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What’s the Ideal Korean Woman?

November 28, 2013


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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



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What’s the Ideal Korean Woman?


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  1. 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.

    6 years ago
  2. 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 :)

    7 years ago
  3. Do you guys plan to have kids? Other then Spudgy and Meemers?

    7 years ago
  4. 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.

    7 years ago
  5. 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.

    7 years ago
  6. 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

    7 years ago
  7. 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!

    7 years ago
  8. 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! :)

    7 years ago
  9. I feel like you are very close. You have incredibly deciphering skills!

    7 years ago
  10. 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?

    7 years ago
  11. the 30 year old woman sound like the drama “still marry me”(the woman who still wants to get married) everybody said that if you are a 30 year old woman and you arent married with kinds its so sad. when i heard the video i was like OMG so unfair but yeah its like mexican culture (my culture) man works and provides money and she take care of the kids and house and if you work you look for a “mom job” one that you can go out as soon as your kids go out from school and your husband came from work to eat and with vacations that matches your kids holidays too. and if he doesnt work and stay at home its like “whats wrong with him? why he is ok with his wife providing everything?, he needs to look for a job and be a man”

    the diference is that mexican men like pretty girls for dating but for marriage they want someone that cooks >.<

    7 years ago
  12. the 30 year old woman sound like the drama “still marry me”(the woman who still wants to get married) everybody said that if you are a 30 year old woman and you arent married with kinds its so sad. when i heard the video i was like OMG so unfair but yeah its like mexican culture (my culture) man works and provides money and she take care of the kids and house and if you work you look for a “mom job” one that you can go out as soon as your kids go out from school and your husband came from work to eat and with vacations that matches your kids holidays too. and if he doesnt work and stay at home its like “whats wrong with him? why he is ok with his wife providing everything?, he needs to look for a job and be a man”

    7 years ago
  13. Is this mentality still going strong with the younger generation? If it is, it seems like for foreigners that don’t think the same way, such as Americans, it would be a bad idea to marry a Korean guy, no? (Which is unfortunate…)

    7 years ago
  14. Question: Have you or any of your friend teachers ever had a western student in your career span? (like exchange student or of the like)

    7 years ago
    • I teach in a public school and I had an exchange student in my fourth grade class for about 3 months (during the summer vacation in America) She was from Atlanta and she came to learn Korean. I loved having her and all the kids loved having her too.

      7 years ago
      • cool! I was actually thinking in the future to try for a program in South Korea! nice to know it happens!

        7 years ago
  15. Cute and Sexy comes together in Kevin…you know this already. Not sure about girls though.

    7 years ago
  16. such long comments

    7 years ago
  17. Hey guise.

    Maybe the whole situation (employee – single/married) would change if some people… more people would come up and stand on firm positions… and maybe… it would change slowly… if only… I think the companies think they can get away with it and that’s why they have all these restrictions…

    …and about guys… most of them want a pretty girl…no matter if they worked hard to get where they got…or not… rarely …you find someone that’s interested less in looks and more in what the person has to say or what the person thinks..

    …your friend’s friend… I’m pretty sure he’s gonna get what he deserves.


    7 years ago
  18. I would like to know about counter culture in Korea. I know here in the states punk and goth culture isn’t uncommon, but how about in Korea? Is it as prominent? If so, how is it handled by society and schools, work, etc. Thanks!

    7 years ago
  19. One thing my family did is that my father always worked but my mom only stayed at home until all of the kids enrolled into school. Hence, once my youngest brother started kindergarten she went back to work because none of her kids were babies anymore who needed constant care. I think it’s important to be very close to your children when they’re infants/toddlers but as they get a bit older and become less dependent then you’ll have more time to pursue a career again. Seeing that most people will spend decades in the workforce anyways, taking just a few years off for your children (if possible) is reasonable.

