[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]‘Gireogi’ wives slandered

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[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]‘Gireogi’ wives slandered

I feel that I have to respond to Mr. Doh’s heart-wrenching and tear-jerking column of Feb. 22, “Korea’s students deserve better.” Although I agree with the general gist of the story that Korea should consider opening and improving its educational system, I can’t but be sarcastic in my response to Mr. Doh’s portrayal of the ‘gireogi’ fathers.
Mr. Doh’s fantastical statements about “gireogi” fathers dying from either overwork or heartbreak after their wives have moved abroad and been unfaithful come not from this century, nor from the last century, but are better situated somewhere around the turn of the 19th century. I find it both humorous and sad that Mr. Doh would write such a thing, thereby sullying an otherwise interesting article. Yes, yes, of course, the ‘gireogi’ fathers toil constantly and would never, ever, ever be found out drinking with their friends at a ‘dan-lan-ju-jeom,’ room salon, or an even less respectable place ...
Mr. Doh, how many families do you know that have moved abroad for their children’s education? The three ajummas I know in Canada, who are there taking care of the kids, are very much living the ajumma lifestyle, even in Canada. They wear sweats, don’t wear makeup and are often running a small business on the side to help support the family. They are doing three jobs to the ‘gireogi’ fathers’ one.
These women must have a lot of time on their hands if they are able to take care of kids, manage the house and kitchen, be partners in small ventures, and still have time for secret liaisons in a foreign language.
To put it mildly, I wish Mr. Doh would have included some statistics on how many ‘gireogi’ fathers’ marriages end in divorce as a result of their wives being unfaithful. Or, perhaps the reason those statistics were not included in Mr. Doh’s article is because they would, in fact, have supported an opposite statement.

by Mike Sluchinski
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