Categories
General

Back in SF, Hollywoods problem with Asians and issues with modern feminists

Ok so first off, I’m back in SF, so I finally got a chance to review some really cool gadgets (videos below). I finally got to sell alot of my excess gadgets (though not all of them). Including my beloved Honda PCX which I had to sell because I wasn’t staying in SF long term, and it was taking up money parking it and keeping it in storage. Just before I sold it though, I took a few nice videos with it.

My beloved Honda PCX
At Twin Peaks with my scooter

Now, onto some controversial topics I want to talk about. Ghost In the Shell, one of the most renowned Japanese Animes, has been adapted into a movie, and surprise surprise, Hollywood decides to cast a white actor. This is not the first time Hollywood has done this of course, they’ve done it with countless movies from Dragonball Evo to Avatar the Last Airbender to 21 to Aloha (with Emma stone playing an Asian), and now with Scarlett Johansson playing the character in a Japanese adapted film. Now, I realize people make excuses such as oh the character wasn’t written as an Asian person etc but why couldn’t they have cast an Asian still?

Hollywood seems to be getting more and more criticism for not casting women, blacks, etc why is Asian any different? It seems not casting Asians, or whitewashing Asian roles doesn’t seem to be criticized as much. Why? If Asian actors never get experience playing a lead, how can Asians ever get a lead role? It seems Hollywood just has something against Asians and lead roles, period. Its a vicious cycle.
Now, no one seems to care that Nick Fury is played by a black person in the movies, even though the original character was white in the comics. Imagine if an Asian person played Nick Fury in the movies. Shouldn’t make a difference since they both diverge from the comics, but I’m willing to bet people will have more issue with an Asian actor than a black actor playing the role.

For proof of this I’ve found this popular comment on Facebook that was a comment on John Cho’s article showing why Asians can definitely be romantic leads. This one got over 50 upvotes when I saw it:

Complaining about the lack of Asian lead characters in North American films is like going to India, China or Korea and complaining that they should be starring white people in their films.

This is the reason why Americans still can’t accept Asians in movies. They think we are perpetual foreigners. They think we can’t play romantic leads. They always make excuses to justify the discrimination whenever it happens like this comment. The reason why there’s no white characters in Korean dramas or Bollywood films is simple: how many white people are living in Korea or India compared to how many Asians are living in the US (hint its over 15 million).

Somewhat related to discrimination, another topic that I want to talk about (again) is feminism, in particular in the USA.
I’ve already talked about this alot, but I want to re-address this because it comes up more and more frequently these days.

I’d be following my news feed and my favorite channels IGN, Wired, Verge, TIME, Economist, etc and these feminist articles would be polluting my feed, like what the heck, what does TechCrunch or PC Gamer have to do with feminism? Well it all started 2 years ago in 2014 because of this controversy called Gamergate and along with the whole Reddit Ellen Pao fiasco that happened, “feminist” issues have suddenly started permeating everything from gaming articles to politics. So its everywhere now.

Why do I want to talk about this? Because I’m bothered and frustrated by it. Now, I am in full support of women’s rights, and I am not a misogynist, I don’t hate women or anything. Its just that I think the “modern day” feminists take issues with so many small trivial nonsensical things that have never really been an issue before and then complain about it to get recognition. What am I talking about here?
this article that TIME published and I commented on perfectly sums it up. The word feminist is becoming corrupted these days because it is used by women who aren’t really feminists, but rather just women who like to whine and complain about under-representation and other things and delight in hating on men and calling all guys sexists and misogynists (this is a good example). Emma Watson has become the poster child for going a bit too far, that under-representation of women and womens rights are two separate issues.
Don’t believe me? One such women called me out on Facebook with this message:

Quite equal? Really? How many members of the US government are female as opposed to male? How many times has there been actual legislature proposed by women to regulate what men do with their bodies? How many women CEOS are out there floating around in the world today as opposed to men and are you really trying to suggest that the ” glass ceiling” in that corporate world doesn’t exist? Equal…just like equal pay for equal work right?

Is that why young girls all over the world are murdered simply for going to school and are subject to arranged marriages? Spoken like a true chauvanist…things are ” quite equal,” simply because in I get to vote and can drive a car just like men folk do

This is exactly what I was talking about. And let me explain my reasoning here more in depth:

So called “feminists” these days like to complain that they are under-represented or over-sexualized or treated in a different manner in everything from movies to video games. These feminists like to think of themselves as exactly equal to men in every way, including wanting to serve in the military forces, even though being exactly the same as men would ruin the fabric of what makes men and women different.
Historically men and women have played different roles in society, and now that gap is closing, but to think that men and women must be exactly the same is nonsense. What makes men and women attracted to each other is the fact that they are biologically and behaviorally different. If they were the same, there would be less and less attraction between each gender.