    7 years ago
  20. I grew up being raised by my mom, my dad was never around but that’s not the case. Since, I told my mom that I wanted to move to Korea in the future after I finished college & marry a Korean or marry at least marry a Korean American. My mom has no problem with the whole different race thing but she always told me that whoever would be my future husband…he had to treat me right & we both had to treat each other equally. In other words, I shouldn’t be a stay at home wife & rely on just my husband for income, we both need to pull or wait. I should have a successful job just like my husband & we both each do our fair share of household chores. This is the requirement for not just me but for also my future husband. Besides, my mom will kick my ass if I ever become a stay at home wife.

    7 years ago
  21. I think Martina said something about going to get something to eat like a sandwich or “somefing” But yeah, the gender qualities are pretty much as expected..

    7 years ago
  22. Ok.. I’m gonna raise a half hand…. and do my best to decode (which might be a fail)
    I got some thing like….
    “Ducky, I love you. But when are we going to go to eat?”
    “I think we’re going too go after we film and get some food”
    that last sentence though…. o boy i’m not really sure at all….
    I’m guessing your saying you want to go eat something specific?… but I really don’t know what that is at all. XD But It’s super cute!! ^.^

    The language thing really is a must couple thing though XD
    My boyfriend and I speak in quarter english, quarter mandarin, quarter japanese, and quarter “chup” language.
    it could be something like “haii, but what the choup are chuchuing? ahchu baka boy :P ” or when saying good bye “wo ai chup! zai jian<3"
    And I'm sure you two can agree that the language is a habit! and you get weird looks from friends when you attempt to speak to them in that language by mistake. XD

    7 years ago
  23. Polish standards are quite similar.

    they say that something is changing…. but not fast enough.

    still women should work, have their careers, and make all housework. and these are the standards that women themselves pressure other women to follow!

    you should be this and that, you should serve your husband well, you should be the geisha in the bedroom and the perfect housewife in the kitchen. if not – your husband will surely cheat on you or change you for a better model :p
    some new progressive marriages are different.
    but still, women must brought up their husbands to make them understand that they will have to help in the house too :p
    bringing up is sometimes tiring, I know it from my own experience [hopefully my husband likes cooking. I dont.] :)

    7 years ago
  24. There are some things I’d like to say as a Korean male. While I agree with most of what Simon & Martina said, there ARE some qualities other than being pretty to be the ideal Korean woman. Yes, society expects women to marry successful men, have kids, and be full-time housewives. But the thing is, good looks alone doesn’t make you a good housewife. The ideal role model for the traditional housewife is Shin Sa Im Dang, who raised and educated Yulgok, one of the greatest Confucian scholars during Chosun Dynasty. Therefore, the ideal Korean woman has to be intelligent and caring in order to raise the children.

    And that’s the reason news presenters are considered to be the best candidates for marriage. They’re usually pretty, intelligent, and nice(at least on screen). You’ll see that many news presenters marry into the chaebol(richest families in Korea), or marry celebrity sports players like Park Ji Sung. Women in teaching jobs are also preferred for the same reasons, but I think it is only fitting to consider only the few top-class TV presenters for this topic since Simon & Martina had set such high standards for the “ideal man” last week.

    To summarize,
    qualities of the ideal man = rich, smart, attractive. (in order of decreasing importance)
    qualities of the ideal woman = attractive, smart, rich. (in order of decreasing importance)
    Of course, these are just a generalization, and not every Korean person agrees with it.

    7 years ago
  25. My Korean fiancée will be coming to the US in a few weeks, and will be a house husband until he gets his green card, but he’s a good sport and a lot better at cooking and cleaning than I am anyways. ^^

