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Asia

Is China the least sexist of the East Asian countries?

In general, yes China has better gender equality than Korea and Japan.

For example if you’re looking at the percentage of female CEOs (often a good measuring stick for breaking the glass ceiling) – China has the second highest proportion of female CEOs in the world List of female top executives – Wikipedia – this exceeds even the USA by quite a big margin. Compare this to Japan and Korea, where female CEOs only make up a mere 2% of the companies.

In general everyday life, Chinese women enjoy great career flexibility compared to Japanese and Korean women. There are a substantial portion of Chinese women who will say their dream career is to be an entrepreneur and starting their own business. In contrast, a large portion of Japanese and Korean women’s dream jobs is to be a flight attendant.

There are rarely pure housewives in China who stay home all day, whereas Korea and Japan have a substantial percentage of housewives who do nothing but stay home and take care of their babies.

I can’t speak for Japan on this but since I lived in Korea, I know that Koreans have traditional ceremonies on Lunar New Year and Chuseok (Thanksgiving) where the women have to traditionally prepare all the food for the guests and relatives. The men don’t have to do anything. I don’t think such a tradition still exists in China.

There are a lot of female-only occupations in Korea and Japan (for example most hairdressers are female, airline attendants are almost always female, etc) whereas in China, most jobs can be performed by both genders.

Women’s rights in China is far better than Korea as well. Abortion was only legalized last year in Korea, whereas abortion had been legal for over 3 decades in China. The punishment for sexual assault/rape in Korea is a mere few years in prison. The operator of the sex trafficking hub Soranet for example only got a few years and the 200k+ males who were in the Nth telegram scandal (Nth room case – Wikipedia) are not going to be punished at all. This is not even mentioning the spy camera epidemic in Korea (Hundreds of South Korean motel guests were secretly filmed and live-streamed online). In China, such crimes would have much more severe punishment.

In addition, women in China get significant other advantages over Korean/Japanese women. They are not under as much pressure to put on makeup or dress up as much. They don’t have as much financial burden – In Korea/Japan, the women will still have to pay for some costs of dating and marriage and buying a house, but in China the men bear almost 100% of those costs. There is a dowry in China where the men have to pay a substantial amount of money to marry, but it does not exist in Korea/Japan. These are more negatives for Chinese men then they are positives for Chinese women, but I feel like I should still mention them.

Also from what I’ve seen, meeting Chinese women, Korean women and Japanese women and traveling in their countries, Chinese women have much more freedom with regards to how they can express themselves. A tomboy in Korea or Japan (especially Korea), is not very welcomed by their society, but in China tomboys exist everywhere. This is related to what I said about them not being under as much pressure to dress or do makeup or behave a certain way, whereas especially in Korea you will find almost all women dress or do makeup in a feminine manner and are expected to behave in a ‘softer, gentler’ way.

Korean women are often shocked when they travel to China and see how strong Chinese women are there. For example, you will see women physically abusing men in China. This is unheard of in Korea and I have never seen it there. There is more pressure on Korean and Japanese women to be traditionally feminine in their society compared to Chinese women.

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Asia

What do Chinese Americans think about China and Chinese students in America nowadays?

