Korean Sexuality

K-Pop and the Future of Korea

Many Westerners who come to Korea to live or to visit quickly write off K-pop, Korea's mainstream music genre, as a cheesy, sugar-coated excuse for entertainment. They see outlandish costumes, boys in heavy eyeliner, and flamboyant choreographed dance moves.  They become annoyed with strange Engrish lyrics and seemingly identical tunes that blare from just about every storefront of the country.  But, what they don't realize is that K-pop is much bigger than skinny jeans and plastic faces.  In fact, K-pop is transforming Korea as the world knows it.

BoA (보아) – Girls on Top (걸스온탑): Lyrics, Translation, & Explanation

(Source)

Why open a post about a song with a mascara ad? Good question, to which the simple answer would be that Girls on Top came out nearly 6 years ago, and high-quality, eye-catching images of BoA from back then are hard to find. But, serendipitously, it also helps focus our minds on just how unconventional the song is.


Pin-up Girls as Role Models?

(Sources: left, right)

The first fruits of my lecture last weekend!


Do Seniors Usually Sexually Harass Juniors during MT?

(Source)

When I first came to Korea in 2000, I soon got used to the notion that people should use nopimmal (높임말; respectful language) to their obvious “superiors”, such as their parents and bosses. But also to friends, even if they were just a year or two older?


Mirror Mirror by 4Minute (포미닛): Lyrics, Translation, and Explanation

(Source, all screenshots)

For many Korean girl groups, debuting a new song on a music program seems to follow a set script these days:


Korean Sociological Image: Thin Caucasian Girls Gone Wild?

(Source: Ads of the World)

Sigh. I beg to differ on Cup Noodles being a “diet food” made for “people who want to get themselves into shape”, but it’s no great surprise that that’s how they’re being marketed in Korea.


Restrictions Imposed on 18+ Controversial “Wide Leg Spread Dance”

(Source)

Followers of K-pop blogs will already be well aware of this latest storm in a teacup of course, but it’s always interesting to see what ordinary Koreans themselves read about such things.


Reading the Lolita Effect in Korea, Part 3: Six Year-Old Does KARA’s “Butt Dance” (엉덩이 춤) on “Shabekuri 007″

Thank you to everyone who’s emailed me about Japanese child star Ashia Mana dancing to KARA’s Mister on a Japanese talk show. For anyone interested in some context, issues raised, and why I think it’s problematic, then please first read Part 2, all of which was written in response to my one of my own daughters doing something similar at her kindergarten. Frankly, it was eerie how much Ashia reminded me of her.

Meanwhile, here’s the “Butt Dance” (엉덩이 춤) being referred to, with handy English subtitles:


Pussy Galore This Weekend! (Or, a Second Chance to Watch The Vagina Monologues)


It’s Official: UNDP Says Korea Now Feminist Paradise (NOT April 1 Joke!)

(Source: unknown)

If there was only one statistic that best sums up contemporary Korean society, then that would be its “Gender Empowerment Measure” (GEM). Calculated by the UNDP, it is:


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