    7 years ago
  26. Ridding or changing gender roles sounds great on paper, but in practice, I don’t see how it has edified society. Consider Japan for example: low birth rate, less people are getting married because they see no point, both men and women can exist as independent, self-sufficient individuals, a marriage would put a burden on their career—let alone having children—and as a result more adult diapers than baby diapers. If they continue this way over the generations, they’re going extinct. In the USA (which is where I live), I don’t see the improvement either: instead of more “freedom”, I see more of a burden for women to HAVE to work in order to survive, especially with high divorce rates, neither men nor women having a sense of life-long loyalty to any particular person, at least that’s the common consensus of the people around me, and a preference for single-hood too (though not necessarily celibate). Regardless, if I had to identify the root cause of the inequality, I would say it’s a selfishness issue. Even if the gender roles were flipped, that would still be the problem. Selfishness is failing to think how this affects the other person (whether it’s your female employee or your spouse whom you’re holding ridiculous expectations from), that is the problem. When people get selfish, expecting the other person to do everything while they remain at ease (or, like the example of withholding promotions on the 30 year old woman, only thinking about your selfish monetary profit), that’s when it gets abusive—like anything else that gets corrupted from its original intent.

    Not even in the bible, which people claim to be sexist, is it ever like that (i.e. Aquila and his wife Priscilla both worked; the woman in Proverbs 31 worked, Lydia who sold purple cloth worked, etc…) they were not told to “stay confined to the house because you have a vagina, children, and are past a certain age”. How much more “conservative” can you get than the bible? and if even that doesn’t agree with you, you’re just being flat out oppressive. The honest gender role of married women in scripture is to be a “help meet”, Genesis 2:18 KJV (side note: it goes without saying that ceIibates, virgins, and eunuchs in the bible aren’t forced to have kids/start families, Jesus says as much in Matthew 19:12 [I decided to quote Jesus out of convenience, but the Old Testament makes mention of eunuchs and “virgins for life” too i.e. Isaiah 56:4-8 and Jepthahs daughter, Judges 11:37-40, off the top of my head]; though virgins/celibates/eunuchs could help the household they’re a part of, lending a hand, or getting a job, or deciding to be less of a burden whether by consuming less or contributing monetarily too, what have you /end side note). I think the role of “help meet” is most fulfilled when both spouses are working in the same profession: two farmers like Adam and Eve, two tanners like Aquila and Priscilla (two teachers which eventually turned into two vloggers, Simon and Martina :P). Scripture-wise, it’s never forcing the other person to take on a full career by themselves, separately, and on top of that forcing them to do all the housework too. So a disclaimer if anyone is thinking it—because I use to think this at one point—do not tie “biblical” with everything falling under the “conservative” label in your country (a lot overlaps, but not everything; that said marriage was only ever between male and female in the bible, can’t help anyone there). And Jacob was the one who cooked with his mother (sure he wasn’t married, but to break the mold that a male can’t help in the kitchen that apparently some folks have, that’s not biblical [i.e Genesis 25:29]; males can help in the kitchen lol). Not to mention it was common place even for poorer people to have maids/servants to help around the house. That’s not really the culture here in the USA, all the more reason such a role (working housewife) is seen as too much in this country, because it is (and from what I’ve seen [from afar], South Korea is no different in that aspect). It’s just rich people who have maids to that extent. Though in the Caribbean islands where my family is from, they still hire poor people around them to help around the house; it’s nothing regulated the way it is here in the USA though.

    It’s been a few years now since I’ve started to see things differently, but reflecting on what I see around has led me to appreciate the gender roles and distinction between the sexes. (I hope no one gets offended, but I can’t heIp but suspect that we’re doing something to the environment and food supply that we have people born as transgender, in such confusion). I must admit that YHWH’s commands, including those over gender roles, do help keep things in order. For the record: I have no environmental bias in favor of such conservative thinking: I was born in ’89 and live on the coast, even my birth was illegitimate lol, so I’m not a product of a conservative upbringing whatsoever (grew up agnostic too, immersed in the occult, and pretty much free reign to do what I want). Though, I can clearly see (now) how those conservative roles do help maintain the functioning order in society. Reading the bible afterwards only helped to put the proverbial nail in the coffin. :P

