Trust your own eyes; crying wolf to protect one’s chastity

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Trust your own eyes; crying wolf to protect one’s chastity

Q.I’ve been going out with a very nice guy from Canada. He is very handsome too. In fact, I think he looks like Brad Pitt.
I recently had a birthday party and invited my girlfriends so they could meet my guy. A couple of Korean-Canadian friends laughed at me when I said my boyfriend looked like the famous actor. They said most Korean women, like myself, don’t have an “eye” for foreigners.
I’m so upset about their comment about my taste, and I want to know what made them say such a rude thing to me. Is it true that one needs “training” to tell if someone of a different race is good-looking or not?
A.It is possible that where you see commonalities between your boyfriend and Brad Pitt, your friends might see just a typical Caucasian guy.
In homogeneous countries like Korea, foreigners can seem “exotic” ― and depending on your taste, desirable ― because of their different coloring and distinctive physical features.
But let’s get serious. You think your boyfriend is “very nice” and “very handsome.” They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so what do you care if your friends’ eyes don’t see what your eyes see?
Q. Rape is a very serious crime. But when I first arrived in Korea, I heard of some women using rape as an excuse to explain why they were no longer virgins. For some time, I really believed that sexual assaults are common here.
Now, having spent time with many young Korean men and finding that very few of them are violent, I’ve become annoyed by what I suspect are these women’s lies. Even in the most boisterous nightlife districts, where most of the revelers are intoxicated, I haven’t seen a Korean man mistreat a woman.
So why would these women lie about being raped? Do they just want people to feel sorry for them? Or is there some other explanation?
A. Traditionally, Korean men have considered their ideal woman to be pure and virtuous. In that line of thinking, “good” women do not sleep around ― or even engage in premarital sex. Certainly, values have changed and young people socialize in different settings and in different ways. Sex before marriage, even casual sex, is relatively common. But many Korean women still hesitate to make their relatively liberal attitudes toward sex known.
Because of the conservative values these women learned at home, contemporary dating situations may involve psychological conflicts. Instead of admitting that they have had other partners, some women may find it easier to blame their lack of chastity on an event over which they had no control.

by Ines Cho
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