i grew up in seoul and i'm half korean and i've only ever dated white girls. i've been away for a very long time. is it unusual to find white girls interested in korean guys... in korea? i have no idea. do you? wish i could meet some such women...
Well, you've played right into my hands with that one. This showed up at some point during the night, and went right along with what I'd already started writing in pieces about the dating blog phenomenon in Korea. Which was supposed to be in response to this question:
Do you know... if there are a male perspective (aka a male's view on dating Korean women) blog? These are fun to read, but at the same time... I can't help thinking.. "Man if there was only a good female version..." Thanks ^^
The short answer to the first question is 'yes' -- yes, there are. And yes I do know of them. Many, many, many of them. The short answer to the second question is 'yes' -- but I'm not going to link you to them. For reasons I'll get into in more detail in a following post.
First I want to deal with the first question. Or rather, the notorious myth that may have spurred it on, and Why I Think The Kboy Bloggers Were Revolutionary. Okay? Okay.
Let's go back into the annals of INP history for this one. You all know I have trouble writing about anything at all in theory. I need to use my personal experience to make things make sense to myself, a lot of the time. And this is going to take me a minute, because, honestly it's been a long road. Almost as if I'm desperate to contradict myself, I hope I can explain what the dating bloggers meant to me when I found them, and why I think what they did was important, by letting you all see my own personal experience. I'm going to break it up into parts because I'm not actually trying to kill you with boredom. Although some collateral damage may be inevitable.
So first, then.
Before Korea: Sleeping with Asian men is hilarious.
Setting: Fall of 2007, New York City.
INP has just had the crushing realization that her life actually belongs to her, and she can take it and put it wherever on this globe she has a mind to. At the moment, the most prominent option seems to be Korea. She is sort of iffy about the whole thing, because INP is sort of iffy about every new commitment that occurs to her, even if she's already decided to make it. But she makes it. INP now begins to inform her nearest-and-dearest of her decision. INP is not necessarily known for her love life, being that relationships don't come that naturally to her. But she is fairly well known for her, shall we say, appreciation for the opposite sex. INP's N&D have one resounding question for her about her new plans, other than, "What the hell are you doing?" That question is....
"What are you going to do about the men?"
INP contemplated this. She hadn't thought of it as much of an issue. INP wasn't that bothered about Korean men, one way or another, to be honest. She knew that there was a fairly well populated community of foreign men in Korea, which included many from the UK, which was the only real category INP was very concerned with at the time -- she liked the accents. Either way, INP figured she would just get there and figure everything out. There are attractive men all over the world, she reasoned (save for possibly her hometown, a place for which she still holds a grudge against the local 'culture') -- she would work it out.
But several people in INP's inner circle surprised her in their reactions. INP was not an idiot -- she was aware of the stereotypes surrounding Asian men in American culture. She was probably, if she was completely honest, a holder of one or two in her own mind at times. But INP at no point believed that the mere thought of her in bed with an Asian man should send anyone she knew and called one of her own into fits of hysterical laughter. That was a bit much for her to handle. She was disappointed and -- again, if she's honest -- a little bit shamed.
INP's friends' issue was this: INP had been known to prefer a certain type of man. INP, herself, was a certain type of woman, and pretty much matched well with this type of man. INP liked scruffy and masculine, rough around the edges. Most of INP's N&D found her taste in men to be nothing short of scary. INP's friends had certain ideas about what Korean men, unequivocally, would or could be. The idea of INP walking down the street holding hands with one of these 'ideas' was a bit too much for her friends' to handle.
INP understood where the idea was coming from. But she had been teaching Korean university students in New York for nearly two years and had found more than one of them to be at least somewhat attractive. She had also already become aware of Gong Yoo and Lee Byeonghun -- two actors who INP thought were surely above reproach on even an international level, living, breathing proof that Asian men, even measured against Western ideals about masculinity could be masculine, attractive, and crushingly sexy. But even among INP's 'enlightened' friends, this was apparently hilarious. INP just stopped talking about it. Which is not something INP was known for doing, at all ever -- especially when challenged. And is still something to this day of which INP is not proud.
Then INP started to frequent a little place called Dave's ESL Cafe. As most people end up doing at one point or another in their time preparing to come to Korea to teach English. Suddenly, INP was bombarded with one overarching message. The message was this: Western women do not find Korean men attractive. Korean men do not find Western women attractive. As Western men in Korea are all completely consumed with Korean women (given how unattractive Western women are in comparison), and all that leaves Western women with are girly pansy-assed Korean men (who none of them find attractive, and who, mutually, don't find Western women attractive), then Western women in Korea can expect to spend their year with their sexual congress 'out of session'.
INP may have been a lot of things, but stupid definitely wasn't one. It didn't take her long to realize that, oddly enough, all of these posts were coming from Western men. INP tried to find some input from Western women, but there was none to be found. Anytime a Western woman tried to say anything at all on this site, in fact, it seemed she was immediately shouted down for being, oddly enough, 'fat'. Which seemed to be an applicable comment no matter what information the woman had or hadn't provided about herself, and in nearly every situation, no matter what was being discussed.
INP started to feel very worried about her impending time in the ROK. She had read dozens of warnings (from Western men) about how horribly sexist Korean men were. And yet, INP was getting the sinking feeling that the Western men in Korea may not be much better. And the worst thing of all was that she couldn't find any input at all coming from any women. She wasn't sure she had realized exactly what she might be getting herself into. But that was something she would just have to accept.
Then, INP came to Korea. And on the ground, she finally found the women.