So, I live in South Korea, where women are actually treated much differently than men are. They are told to put on makeup all the time, because its “manners”. They have the highest gender wage gap inequality in the OECD. They often have to be housewives, to cook and clean, and look pretty for the men on all occasions. They have to get plastic surgery to get a better chance of finding a job. This is a country where feminism is actually needed. There are not many feminists in Korea, due to it being a patriarchal society, but it is definitely more needed here than in the USA. Women in the USA are already equal to men, rights wise, in pretty much every way. In fact, I implore you to name a profession or position where women are not allowed to do.
This is a good example of something that would never happen in South Korea. Women don’t complain about wearing high heels all day, and even if they do the company would probably fire them. Thats a huge difference.

Women in the USA are empowered enough to do anything they want, from serving in the military (not possible in a lot of other countries like Korea), to playing football/hockey (again in other countries, not possible), to becoming the front runner to be President of the United States (Hillary Clinton obviously). The USA is an equal opportunity country and anyone can be anything they want.
The supposed “lack of representation” in certain industries which is what modern day feminists complain about, is because men are traditionally trained to do those fields, like being an engineer for example, or being a soldier, or movie director, etc. Traditionally men were trained in those fields. If more women were trained in those fields, if they have enough experience, of course they could do those things.
And this is also the reason why women are potentially underpaid in those fields is because of lack of experience. Since men are traditionally dominant in those fields, it makes sense that they are more experienced, and are thus paid more. Once more women go into those fields, get more experience, then they will be compensated as much. This is true even in Silicon Valley with female CEOs of Oracle, AMD, Yahoo just to name a few. They are paid more than other employees, as you would expect.

Women are overly sexualized? Well how about guys needing to look buff and muscular? Its the exact same thing. Cherry picking positions where men were traditionally dominant? How about I pick a position like nurse or customer service where traditionally women were preferred over men. Is that being sexist to men? The “wage gap” between men and women in America is because of the same reason – guys generally have more experience in those fields, and thus are paid accordingly. Again, if women (like Marissa Meyer for example) have experience in those fields then they are paid accordingly as well.

So my point is, modern day feminists who complain about these issues aren’t really “feminists”. Because under-representation in a field has nothing to do with women’s rights. If women weren’t allowed to work in those fields, then thats a women’s right issue. However, thats not the case. Its just a matter of breaking tradition and getting more women trained in those fields, thats it.

And I also like how that girl called me out as a “chauvinist” like a true modern day feminist who just assumes that every guy who doesn’t agree with their views must hate women. Indeed.

What’s really ironic about these men-hating feminists is that, men were originally the reason why women got rights in the first place. Indeed, I know about the suffragists and the women pioneers, and not to take anything away from them, but it was true that men were in charge of everything back in the day. For most of history, men have been in charge, so in order for a woman to petition for and receive rights, that woman must have, at some point, convinced some men in a position of power to give them those rights. Which means that, at some point, men must have sympathized with those women pioneers and helped them get those rights, the rights to vote, the right to have abortion, etc all those rights were achieved with the help of men. I mean, how could they have not? Women didn’t have any power back then like people said. So its ironic that us men are now being hated on and called misogynists so readily these days.

I would also like to add this additional comment by a feminist here

The reason why women are stuck with uncomfortable, inconvenient and dysfunctional wardrobe/makeup/hair elements is because in our patriarchal society women’s value is a lot closer tied to her looks rather than her intelligence. Girls and women spend millions of hours more in their lifetime on maintaining their appearance instead of developing their careers, inventing things or earning money. Trust me, if it was found acceptable by society every woman would love to wake up with short hair, skip makeup and heels, put comfortable flat shoes on and non-tight pants with functional pockets and still be considered attractive and/or professional.

This is really revealing of the personality of American feminists – they think they can speak for every girl in the world and they think their opinion is always the best and right one. First of all, Western countries are no longer “patriarchal” and I would love to see evidence that it still is. Secondly, perhaps girls and women like to care about their appearance and wear skirts and heels because it makes them feel more like a woman? And since when are they forced to wear those outfits anyways? This isn’t the 1950s anymore. In the US these days, women can wear whatever they want and they won’t be ostracized for it. Again, I feel like there’s a cultural difference here because in Korea, almost every girl is wearing skirts/heels/makeup, whether they really like to or not. But they’re not complaining.

