Man. I've gotten some strange.... stuff in response to the 'dating culture in Korea: likes' post. And I'd just like to clarify that, frankly, I think dating people based on race is kind of weird. And, well, racist. Even if you really really love Korean boys because they're all so nice and polite. I still think that's racist (and delusional). And if you just really like how their bodies are always hairless and slim. A little racist.

I just wanted to make it clear that that post wasn't about my preference for Korean men, or how I think Korean men are inherently any of those things. I also would like to point out that none of those qualities are qualities that can be found only in Korean men. Not by far. I was talking about Korean dating culture, not the Korean race, or even Korean men. I think that is an extremely important difference to note. And if you don't know the difference, I think you should probably think about it.

And what really kinda sticks in my craw especially are any comments that lean toward, "Oh totally! I never want to date Western guys again! They're so icky in comparison!" My brother is a Western guy. Many of my best friends are Western guys. I've been in love with a Western guy. They're not icky. And we don't like it when they make statements like that about us. So we shouldn't do it about them, no matter what our preferences may be, or why we may have them. Because in my opinion, it comes across as just as creepy as, "I love Korean women because they're so giggly and cute and skinny. They still know how to be real women and listen to their men." Etc etc etc. To me, just as when I hear it out of Western men, it just smacks of some kind of deeply rooted previously held issue with your dating life that you're blaming on race, that shouldn't really be blamed on race at all.

Most of the truly successful, truly happy Korean-Western couples I know did not happen because someone had a 'thing' for something of The Other. They happened in spite of the otherness, and because love, when it's real, doesn't stop because our faces and our bodies are shaped differently, or our families have different values, or our cultures sometimes don't exactly line up. Inter-cultural relationships are no joke -- not from the outside, and not from the inside. They take a lot of work.

It's not like getting an exotic Asian animal for a pet. Although some of the emails I've gotten kind of make it sound that way. And Korean men don't really deserve that. And I certainly don't like it when they do that to me. I'm not a white girl, or an American girl, or a Western girl -- I'm me. And I don't want my partner choosing me because of any of the previously stated qualities. I want them to choose me because I'm me. I'm sure Korean men feel the same.

So, ladies, check yourselves. Just a bit. Eh?


Diana E.S. said...

whoa... I'd like to read some of these emails and have a fine chuckle.

Burndog said...

I agree totally. I met my gf at a point where I wasn't really looking for anyone at all. I wasn't against dating a Korean, but I did think that the cultural differences would make it too difficult to bother with. It is more difficult in some ways than dating a girl from home...but that difficulty can also lead to some very worthwhile rewards.

I've had some wonderful relationships back home. Relationships that I remember fondly, and value for the emotional maturity and perspective they've allowed me to develop. I don't date Koreans, or Americans, or Australians...I date people!

I actually had an arsehole friend of a friend ask me...at dinner...in front of my gf and others; "How did you get a Korean girl? I've been trying but I can't get one. What's the secret?" I felt like giving him a cockpunch...but I gave him a few words instead. What a fucktard!

Chris in South Korea said...

I don't think there's anything wrong for wanting a person you're dating to be a given race or country. It's your preference - and if that person becomes the person you marry, then you'll have to make sure that choice is correct. We do the same thing with other factors other than race: appearance, height, color of hair, perceived intelligence / cleanliness level, perceived ability in the bedroom, yadda yadda yadda.

Date who you like - but be diplomatic about turning someone down. Do unto others, and all that jazz.

Monica said...


I'm no Picasso said...

Burndog -- That's a horrible story. It reminds me of meeting one guy after he'd been in Korea for 16 hours. He looked at me and said, "What does it mean when a Korean girl touches your shoulder? Because this Korean girl touched my shoulder earlier.... I was just wondering if there was a meaning to it."

Seriously? You're here for a gap year before law school? Good luck with the rest of your life. I have to go home and clean my bathroom now.

Chris -- I guess we just have different ideas. I don't really feel like height, hair color, or race have any bearing on how capable a person is of being a suitable life partner for me.

Amandan said...

All this is true, and when looking for a long term partner more than physical appearance should be taken into account, but it is entirely natural and appropriate to be attracted to people based on their physical appearance. The first salvo of any relationship is initial physical attraction, and unless one's idea of attractiveness is excessively caught up in a singular feature or fetish like a foot or a nose. Racial characteristics are manifold (body type, skin color, hair, eyes, nose, mouth), it's perfectly natural to express a preference for one race over another without being racist. If it were racist then any preference would be a form of discrimination, such as if I wasn't attracted to overweight women, or women with large breasts.

I'm no Picasso said...

I don't think people are really getting this. It's perfectly natural to have *preferences* for all kinds of things. It is not, in my opinion, "natural" to only consider one RACE for potential partners, to completely count out another RACE for potential partners, to classify people based on race as to their likelihood of being a decent partner. I don't buy the "I'm just not attracted to Asians/Mexicans/white people/etc etc etc" line. There are physical characterisitics that present in certain races, of course. But ugly and pretty happen in every race, and if you're counting in all the ugly members of one, and counting out all the pretty members of another (which you do when you say, "I'm just not attracted to ________.") then I think it's pretty hard not to argue that you are basing things on race, and not appearance. And therefore, it is racist. In my opinion.

Diana E.S. said...

Ok, I get the physical attraction preference thing. But Liz is right about the racism issue with "Western guys/girls are so gross!" Ok... is Brad Pitt gross (well... actually, I do think he's gross... I'm more into Colin Firth--or Bruce Willis... yum)? Is Angelina Jolie gross (not counting her Billy Bob Thornton blood carrying phase)? They may not float your boat, but you really shouldn't disparage them for it.

The further creep factor of assigning personality traits to individuals based on race. Um... what? Just because a girl's Korean don't mean she's subservient (hello ajumma power!) or a guy's going to be romantic. People are people the world over.