I am neither ABC/CBC or a ‘FOB’ as the term ABCs refer to Asians from Asia. I straddle both cultures. I was born in China, but raised in Canada. And I grew up in a small city in the Canadian countryside, not like Toronto or Vancouver or anything. I was only one of two Asian students in my high school. For a long time, I thought I was the same as white people.
Then I went to the University of Toronto which was and still is, full of Asians both Canadian born and FOBs. While I was in the CS program, it was mostly skewed towards the Canadian born Chinese side. We had some Koreans and Japanese but overall we had more Chinese which makes sense because there’s more Chinese in existence than Koreans or Japanese which means there’s more Chinese Canadians as well.
The first thing I noticed is, even though it felt more ‘comfortable’ being with someone of the same race, at the same time it felt ‘uncomfortable’ too, because in my experience, Asian Canadians or Asian Americans had the same personality as Caucasian Canadians or Americans. They had the same sense of aggressiveness, were generally pretty outgoing, and joked around a lot. That was something I felt very uncomfortable with since I was more shy, reserved and felt that I didn’t fit in *quite* as well as I thought.
So then I met some FOB friends from mainland China, who I started to hang out with more. I thought that they were quite different than my Chinese Canadian friends, but again some differences arose and I still didn’t feel very ‘comfortable’.
The main problem was that mainland Chinese i.e FOBs seemed to be very close minded. They had too much pride in their country. They refused to listen to any criticisms I had about China or any positive things about other Asian countries. They refused to mingle with Koreans or Japanese while my Chinese Canadian friends were all open minded to do so. Plus, they cared a little bit too much about their material wealth, making money and studying in my opinion. There’s other things to life but they didn’t seem to be very open to entertaining them.
So I felt like a fish out of water. Neither comfortable with Chinese Canadians or mainland Chinese. What can I do? When I moved to the USA, I had the pleasure of befriending Koreans. Previously, my extent of contact with Koreans (since fobby Chinese never hung out with fobby Koreans), was at church since Koreans were for some reason, strangely fanatical about Christianity. And they seemed to be nice people. But as I befriended new Korean friends, I got more interested in Korean culture than Chinese culture.
Even though I had studied Chinese, and travelled to China before, and met lots of nice Chinese people I didn’t feel the same ‘connection’ with them like I felt with Koreans. After I visited Korea, I realized that it was the place I wanted to be. And I did. I quit my job, and I moved to Korea. For 2 years, it was the most interesting period of my life. I think before I moved there, I didn’t realize just how different Korean culture was from Chinese culture. I think most ABCs or CBCs grow up thinking Asians are Asians, but we aren’t. Every Asian is so different, actually. It’s hard to realize this amongst Asian Americans because Korean American and Chinese American personality and culture is not so different, but man is it different from mainland Chinese and Koreans or ‘FOB’ Chinese and ‘FOB’ Koreans. That’s why they don’t hang out with each other.
For one thing, Koreans had the most unity out of all Asians. They just stuck together and supported each other. In China, it was everyone for themselves. Also, the traditional gender roles and Confucian values were alive and well in Korea whereas they had all but vanished from modern China. Bowing, being respectful, etc were still a thing in Korea. It was so safe you could leave your phone on a table for hours and no one would take it. I know China is safe too – relatively – but you definitely would not be able to do that in China without getting your phone stolen. And dare I say it – it was a little cleaner than China now. In China you can be as direct and blunt as you want and it’s normal. And my god were Korean women beautiful. I couldn’t believe how different it was. In mainland China there was beautiful women too, but they were a little hard to come by. Shanghai had the most, but even there you had to walk around a little bit to see a beautiful girl. In contrast, Seoul had gorgeous women everywhere. Any cafe, bar, on the street, etc and they were all wearing makeup! and dressed like they were going clubbing! China by contrast people dressed way more casually and usually girls didn’t wear any makeup. When Koreans marry, the husband and wife have their separate roles, whereas in China, the wife and husband share duties equally. Korea was full of housewives whereas in China housewives are all but nonexistent. In China the guy was almost like a slave to his gf – always buying everything, paying for everything, carrying all her shopping bags – and seeing a guy get hit in public by his gf wasn’t that uncommon. In Korea, the guy usually pays too but not for everything – and I’ve never seen a Korean guy hold shopping bags for his gf or getting hit by his gf you will never see that there. It was like a night and day difference.
So yeah, I think in the end, I fit better in Korean culture than either Chinese or Chinese Canadian culture, but I think there’s pros and cons to everything. Some of my best friends are still mainland ‘fobby’ Chinese. They aren’t all close minded. But I think for the majority that I came across in university they did seem to be a little more ignorant and some of them straight up refused to use any foreign websites sticking to Chinese websites only. Hey umm there’s no Great Firewall here you don’t need to only use Chinese websites… not to mention the fact that there seems to be crazy rumors spread about Koreans on Chinese websites most of which have no inkling of truth at all… I’m not sure why Chinese people would say about Koreans whom they’ve never met except perhaps they are jealous that Koreans have a better entertainment industry than they do? Also, never speak to mainland FOBs about Taiwan. You will almost always end up arguing.

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Asia

How come Korean girls don’t date Chinese guys?

This is a question I have wondered about for a long time. It would seem to be a perfect pairing on paper.

Chinese guys get a girl who is not as strong as Chinese girls are (generally), do more for them around the house, give gifts or pay for things in return, do not expect a dowry when marrying, and are generally more feminine and care more about their appearance as well. In addition, there’s no historical baggage or issues like there would be if it was a Japanese girl.