I feel like this idea that every girl wants to dress like a guy, or be “comfortable” like men, and do things men can do like serve in the army etc is being shoved down our throats when really, its only a small (and vocal) part of the female population that actually wants that. Most women that I know, wants to feel like a woman, dress like a woman, and behave like a woman because you know… they’re a woman. They’re not being forced to, they’re not being oppressed, thats just the opinion of a small group of women who like to complain about pretty much everything.

Anyways I hope I’ve made my point. American feminists complaining about these issues really need to take a step back and do some research on whether their complaining is justified, at least in comparison to other countries in the world.

And now… for some videos

Categories
General School/Work

BitTorrent and Korea

I have two major updates that happened to my life recently:

I changed companies
I’m currently working for BitTorrent Inc as a Front End Engineer. Yes, though my old company (Switchfly Inc) was a pretty good company to work for, I’ve decided to take up new opportunities… BitTorrent’s stack consists of Python, MongoDB, BackboneJS and NodeJS, which gives me enough of a change from Coldfusion, PrototypeJS, EmberJS, Freemarker and Java. Its a new experience, with a strong recognizable company who are headquartered in downtown SOMA, and I’ve been enjoying working there so far.

Edit: if you want to check out my submission for BitTorrent’s coding exercise, check out the TEDx Feedreader application I made using Backbone + Bootstrap, all done in 8 hours: http://www.blueisme.com/feedreader

I went to Korea
I just came back from 2 weeks in Seoul, Korea and I loved it. As expected, I enjoyed every moment of that trip, and I still miss Korea already. There are several things I like about Korea more than USA such as:

1) Food/Drinks are amazing
Forget Korean food in USA. Korea has much better food than USA, much healthier with more organic ingredients, cheaper to buy, and tastes better. Forget Pizza Hut, Mr.Pizza is amazing. Forget Bulgogi and Bibimbap, Dalkgalbi (chicken ribs) and Jimm Dalk (steamed chicken) and Chi maek (fried chicken and beer) is much more amazing. Forget Soju and Korean Beer, try the many flavors of Makgeolli (rice wine), Paekseju (flavorful, weaker version of Soju), Cheongha (tastes like a mix of soju and sprite), Bokbunja (raspberry wine), and Maehwasu (plum wine). All amazing.

Oh and by the way, all the stores close later than in America, usually around 2am. The bars/clubs usually close around 6am, and some of the cafes and restaurants are 24/7 as well. Just amazing. Oh and did I mention? There’s no tip or taxes in Korea, and there’s a button you can use to call the waiter in restaurants. And fast food has delivery, like McDonalds and Burger King have guys on scooters that deliver burgers to you. Double amazing.

2) Technology is widely adopted there
Wifi is ultra super fast in Korea. You can use Wifi in the Subway, even in the mountains, pretty much everywhere, as long as you have a Wifi card. EVERYONE in the subway is on their phone, and when you can watch TV on your phone and use super fast Wifi, why not. There’s Google Maps touch screens in the subway. Everything has a dispenser or a machine for convenience. Even the toilets have controls on them. Alot of the designs in Korea are just amazing. Its hard to believe the smartphone only came in 2009 in Korea, yet now everyone from schoolgirls to old men use them there.

3) Transportation is amazing
The transportation system is probably the best I’ve experienced, ahead of NYC and Shanghai. The Seoul subway takes you all around Seoul and the Metro area, and is cheap on top of that. There’s apps to calculate the exact time it takes from one station to another, since trains are always on time. In addition, the places where you can’t go using subway, you can take buses or taxi, both of them much cheaper than in America.

4) Clothes are better
Korean clothes are a much better fit for me, being more suited to Asian bodies. People there are skinnier in general, and I’m skinny so it really fits me. In addition, they have much better styles than boring American clothing and are cheaper as well, as long as you haggle. Ironically, Koreans mostly buy foreign brands, not knowing that foreign brands (which are made in Southeast Asia) are actually lower quality than their own Korean brands (which are made in Korea). Shopping Malls as high as skyscrapers and numerous cosmetics stores are everywhere in Korea.

5) Everyone dresses up and looks good
Ever wonder why Koreans get so much plastic surgery?? Because its societal pressure!! Korean girls feel pressured to get plastic surgery because everyone competes to get a job, and since you have to submit a photo with your resume, the prettier girl gets the better job!! In addition, everyone dresses up everyday, regardless of situation. Korean girls wear makeup, contacts, high heels, nail polish, dresses/skirts/short shorts whereever they go, and Korean men often wear blazers, khakis, tight jeans, nice fitted shirts too. Its the society norm. Clubbing clothes in America are everyday outfits in Korea. As a result, a large majority of the girls there can be considered very beautiful by any standard. Trust me, its so weird to see model-looking women eating at McDonalds, or reading books at the public library wearing stilletos, but its normal.