    I’m meditating and reflecting outloud at this point. But if I got down to the bottom of it, I honestly feel that if people sincerely kept YHWH’s instructions in every aspect in life, leaving the selfishness behind (because the motivation behind all you do at that point would be to serve God and others) there wouldn’t be inequality or imbalances—emphasis on sincerely. In so doing, we wouldn’t eat more than we need to, we wouldn’t eat certain animals from the ecosystem that could lead to imbalances on land and in the sea, we’d stay loyal to our spouse thus less divorce, we would actually carry out justice instead of accusing innocent people and letting criminals go, and just bodily well-being all around avoiding so much lust, envy, rage), and like I mentioned earlier, under a sincere observance of gender roles, married people wouldn’t feel like one spouse is carrying more of a burden than another. Employers, society in general though, shouldn’t assume things about their employees just because they reached a certain age; deal with people on an individual basis, not firing based on what the majority of people do, but just/righteous assessment. Gender roles aside, that’s not a very smart move (to fire someone just because they’re 30-something now).

    7 years ago
    • “I hope no one gets offended, but I can’t heIp but suspect that we’re doing something to the environment and food supply that we have people born as transgender, in such confusion”

      I have to politely disagree with you on this. Transgender people have existed since long before all the modern day environmental damage started-the Egyptian pharaoh Hatshepsut, for example, was born female but identified as male. Also, I know quite a few transgender people, and I wouldn’t describe any of them as “confused.” They know they have female or male anatomy; they just don’t feel like they “fit” with their anatomy.
      And I’m totally not offended, by the way, I just thought I’d add a bit of my own information.

      7 years ago
  27. There is so much about this discussion that is both frustrating and fascinating. Being an American man living in Korea, it’s very frustrating to see the rigid conformity of both genders in Korea that puts so much emphasis on what is often quite vain or unreasonably traditional. The gender roles are somewhat like western cultures, only cranked up a few notches. I’ve asked many Korean friends things like, “why don’t you find someone with similar values?” or “what do you want? You know you don’t HAVE to go to such-and-such university to be a worthwhile person.” Yet, these individualist mindsets of mine don’t seem to penetrate the MASSIVE cultural pressures Korean people face. There are definitely too many “shoulds” in this culture and it’s something I hope the younger generation will grow out of.

    On the other hand, I do think too extreme of a mindset on gender roles is negative: one of no gender roles whatsoever (like the West is leaning towards). At least when couples have children (if they choose so, of course), it makes perfect sense for one parent to primarily raise the child(ren) while the other brings home resources. While it doesn’t have to be the woman the whole time, it certainly makes sense evolutionarily and biologically that she stays with the children while they’re infants. I think the fact that there is a strong emphasis on father/mother culture in Korea is somewhat positive, and if they didn’t treat children like cattle in Korean schools they’d be in pretty good shape. The problem is they still take the traditional blueprint too far, which makes sense considering the rapid change in technology and culture here. Effective, widespread birth control is still relatively young (historically speaking), and is not fully grasped/accepted in Korea; so they still kind of set up their gender roles as if childbearing was an inevitability instead of a choice. I still think there’s space for somewhat traditional gender mindsets, and that having participatory, mindful mother/father roles is ESSENTIAL if couples peruse children. The lack of mindful, duel-parenting (do people even talk about children when they date in the States???) is something I think is damaging in the West, and could ultimately be its demise.

    7 years ago
  28. As shitty as this sounds, there’s an evolutionary thing driving these “checklists” for potential mates, and it’s a CROSS-CULTURAL AND UNIVERSAL phenomenon. Men want women who are young and pretty, typically a couple years younger than he is. Beauty is a health indicator (particularly when you have clear skin), and the waist-hip ratio (think of the hourglass figure) indicates signals her reproductive status and how she is able to bear children. Being younger gives her a few more years to pump out a few babies while she still can.

