My first question is – how the hell was this deemed acceptable to say? As a high profile politician, logic would tell you explicitly that this is not an acceptable comment to make, but alas, the Chairman of the ruling Democratic Party Of Korea (DPK) Rep. Lee Hae-chan did just that. He was heard saying to a high level Vietnamese delegation which visited Korea, just on Monday that:
“A lot of Korean men marry Vietnamese women because they prefer them over women of other countries,”
It has been reported by the Korean Times that Lee has not apologized for the comments. So let’s spend a bit of time analyzing these comments. Firstly, my reaction is – WHAT THE FUCK! Okay now that I have got that out of my system, secondly, it is absolutely sickening, misogynistic in nature and is objectifying Vietnamese women. Just like how we all get disgusted with yellow fever, this type of comment is really no different. To specifically highlight a race of women as a sexual preference is racist in nature, and is hypersexualizing Vietnamese women. In addition, he has just devalued the worth of Vietnamese women and also jeopardizes their safety as these comments will encourage predators because a high level politician has pretty much condoned this behavior/“preference”.
When will men learn that this is not okay? When will men learn that us women, and in this case Vietnamese women are not owned by anyone? My other point to make here is that this also shows the height of East Asian privilege. Why? Well, there is an issue in Asia where East Asians look down on SE Asian people and their countries. I would apply this to how Lee thought and why he felt it is okay to utter those disgusting comments. It also reflects the worth that he saw in that high level Vietnamese delegation who came to Korea if that is a comment he felt compelled to say.
Lee was quoted as saying when he met the delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister Trinh dinh Dung at his office. The remarks were enough to be interpreted as objectifying women in general, condescending to Vietnamese women, most of whom marry Korean men through international brokers, and, perhaps worse, ranking migrant brides by Korean men’s preference.
Lee didn’t apologize and there were no reports that the Vietnamese delegates protested.
However, the remarks triggered an outcry from other parties.
“Lee tried to divide some 300,000 biracial households in Korea by race and nation of origin,” the Party for Democracy and Peace said through its spokesman. “We deplore the ruling party’s leader for having such a narrow and distorted view about our diverse families.”
The conservative Bareunmirae Party said, “We demand Lee officially apologize.”
Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Trinh dinh Dung has not reacted to ruling Democratic Party Chairman Lee Hae-chan’s condescending remarks about Vietnamese women.
Again, I will echo my previous words on this, this is misogynistic, disgusting, predatory, hypersexualizing and racist towards the Vietnamese and towards Vietnamese women. Lee needs to apologize and retract what he said and also needs to state why his comments were wrong. But knowing East Asian culture, that type of apology has a slim chance particularly when the idea of “saving face” is a major thing.
Images via the Korean Times
To read the original article, please click on: ‘Koreans prefer Vietnamese women’: ruling party chief