A disturbing video has gone viral and has created a storm of online debates. The video clip is a mere 78 seconds, but within that time we are able to see two Caucasian males openly harass a female in a nightclub in Korea. It only takes 78 seconds for us to be disturbed by the manner in which the Caucasian men are treating the Korean woman.
The video begins with the Korean woman in what appears to be a drunk state. One of the men has his arms wrapped around her while the other begins filming her legs and moves up to her chest. The man on the sofa pulls her hair back for the camera to get a better look at her chest. During this time, the men make vulgar and sexual statements about her.
As the woman tries to pull away, the man on the sofa aggressively grabs her face and begins throwing insults at her. He puts a finger up her nose then shoves the same finger in her mouth. The two men burst into laughter and call her disgusting.
They then notice some discoloration in her teeth and begin aggressively pulling her lips back to get a shot of her teeth. She tries to protest, but they continue and throw more insults. At this point, she has become an object of ridicule for their entertainment. They call her “rancid” and “disgusting”. One of the men shouts “Why the f**k don’t you get plastic surgery like every other f**king Korean little b**ch” to her face. The Korean women shouts back some insults of her own before finally escaping the verbal and physical harassment.
The video was first posted on Youtube on June 8th, but was taken down for its content. Since then, the video has been found on multiple Korean sites . It instantly sparked online debates. Some viewers were angry at the men noting the many instances that Caucasian foreigners come into Asian countries with a feeling of superiority. Yahoo News reports Facebook user Rhys Flinter commenting, “Wow, utterly disgusting… The [Western foreigners] arrive at countries like Thailand, Korea and China to teach English and all of a sudden, women find them attractive and they are treated well just for being white.”
The angry comments are completely understandable. What shocks me is the number of comments where Korean natives actually blame the Korean woman for getting herself into the situation. Washington Post reports that a number of online commenters blame her for what happened. “She went crazy over white guys, lived at a club, and ran into trouble,” says one Jagei.com commenter. Another wrote, “After that, I think she’s going to go clubbing to meet white guys again.” Its unbelievable to see a women being verbally and physically tormented by two foreigners only to be verbally abused afterwards by her own countrymen. I most certainly expected the online comments to focus on the mistreatment of Asian women, but I didn’t expect it to become a debate about who’s fault it was. It is beyond me to understand why anyone would actually think “she was asking for it”.
This issue is one that extends beyond Korea. The Washington Post article points out that South Korea has one of the largest gender gaps in the world and “according to an annual study by the World Economic Forum… women have less equality in South Korea than they do in India, Burkina Faso or the United Arab Emirates.” They then point out that this may actually be the reason for Korean women seeking Caucasian men in hopes of equality. I would argue that this is an issue which extends beyond the Korean community and is one faced by the majority of Asian countries. It would be wrong to say that South Korea is the only country which places Caucasians on a pedestal.
I have heard Pilipino, Chinese, and Vietnamese women discuss how their family supports and even pushes the idea of marrying a white man. There is simply no denying it- Caucasian men are treated differently when they enter an Asian country and unfortunately some, like the men in this video, get a false sense of superiority.
I argue that the issue to be addressed is not whether this Korean woman was asking for it. This is an issue of the perception of Caucasian men and the way they treat Asian women. We understand that not all Caucasian men act that way, but this has happened enough times to inflict fear among the women in my Asian community. Yes, we are angry and rightfully so. Too many times have we been taken advantage of because of this false sense of superiority. Too many times have we been mistreated and objectified. These actions are simply not acceptable.
Let us know what you think and comment below.