    Women, on the other hand, want an older man who has that great career and high pay. This relates to parental investment theory. Women have to put so much into carrying the baby and letting the baby feed off the mother’s body’s nutrients while in utero, and then have to take care and breastfeed this dependent newborn for a few more years. If she’s doing all that, she can’t go off and collect resources of her own! Resources used to be things like food and meat, but in a more modern context, MONEY. Him being a few years older is often associated with him having a savings account and already having resources that he could provide for his future offspring.

    Despite all this, that’s not to say that I don’t want other things in my guy, like being funny and kind and a total gentleman, and I will NOT let him pick up all the bills when we go out to dinner. This girl’s gotta chip in 50/50! <3

    7 years ago
  29. Did you guys coordinate your outfits for this video? The colors are very matchy, matchy.

    7 years ago
  30. I remember the first time I heard the phrase ‘Bagel girl’ I bust out laughing because I’m a native New Yorker (#USNASTY holla!) and I pretty much thought exactly what Martina did.

    But what you guys mentioned in the video and in the blog post doesn’t exactly surprise me. Stereotypical women are super picky and expect the men in their life to provide for them, while stereotypical men want someone hot who will look good on their arm and produce good kids. That doesn’t apply to everyone, but from a purely biological level it does make sense. Women have a longer gestation and a limited amount of babies she can produce and she will need help when she’s pregnant and afterwards to care for the child. Why shouldn’t she want someone who can provide for her and her future offspring? And men have unlimited amounts of children they can sire, so why not pick out the best mates and have children with them?

    The one thing that did irk me was that the glass ceiling for women arrives so suddenly in Korea. I know in North America some women work up to and through their 30’s and 40’s and are still offered jobs and projects. However, this is often at the expense of their love life and then at that point not many people want to marry someone who they can’t provide for, who is established and only has a limited number of years left in which they can produce healthy children.

    It’s an interesting situation.

    7 years ago
  31. I think the most important things in a relationship are the you have a similar outlook on life and find each other interesting. Sure I think my husband is handsome but there are probably other men who are more handsome. What I really appreciate about my husband is that we work on problems/goals together and that he is FUN. I mean you have to see this person EVERYDAY. What a miserable life to have a partner who is beautiful but boring.

    I’d also like to say that there is nothing wrong with being a stay at home mom or dad. Kids are a lot of work and childcare is expensive. The problem is when you are pressured into it when you would rather work. I have two kids and my husband and I both work, so we pay for childcare because we both want to work.

    In the US there is definitely still a lot of gender inequality, but most of the women I know don’t feel pressured to stay home when they want to work. I even had one friend who thought she wanted to stay home but changed her mind after a while and went back to school and her husband fully supported her. Also, in my experience most husbands do at least some housework and childcare (although women usually do more).

    Is this other people’s experience in the US?

    7 years ago
    • From what I see, in the US (I live in Chicago, by the way), most families of religious backgrounds tend to be the most traditional and old fashioned. Whether they are Christian, Muslim, or Jewish, etc.
      And it seems like big cities like where I live have more gender equality than the countryside.
      I heard that in many parts of southern US is still very conservative, and many women
      are stay at home moms.

      6 years ago
  32. Hey Simon and Martina can you please do a TL;DR about how to prepare for the ultimate Kpop concert since most of us are Kpop fans. Thankss!

    7 years ago
  33. This video reminds me a lot of the traditional values of my culture. I’m hispanic, my mom is from Mexico and my dad is Puerto Rican and a lot of the desirable traits are the same. Women are seen more as objects than life partners and this also happened in my parent’s relationship. Over time, things got a bit better, but my mom was expected to do all the housework, cooking, etc. regardless of whether or not she had a job while my dad was the breadwinner. It’s actually one of the main reasons why I avoid dating a guy who is hispanic, because I want to avoid any of the traditional mindset that may have been ingrained in him from infancy.

    7 years ago
  34. In Chinese culture, the ideal woman is that she is obviosuly pretty. Pretty=best. However, the extra requirement is that a girl is skinny and pale skinned. I think there is the requirement that she is smart but I’m pretty certain that’s obvious.

