become stay at home moms. Although even this point
    I disagree with as these days many Korean women are choosing careers
    over marriage and settling down. I do for the most bit enjoy some of
    your vids mostly WANK’s and FAPFAP’s only cause I find your other ones
    are getting tiring. No offense, been a long time fan and this is not a
    negative bashing thing….but on a side note, I remember a time where
    Martina wore WAY less makeup and was so less animated. I find her so
    hard to watch these days. Again, no offense, it’s my own opinion just
    like u guys have yours, but I have to say, its one of the many reasons I
    don’t really watch your vids anymore. Martina….less is more, u are
    really pretty, but not with all that insane eye makeup and strange
    hair/head accessories

  37. If a man’s sole requirement for a wife is her looks.. then what happens when he’s no longer able to provide for the family (woman tends to live longer and there might be unforeseeable circumstances like accidents or divorce).. woman should be (or should prepared to be) independent

  38. As someone who is half South Asian I can say that the marriage and gender standards in general, are pretty screwed up. I could seriously write a book, but I’ll have to dumb it down. Marriage is viewed not necessarily as two people getting married but more as the joining of two families. Whether the bride or groom get along doesn’t matter much, because its more as whether the bride will be able to serve her in-laws and provide kids, and whether the groom can earn money. Divorce is looked down upon.

    Pretty much most people still have arranged marriages. Its looked down upon if you’re marring for love, and even worse if you marry outside your culture if your a women (Like my mother, who some of our relatives refuse to talk to her still. We also don’t get invited to family events. For men it doesn’t matter.) or caste if your hindu.

    Some families are less traditional than others, and nicer. Granted this is mainly IN South Asia. Second generation South Asians who live in the west, don’t conform to these standards as much.

  39. I think you guys were a little off though at the end when you included kids. I’ve been in Gwangju since June and I work closely with small children and I know for a fact that Dads here in Korea pull their fair share of responsibility with the children. In fact, just from walking in the streets I can tell you I’ve never seen so many fathers with babies strapped to their chests.

    • probably because they are of a younger generation than the generation that were like the ones Simon and Martina discussed. i did notice, while i stayed in korea, that a LOT of fathers were carrying the babies (in a baby sling, of course :p) and pushing the prams

Related Latest Trending