The above title being a quote from this Korea Times article referencing a regional road sign advertising for immigrant wives from SE Asia…
(Brian from Jeollanam-do, btw, takes great offense to the almost immediate connection of brutality with white American racism in the post. I don’t, but I think it is misplaced. I agree that it reveals how racist the writer is and may reflect how many Koreans feel about Americans. But I also know much of this zenophobia is built out of deep-seated jealousy. And this particular instance, the brutality is unmasked Korean male brutality against women.)
In addition, an actual photo of another advertising slogan used in the article:
As an adoptee, I bristle at the thought of importing anyone across cultures and languages – especially if it is not based upon relationship, but on an imbalance of power. In Korea’s case, much like the U.S., the power is economic. In S.E. Asia’s case, the have-nots are willing to sell themselves in order to have. See this New York Times Article, on Korean Men Use Brokers to Find Brides in Vietnam
Mr. S. is on a reconnaissance mission to the Philippines. He is to take a photo of a woman being arranged as a bride for his handicapped friend. This is to ensure that her skin color is light enough…
Never mind that it smacks of trafficking and that it repulses me. Never mind that the skin color thing smacks of colonized mind-set and classism. I tell him it’s a bad idea.
“But he’s a good man.”
“So…he’s buying a wife. He’s PURCHASING another human being”
“But she will be happy because he has money!”
“No. It’s a bad idea. She will be unhappy. She won’t be able to speak Korean and she will be totally alone and resent being stuck with a handicapped man. She will divorce him and take his money. And what does it matter what color skin she has?”
“Koreans don’t like dark skin. Philippinos are dark skinned, so I must photograph that she is lighter.”
“But it’s not like he’s perfect.”
“But he is rich so she will be happy.”
If he is such a good man, why doesn’t he let some handicapped woman know love too? It’s not like SHE will be in any position to go purchase a husband from S.E. Asia…Then, maybe he won’t be so lonely, as someone will be fully able to relate to him.
But no. “She is very beautiful and has very white skin. My friend has money. She will be happy.”
I think I am going to vomit. I am seriously ill over this. This is from my enlightened new boyfriend. This is from one of the best minds in Korea?
There is also some correlation between this and Korean men’s willingness to completely destabilize and separate their families and send their women and children abroad to live in the U.S. I remember there are various levels of these fathers.
- Eagle fathers are those wealthy enough to visit their families regularly
- Wild geese fathers may see their families about once a year
- Penguin fathers have no wings and just never see their families.
See Tongue-Tied, a documentary about the lengths Koreans will go to regarding English education as a means of getting ahead, and this New York Times article, For English Studies, Koreans say goodbye to Dad
The correlation is getting ahead. Of appearing successful. To hell with love. To hell with family. To hell with values.
Koreans think Americans are cold egoists and materialists with no family values or respect. Yet for the majority of people I’ve met here, they are what they accuse. If I hear even one more such reference (And I do. Far too often.) I am going to go ballistic.
This week I really don’t like Korea. It’s upside down land. Inside out land. And people wonder why so many of the English teachers here develop nasty attitudes towards Korea…
Perhaps the only thing I like about this place are the kids. Half of them are already totally warped by the time I see them, though. I want off this ROK.
I also don’t like men or adoption or adoptees or politics or people today.
Please, can’t something heart-warming (sans pathos) happen soon?