Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Fried Egg and the Loser

The guys were talking about this on Friday night, about the girl on a TV show called "Misuda", Beauties' Chatterbox, who made a statement to the effect that "short men"--men less than 180 cm tall--were "losers".

Now, that's about 5'11"--tall by any standard. The average American male is 5'10" and the average Korean is 5'8". Much to their discredit, many Korean men took umbrage at this comment. According to the Korea Times:
A mountain of furious letters stormed the broadcaster that aired the popular TV show. The Internet forums were enraged by angry males.
Kim Jeong-woon who teaches cultural psychology at Myongji University in Seoul thinks the enraged response on the Internet on her remark and protest letters to the broadcaster reveals something more than the men's objection to the girls' apparent "prejudice" against short male.
In fact, the "loser" remark was beginning point of a larger social paradigm shift, [according to Kim].

Of course, it could have been a bunch of men feeling righteous indignation at such a shallow dig. Still, hard to deny that the explosion of commentary indicates more than wounded pride--it hints at a massive insecurity, further evidence that change is reshaping the peninsula. Kim continues:
Kim diagnosed that Korean men are increasingly feeling "cornered."
"The remark by the Korean female college girl who declared publicly that she wouldn't date men whose height doesn't measure up to 180cm, labeling them a 'loser' was a trigger for the Korean male trauma to explode," Kim said.
For Kim, the episode is a start of "giant cultural revolution" in Korea where the male dominance is publicly challenged by a member of the opposite sex, who, by getting higher education, entering professional fields that used to be reserved for males, have come to the realization that, after all, they are on an equal footing with men.

Yeah, or that shallow, appearance-fixated college girls use shallow, arbitrary, appearance-based criteria to limit their social interactions.

So, what does a fried egg have to do with all this? Mostly a tenuous metaphorical flourish wielded by Mr Kim: in the olden days, a chicken egg was a rare treat, which the housewife would fry up for her husband when he came home from a hard day's work. (It'a also the finishing touch on a bowl of dolsot bibimbap.)
The outlook for Korean males is grim. "Now the Korean men will try hard to please the Korean women to survive. They will do plastic surgery to have a six-pack abdomen, if that's what the Korean women want. They will send amorous eye signals to win women's attention.
"It's just a beginning. The Korean women have just started what they've wanted to talk about for along time. Now the fried egg is not for the loser," [Kim] said.

If what they want to talk about is the idea that six-pack abs and 180 cm of height are the most important things in a husband, then I'm not sure that's a conversation worth having.

5 comments:

SuperDrew said...

Wow, Steve, sounds like someone is a little bit sensitive about his height! Don't be ashamed, you can buy those shoes with lifts all over.

Tuttle said...

I knew someone would come along with a comment like that. Figures it'd be you ...

Perhaps because of my outside, I've alwys lived by the adage, "It's what's inside that counts." AKA, Don't be shallow.

SuperDrew said...

Well Tuttle, I am the opposite. Because of my lacking inside, I lean in the exact opposite direction.

The Sanity Inspector said...

Maybe that's why everyone is so nice to me in Korea: I'm 198 cm. Damned shallow attitude, that is--but I won't deny I lap it up.

Someone should point out to them how many short men--in the states, at least--tend to be more determined and thus successful, since they are not granted the automatic respect that height confers. They've gotta work for it.

Tuttle said...

TSI - You're tall.

I think you're talking about the "Napoleon complex", which I see Wiki describes as "an alledged inferiority complex... It does not appear in the DSM."