Dating outside your race unavoidably brings about stereotypes and prejudices. Unusual thing about dating Korean men is that it brings two sets of stereotypes that are completely opposing and mutually exclusive. I must admit that there is rarely a thing that can throw me off balance as much as prejudices. But this conflict of stereotypes about Korean men is so ironic it does nothing more than bring a smile of contempt to my face.
On one hand, there is the stereotype of Asian man as a little emasculated guy that no woman in her right mind could find attractive. On the other hand, droves of screaming Hallyu fans bring about the prejudice that if you are dating a Korean guy it must be because of the twisted perception of a perfect Korean guy painted in dramas.
So, I have a choice between being an asexual woman who only cares about guy’s personality or a crazed fan that doesn’t care about guy’s personality at all, as long as he is Korean? I would like to put those two groups of people in the same room so they can have a talk.
Let me pause here and say that there is nothing wrong with falling for a guy because of fantasy you have, whether it comes from Korean drama, K-pop or somewhere else. Is it in any way less shallow to say you like tall guys, or blue-eyed guys, than to say you like Korean guys? Enter a room full of people and you will instantly be attracted to some while others won’t even register on your radar. Who is so self-aware to know exactly why they are attracted to someone?
However, I am glad that in my case I have never even heard of K-pop or Korean drama before I met Kimchi Man, just so I can rub it in the face of anyone who dares confront me with those prejudices.
I must admit that in my life, those prejudices come from online world. Offline I still haven’t encountered anyone who told me something like that. I don’t know if that is because they are not aware of the stereotypes, or just don’t dare say it to my face. I live in an almost exclusively white European country where other races are a rare treat. No one I know has heard of K-pop. No one heard the “Asians are bad drivers” stereotype (and I intend to keep it that way as long as my father is letting Kimchi Man drive his new car ^^). Not that I think Europe is less racist than America, it’s probably just more covert when races are not living side by side.
So why did I choose a Korean man? Only thing I knew about Korea when we met is that they have efficient car factories, because my geography teacher had mentioned that incessantly. Who knows, maybe that’s why I was attracted to a Korean man? ;) All I know is that it doesn’t matter why you are initially attracted to someone, what matters is the relationship it blossoms into. And that should only matter to the couple in the relationship. It certainly shouldn’t matter to random strangers.
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61 thoughts on “Dating Korean guy – the clash of prejudices”
“On one hand, there is the stereotype of Asian man as a little emasculated guy that no woman in her right mind could find attractive. On the other hand, droves of screaming Hallyu fans bring about the prejudice that if you are dating a Korean guy it must be because of the twisted perception of a perfect Korean guy painted in dramas.
So, I have a choice between being an asexual woman who only cares about guy’s personality or a crazed fan that doesn’t care about guy’s personality at all, as long as he is Korean? I would like to put those two groups of people in the same room so they can have a talk.”
Look, I like where your coming from, and your heart’s in the right place… but the way you talk doesn’t help anyone very much, which is a shame because it seems like you’ve got quite an audience. In the second paragraph… YES, let’s talk about this.
This site’s more like a blog and a Korean love convention where girls get together and… get superficial advice for dating a Korean man. It’s ridiculous. The scope is limited, and even into Korean culture itself, (which is partly representative of the tendencies in Asian culture) it doesn’t go deep enough. And you’re a Western girl! You could’ve been that bridge between East and West and North and South and all these things. You and your partners’ perspectives are critical!
Your site could be so much more. It could taken an anthropological turn, analyzing what dating outside your culture would be like. It could’ve talked about stereotypes, integrating into someone else’s culture, the compromises, the complexities, the expectations… racism, why people tend to date in their own culture than out…
You could’ve talked about a lot of things, in depth, and with substance. Have an overall theme of love trumping all barriers while LOOKING DIRECTLY without apology or contempt for the preconceived notions that people pick up, and discussing those issues in a way that’ll help people understand the core dynamics within cultural/value-differences, dating, and love.
Even if you focus on Korea specifically.
Damn. And this site came up high on google search too. You know how good that is for publicity? You could’ve shed a lot of light onto cross-cultural dating.
But this site IS a blog.
The two of us are neither historians nor anthropologists nor sociologists. We are two people who fell in love, learned quite a bit from experience and each other, and wanted to share it with others.
This site is not as popular as you seem to think, but the popularity it does have is precisely there because we kept what we talked about down to dealing with simple everyday issues. I did thourougly prepare for every answer, and I did read a lot about cultural appropriation, race as a social construct, etc. That knowledge and a lengthy discussion with Kimchi Man shaped every answer I’ve given here, but I never felt it necessary to use specific terminology and convoluted statements to present myself as an expert in an area in which I am not.
Don’t get me wrong, I love science, I think science is immensely important, I find science fascinating, and I am scientist myself (although in natural, not social sciences). I love to get into depth and spend time researching different topics, which I think you can see from looking at some post I’ve written like Korean calligraphy, Korean alphabet, and fastest way to type Korean, Western hypocrisy when it comes to dog meat, etc.
However, the type of writing you are talking about is what people make successful careers out of and published in respected scientific journals, not something you will come across in a blog someone keeps as a hobby.
Especially not in a person with a brain as ravaged as mine.
You seem inspired and eloquent enough so why not create such site that you speak of. I would gladly read it.