Free Gender Bias In Korea Essay Sample
In all the cultures and societies the women are given the status of second-class citizens. Historically there exists bias towards the women in my country Korea. The gender bias that exists in the Korean society and culture has its deep roots in Confucianism. According to the Confucian teachings the men and the women have rigid traditional roles. The Korean men are the bread earners and their rightful place is the outside world. The Korean women are restricted to the home as housewives. The Korean she-child is taught early on in life to respect and to obey her father and her brother(s) and after marriage her husband. These standard roles are changing with the times. However, some biases still remain. For example, the Korean men enjoy a higher social status than the Korean women. Some enlightened Korean men and the Korean feminists are trying to gain social, sexual, and economic equality for the Korean women. They want to decrease the gender bias which is a basic part of the Korean lifestyle. I, being a male citizen of Korea have firsthand knowledge and experience of the unfair issue of the gender bias in my country.
Confucianism, I believe is the root cause of the gender bias in the Korean culture. Due to the discriminatory teachings of Confucius the conservative Korean families prefer male heirs as opposed to female ones. On the one hand, the traditional Korean families pamper the sons but on the other hand, the sons are under tremendous pressure also because the fortune of the whole family depends on them being successful professionals. When I was a high school student, my parents always egged me to study a lot. My daily schedule was very hectic and tiresome. From 7 A.M. in the morning to 5 P.M. in the evening I attended school and after school, I had private tuition. By 8 P.M. I was dead tired but could not go to bed because I had to complete my daily assignments. As of routine I went to bed around at 1A.M. I did not have breaks even on the weekends. In comparison my older sister led a leisurely life. She did go to school but after the school she was completely free. She gossiped with her friends and watched television while I was busy taking tuition lessons. My parents did not care whether she was good at her studies or not because after all her sole aim in life was to get married one day and then take care of her children. I often complained to my parents about her always having fun while I was always studying. however, my parents always told to me that I had to become a successful person because I was the male heir and their sole hope as I was to look after them when they got old .The majority of Korean daughters envy their male siblings but in my case I really envied her carefree life. Because of my tough and difficult childhood, I have resolved that in the future when I children, I will treat them with respect and without any discrimination regarding their gender.
The greatest source of gender bias in Korea is the mandatory military service. According to the Korean law I joined military service for two-years. I was a driver in the army. Everyday I woke up at 6, drove a car, and went back to my base. My military life was tiresome and dull. The mandatory service is a total waste of time. On the other hand, my female friend had a totally different and fulfilling life while I was doing military service. During the two years I was driving the army truck she graduated from the university and also got a job. When I was discharged from the military service, I wanted to cut down the gap between us therefore I studied twice as hard. All the effort took a severe toll both on my physical and psychological health, and well-being. At this juncture in my life I decided that enough was enough and I left Korea and moved to the United States to lead a stress free life. I believe that the Korean women should also serve in the army to ensure equality between the Korean men and the Korean women.
Another important incident of the gender bias in Korea is the dating ritual. When a Korean couple is dating, the man, keeping in mind his status, always spends more money than the woman. I have no idea about the source of this aspect of dating, but it the norm in Korea and the Koreans follow it without questioning. When I was 20 years old I had a girlfriend. We met very often because we lived nearby. We shared many things like eating, watching the movies, and traveling together. During the dates I paid ten times more than her. In the beginning I did not think much about paying more money than her because I, like all the other Korean men, just naturally followed the culturally accepted dating norms. However, as days passed on I began to question the unfair practice. The highlight of our relationship was planning a trip to Japan. We talked about the travel expanses like the flight, the foods, and the hotel rates. My girlfriend suggested that I should pay the hotel and the flight expenses and the rest we would share fifty-fifty. I was upset at her unfair suggestions. I completely disagreed with what she had in mind and she was surprised at my behavior. Unable to understand she was angry, as well as none of it made any sense. As a result, we canceled the trip and broken up soon there-after.
In conclusion, in contrast to what the world generally perceives that in the traditional and the conservative Asian societies women are the victims of gender bias my experience is completely opposite. In my view the Confucian lifestyle, the conscription and the peculiar dating ritual make the Korean men the actual victims of the gender bias than the Korean women.