    Again, I’m not sure if the skinny aspect applies to all of China, or regions of China. My mom is from Hong Kong, and she insists that I try not to be fat. In China, parents want their kids to be chubby because it means the kids are healthy. However, in Hong Kong fat=the worst thing EVER. My bf mom thought I was too skinny and that I should eat more. But I think she understands that I look fine being skinny. Now she agrees that my bf is fat. IDK maybe parents want their kids to be skinny after they are teenagers…

    I think another requirement is to have..um.. a decent upper chest region (you know what I’m talking about) since a lot of girls in the culture are not.. uh blessed in that region. The problem is… I am way above average in that region and I think that may attract guys… I’ve never really tried, but I don’t really care to try and show off.

    Oh and some girls expect the guy to always carry her bags, and buy her expensive stuff. I don’t see a point. I can carry my own bag. I’m not weak. Also, what if they broke up with the person? THere goes 1000s of dollars…

    I never did get to date a guy from Hong Kong. A lot of adults expected me to because my mom is one and that being one is in my blood. Honestly, I think it was because I didn’t fit the requirements in high school. (I was fat, and greasy) Now that I look better, I don’t think it matters. Most of them that I’ve met are jerks anyways.

    7 years ago
  35. When I think about how Korean dating is different from what I know from my own experience, for one it’s how often a guy drags a girl behind him during romantic moments or dates. I’m not talking about the drama-like “I’m a fabulous rich jerk and now you’re going with me”, more like “we’re on a street date and my girl follows half a step behind”. I wonder if it’s as obvious as it seems to me, though. Did anybody notice it too or is it my misinterpretation?

    7 years ago
  36. Giant bias here, just fair warning. I live in the Mormon capital of the world, and from observation both outside the faith, and now several years fully invested in it the culture here puts tremendous pressure on young people (I’m talking 18+) to get married as soon as physically possible (girls right out of high school, boys immediately after serving a 2 year proselyting mission away from home – which is now generally started right out of highschool).

    This means there are many girls getting married between 18-22 (a mid-20’s unmarried girl here will get strange looks from her church community, especially if she’s not obviously in a serious relationship), and guys 20-24. As with what Simon and Martina mentioned about Korean expectations, there is a strong gender bias towards women primarily just needing to be pretty, and ready to be stay-at-home wives and mothers (though there’s no outright opposition to them pursuing some college and career goals – so long as their greatest desire is to raise children).

    While the words you’ll hear are more of the “get married for love” type that I would imagine contribute to a more successful marriage, it does appear to me that with such social pressure to start popping out more Mormon babies… a fair percentage of these young couples would really do better to spend a few years as adults before jumping into something like that.

    My personal view, sorta like Martina said, obviously nobody is looking to spend their life with an especially ugly person. That being said, I have noticed from the half dozen girls I decided to try dating here that personality has a HUGE impact on how they appear to me. A ‘cute’ girl with an awesome personality ends up looking like the prettiest thing ever… while an initially gorgeous-looking girl who ends up being not-so-friendly ends up literally looking less attractive pretty quickly. Education-wise, I haven’t found that a degree makes anyone more or less pleasant to be around, but the attitude of wanting to always learn/improve/grow as an individual makes for great company.

    Lastly, I have noticed a peculiar scrutiny since I’ve admittedly fallen in love with Korean culture due to introduction to their music (I don’t consider Psy to be pop, and no it was not Gangnam Style that really drew me in :P). So many people say that because I’ve found so many K-pop stars to be ridiculously pretty that I have an Asian fetish. How does merely finding certain traits more attractive than others make a fetish? If I liked blond-haired blue-eyed busty Swedish swim team-looking girls most of all I don’t imagine that people would say I have a European or Aryan fetish.