6) Everything is clean and organized
Everything is clean and organized in Korea. This isn’t China with smoggy skies or littered streets. All the streets are clean, all the clothes people wear are immaculate, and even the bathrooms will be as clean as you can find them. There is even a machine in the public library to sanitize books. Everyone gets an apron when they eat barbecue. Towels to wash your hands are offered at different places. There are rarely any homeless people, and buskers only play in one place: Hongdae. Next time I will carry a pocket stain remover wherever I go.

7) Korea has a strong sense of community
I learned that Koreans have a sense of 정/jeong, which is this unique korean sense of feeling kindred with others. As a result most Koreans are very polite and nice to others when they have a chance. Normally Koreans are very different than Americans in that they are mostly quiet, reserved people who go about their days almost too predictably. Koreans have a very rigid mindset, and are almost robotic in the way they conform to society. This means you are probably very safe in Korea, as no one has the cultural mindset to steal, mug, rob, rape, loot, plunder, kill, or anything like that. You can leave your phone on the table and be safe about it. Girls can walk home alone at night without worry.

8) Korea loves couples
On the other hand, Koreans really love couple culture. Americans often have to think about where to go when they date, most likely a restaurant or a theater. But in Korea, alot of places are meant for dating. You have many options to go when you are with your significant other. Seoul Tower is a popular spot, as is Cheonggyecheon (river flowing downtown), or Lotte World, or a Korean village, or a beach, or a theater with a love seat, or an arcade, or a shooting range, or a sticker/photo booth, or one of the many bangs (rooms) set up in Korea, like Noraebang (karaoke), DVD-bang (DVD-room), Jjimchilbang (spa/sauna for couples), Soju-bang, PS/PC-bang (for gaming). There are even shops that sell couple accessories like matching bracelets, t-shirts, charms, everything. Korea is a great place for couples, and can be lonely if you go by yourself.


All in all, I had an amazing time in Korea, especially visiting my friends and experiencing the unique culture… and I really think that out of all the places I’ve been to, I belong the most there. My quiet, unassuming, conformist personality fits right in. So I got a little sad when I realized I’ll never get to experience those memories; I never had a gf when I was in high school or college, never had those kinds of couple culture going on, and of course never experienced a long term relationship with a Korean girl. (FYI I have good reasons for the lack of relationships; I grew up in a small white town with no asians, and was busy with CS in university, a major with very few women). This worries me, as I don’t like long distance relationships, yet I feel Korean culture fits me best. Unfortunately, Korean work culture is very competitive; they have to work long hours, for little pay, and little time for recreation. I would live in Korea, if not for the work aspect. Working at BitTorrent is miles ahead of anything a Korean company could offer me, but maybe someday I’ll have a chance to experience a good work culture, and live in Korea as well. I just hope I can do that while I’m still young.

At a peaceful Korean village
At a peaceful Korean village
At the top of Bukhan Mountain
At the top of Bukhan Mountain
Me and my friend at Gyeongbuk Palace
Me and my friend at Gyeongbuk Palace
Lotte World
Lotte World
CheonggyeCheon in Gwanghwamun
CheonggyeCheon in Gwanghwamun
Lovers Locks at Seoul Tower
Lovers Locks at Seoul Tower

Edit: Something ironic and sad that I’ve noticed…
If Americans had to be obsessed with Korean the way Koreans are obsessed with English, this would happen:

Everyone is required to learn Korean in primary school.
Everyone has to go to private academies after school to learn additional Korean.
Everyone has to know Korean and pass a Korean test to get a job.
You will see Korean words mixed in with English wherever you go.
You will see Korean movies with English subtitles, Korean actors, Korean singers, and they will be popular amongst your friends.
All English songs will contain some Korean in it.
Your companies try to copy Korean brands and Korean technology.
Korean clothing is more popular than American clothing.
A lot of your advertisements contain Korean models.
Parents will make their kids have tongue surgery to speak Korean better.
You will have a lot of makeup and plastic surgery to make yourself look more Korean.
You have Korean armies on your land.
Many American girls will fall in love with Korean guys.
Many Americans want to marry Koreans so they can live in Korea.
There is a special district for Koreans that many Americans go to mingle with them.
A Korean education means a lot more than an American education.
Many Americans want to be Korean teachers and make a lot of money.
You often go to eat Korean fast food or drink Korean coffee.
Speaking Korean makes you look more cool and helps you advance in life.
You rely on Korea to protect you from Canada.

…sad but this is all true, but reversed for Korea.