Pride and Prejudice: Part 1

The Prejudice surrounding genderfication in East Asian culture

As I have being going to school I have lived with international students who are primarily Chinese. Where as I have a much more westernized up bring, while still having respect for traditional east asian culture I can’t help but notice some very interesting characteristics and behaviours. All of which greatly interests me but a few can really hit a nerve…or hit a funny bone to be more specific, since it doesn’t really hurt but anyone can attest to its annoyance.

I think my biggest pet peeve is probably the outrageous double standards present. On great! You must think, more feminism.

Yep! You can say it’s feminism but it’s also much more while at the same time…much less.

Sometimes feminism is a touchy topic…

Oh who am I kidding! Most of the time it is a touchy topic!

I however chose to believe that this is mainly because many people don’t fully understand what it is actually advocating for. Feminism is “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities” (merriam webster). the key word here is “equal,” feminism should not misandry, and anyone who uses feminism to excuse the miss treatment of men is an extremist asshole, not an actual feminist.

Even I personally think the word itself is an outdated term describing something more meaningful than what the initial impression gives. This is probably because the word comes  from an era where women really had little rights whereas today there are great social pressures and inequality present for both genders. Although I do believe that women get a scarily large proportion of it. And a lot of it can be a frightful experience with a higher percentage of rape and sexual assault and generally less respect especially in certain work fields.

Anyways today I’m not going into the heavier side of this topic and instead I’m going to address the general annoyance of being a female in both western and eastern countries.

1. Double standards:

In my experience, double standards are more tame in the western world…when i say western world i really just mean Canada; i can’t speak for other countries since I haven’t lived in them. While living with international students however, I’ve noticed some interesting and strong expectations for men and women.

  • expectation 1: women shouldn’t smoke
  • expectation 2: men prefer women with long hair
  • expectation 3: women should be more tame, cute and pure
  • expectation 4: women prefer men with cars
  • expectation 5: men have more pressure to find a higher paying job
  • expectation 6: men should do well in school

As you may have noticed pressures exist here for both genders. Pressure on women is primarily based on looks and appearance whereas males feel pressure on the financial and academic side. Not that men aren’t expected to look good or women aren’t expected to be successful but the two genders experience the most pressure on their respective sides.

These double standards really bug me because it’s ridiculous…why shouldn’t women smoke just because they are women? why is it men are expected to have cars? These expectations have become so natural that the people involved in believing these prejudices can not see that these expectations vary from culture to culture, and person to person. These prejudices have become so habitual that only a bystander like me can see how dangerous and scary it can become. what also terrifies me is a question that is addressed to me “what cultural gender biases and expectations am I carrying?”

Have you, my reader watched any k-dramas? Even if you haven’t you have probably heard of them after all they are all over the internet.

A popular plot line in these k-drama is the ‘poor girl meets good looking rich dude’ like in Boys Over Flowers, Secret Garden or Heirs. Or the ‘stupid girl meets good looking smart dude’ like in liar game or mischievous kiss. All of these dramas, movies and manga fulfill a female fantasy which is why these big film corporations in asia do so well with the female crowd. Which woman doesn’t want to see good looking, talented, wealthy guys get wooed by a regular pure girl?

Boys_Over_Flowers_(TV_series)_poster Secret_garden_korean_drama40c1b21442b151f2ab2cecda1c5467531388785705_full

On the other hand, the western film industry does exactly the opposite where their films are primarily targeted towards males and females are objectified and play side role characters. In fact most films don’t even pass the Bechdel test; where two women who must be named must talk to each other about something other than a man….wait…now that i think about it most k-drama episodes probably don’t pass the bechdel test either (; ̄Д ̄)…DAMN.

Well it’s a good thing most J-dramas do, since they are mostly centered around the interpersonal relationships between family and friends and not entirely about finding the perfect guy!

In general, from blockbuster movies to Korean dramas although amusing, belittles female capability and puts societal pressure on males to achieve the impossibly rare.

Now lets get into a more serious issue that women in the western world face everyday in a professional setting. If a women goes into a more technical job like engineering or computer sciences they are often looked down upon in the work place, often subconsciously. This is true even when the woman is more efficient at her job then a male counterpart.

Something funny yet incredibly annoying happened in my experience. Last Christmas my family bought a chrome cast, something easily set up with one button so there is no reason to malfunction…the sucky thing is that it did. When the thing didn’t working I troubleshooted it, looked up different methods online but it was wonky and half worked and half didn’t. eventually i was on the verge of giving up but i thought why not give it one last try and call google services, they might have some solution I couldn’t find.

A male picked up, and I swear the second he realized i was female…he began judging me and had assumed i was incompetent. Because even though I told him everything I had done he didn’t seem to listen to a word and went on to trouble shoot the chromecast in the simplest way possible straight off the google website. Which was just to reboot the chromecast…something i had already done a million times.

He was incredibly useless, rude and judgmental, but what can you do? This seems like the fate of women in the technical world. I had even looked at my router settings to see if that was the problem and all he could tell me was to try pressing the only button on the stupid chromecast.

You are probably wondering why I said this is funny…it’s not…I can really only laugh wryly.

luckly and slightly ironically this pre-existing notion that men are superior to women in regards to technology isn’t as common overseas as compared to westernized  cultures.

Please keep in mind that gender is not inherent, it is instead a social construct!

In part two of this blog post i’ll be writing about the “pride” aspect of the two cultures. 🙂

Please give this blog a like if you are interested in the topic! Thanks for reading!

Give a like if this topic interests you! Thanks for reading!

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