    Sorry for the long rant, but thoughts/comments would be appreciated! ^_~

    7 years ago
    • I don’t think that you necessarily have an Asian fetish (I would have to know you better to really know). Kpop idols are meant to be attractive, not just to Koreans, but to all men, they are sculpted/trained, and engineered so it’s only natural that you would admire these ladies. However, I would say that, given your situation, you would have extremely unrealistic expectations if you wanted to find a Mormon girl with similar or Korean traits.

      I am not Amish but I live in an extremely Amish community. I have noticed that people can be satisfied with something less than their ideal when they have to choose from a particular pool in a small window of time, instead of from the whole world, within their whole lives……..what becomes important under these circumstances, is rarely looks. You do realize that the 2 year mission is planned/timed to stir the genetic pool between communities as much as possible, right?

      7 years ago
      • Thank you very much for your input! :) Honestly as the years are passing by I think it’s unrealistic for me to find a Mormon girl at all, certainly one within this geographic region. The kind of person I’m searching for seems to be fictional at best.

        I have noticed a similar ‘settling’ as it were, as you mention with that Amish community, but rather than pickiness being inversely proportional to the desire for a wife (as seems to be the norm), I’m becoming more sure than ever of the traits (personality-wise) that I seek after – even if that means never finding the right type of girl.

        I think you may be onto something with that genetic pool stirring as well. This may be counting against me, but if I may be blunt here – the lack of similar genetic background has made all women who don’t share my genetic history seem more appealing. Albeit not the most easily-handled, but in my mind the most ‘simple’ and logical way to kill all birds with the same stone is for me to simply relocate to where the types of women and social traits that appeal to me are more abundant. Certainly can’t hurt the odds of meeting this dream girl compared to spending even more years piddling around this place, right?

        7 years ago
  37. So what if you’re a woman who doesn’t want children? Does that make you unmarriageable?

    7 years ago
    • Or can’t have children. Now I’m curious…

      7 years ago
      • That’s a good question. Many women have reproductive issues and cannot have children easily. Would a woman’s inability to have children be a reason for her husband to divorce her?

        7 years ago
        • Maybe if she lied about it, or they didn’t discuss it before marriage and the husband expected children. If you’re honest about it at the beginning, there’s no reason to get divorced over it.

          7 years ago
  38. I´d say you where talking about when you’re going to eat. ;)

    7 years ago
  39. I work in a lab and people (not from the US!) always ask me what I’m doing after my contract is up next year–I tell them nursing and they give me this look and ask me why I’m not going for a PhD or MD. Apart from the reasons I want to be a nurse because I actually like it lol, I told one of my coworkers (Swedish) that nursing would allow me to time my career properly. I could start having children after I’ve completed schooling and started working somewhere for a few years. This way taking time off wouldn’t be a big deal.

    She stared at me for a few seconds as if I had snakes coming out of my head, haha. She said she never even thought of that–that in Sweden, men absolutely have to take time off from work to take care of the baby. Meanwhile she personally said she was going to make her husband bring their baby to her workplace every 2 hours to let her breastfeed. I said unfortunately paternity leave isn’t really a thing here yet, but that I might have it a bit easier after the whole breastfeeding thing is over–my boyfriend wants to be a house dad while I’m his sugar mama afterwards. An arrangement I like :P

    7 years ago
    • brb moving to Sweden.

      Reading your comment makes me think of the comment that I posted earlier with a Ted talk video link. It talks about lack of women in leadership roles (aimed more towards the west but can be applied anywhere). NOT that I find any wrong with nursing, rather I find it a very respectable/important position and it can also be considered a leadership position. Plus you like it, so there’s no argument there. But it talks about women thinking about children and working at the same time. Do check it out if you have the time.

      Heck look at chefs. For some reason although the stereotypical place for the women is the kitchen (>.>), the lack of women (celebrity or executive) chefs in comparison to men simply makes me scratch my head. (article on macleans -> http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/11/02/missing-in-action/)

      It would be great if paternity leave was a world wide thing and then everyone will be investing in the future (the children).

      7 years ago
  40. I too would like to have a sugar mama in my life.

    7 years ago