Korean girls get a guy who arguably does as much as or more for them than Korean guys will, plus will do housework, cooking and taking care of the baby as well (a lot of Korean guys do not do this). Also, its arguable they dont have as much pressure to dress up or do makeup or look perfect all the time with Chinese guys compared to Korean guys.

But in practice while I was living in Korea, I noticed very few Korean girls with Chinese men (granted, it could be hard to tell these couples apart from a typical Korean couple), and even the Korean girls I met who had studied in China before as exchange students and met me to practice their Chinese, surprisingly did not date any Chinese guys in China (they still dated their Korean bfs long distance, or remained single).

So why is this? Why do Korean women stick to Korean guys or even prefer to date white men over Chinese men?

I think I finally narrowed it down to a few reasons, after asking many Korean girls this question over the years (me being of Chinese ethnicity myself, have a horse in the race so to speak):

  1. Korean women prefer to date men who can share their language and culture. This in fact is the reason why most races date their own race – but its especially true for Korean women because of how conservative their society is. Koreans in general are not known to be the type to really take risks or ‘be different’ as their society rewards a conformist way of thinking. Simply put, Korean women date Korean men because they are the most comfortable for them, they can communicate better with them, they don’t like to try new things, they want to be like every other Korean, and/or their parents are very conservative and don’t like them to date outside their race.
  2. Korean women don’t have an opportunity to know how Chinese men are like. They do know how Korean men are like. Plus the influence of Kdramas and Kpop really do help Korean men out a lot. Chinese men have no such entertainment vehicle to promote themselves. The CCP is focused on their domestic economy and are not interested to spread their culture to foreigners like Koreans do. That plus the whole censorship thing means that Chinese dramas + movies + music will likely never be popular in Korea the same way Korean music/movies/dramas are popular worldwide, and in China. This means however sweet and caring Chinese men are in reality, Korean women and other women have no idea. Instead, they have the idea that Korean men are like that because of all the dramas and such. Soft power really makes a difference here.
  3. Chinese men like to stick to their race. Ask any Chinese guy who are the prettiest girls and they will likely say Chinese girls. They won’t say Korean girls. This is because Chinese people are fiercely nationalistic and prefer their own race, but also because just like how Korean men are hyped up in Korean media, Chinese women are hyped up in Chinese media – Chinese women are promoted in their own country the same way Korean men are promoted in their country. In addition – they have the mistaken notion that all Korean women did plastic surgery (which is false, as I have explained in my previous answers many times). What you have as a result is a curious reversal of states here: Korean women and Chinese men, while on paper being the perfect fit for each other, instead remain loyal to their race, while Korean men and Chinese women – not so much. Korean men are in general just intrigued by any girl who is pretty, Korean or not. And Chinese women are lured by those Korean dramas/hype that promote Korean men, as well as men who have more money obviously. Of course on paper Korean men and Chinese women seem like the relationship will not work out very well as they are both ‘strong’ types but in reality there are more Korean men-Chinese women relationships than Korean women-Chinese men relationships, as baffling as that sounds.

But Tong, if 1) and 2) are true, why do I see a lot of Korean women marrying Western guys (i.e white men)?
This is exactly related to 1) and 2) actually.
1) Korean women who want to buck the conformist trend or don’t like the traditional Korean culture see white men as the exact opposite of Korean culture – they think Chinese men are still somewhat Confucian and a ‘halfway point’ between Korean men and Western men – why go halfway when you can go all the way to a culture thats totally different from Korean culture?
And 2) white men are heavily promoted by Hollywood and American pop music – again, media influence / soft power matters and white men have generally been the recipient of a very powerful media presence, the American media, which spreads globally. That’s why white men can generally get any girl, anywhere – America, Europe, Asia, etc without any issues.

Of course this is all my theory on why I don’t see more Chinese men – Korean girl couples even though it makes more sense for these two to be together, why in reality, we don’t actually see this being the case.
However, I will note that the few times I have seen Korean girls date Chinese men – they are usually Taiwanese or Hong Kongers. The reason for this I would assume, is that Taiwanese guys and Hong Kong guys can speak english better than mainland Chinese guys can – and they are not as fiercely nationalistic as mainland Chinese guys are either. Also, they have a generally better ‘image’ in Korea than mainlanders do (which is caused by the bad Chinese tourist stereotype).