Thursday, February 25, 2010



That's right, vagina. I just signed up to do the Vagina Monologues here in Jinju. I was honestly surprised when my friend Jess asked me if I would want to do it. If you don't know what it is let me tell you a little story, in 1996 a lady named Eve Ensler wrote the monologues which became a play to support women's anti-violence groups. They raise money.. obviously all over the world between February 1st and April 30th to celebrate V-day!

JMU held the VMs every year I went there, but I was always working or something and couldn't go. NOW, I have the chance to be in it and act/read a script from the monologue. Especially after living in Korea (even if only for a couple of weeks now) I realize more than ever, that women still need to support each other to gain equality. I still cannot believe how I have felt around my boss and co-workers, it is like you can just feel when someone doubts women. And it is really sad. I've heard things like 'American women are SO difficult to be with, they always have to wear the pants and you have to do what they want to do'.. if that doesn't sound selfish and idiotic, I don't know what does. I think some of the older people that teach ESL around here are out to find easy vaginas that they don't have to work as hard for as in America. I know that is pretty blunt, but not sure how else to say it without eluding the point.

My boss, who was trying to be nice.. and I realize that.. came up to me the other day because he wants us to get to know each other better. He said that he has plenty of opportunities to get to know the TWO other ESL teachers (American MALES, in their mid to late 30s.. yes there are 3 teachers total at my Hagwon) because they play sports together (which yes, I believe because I own a vagina, I have not been invited, therefore I have not been able to decline due to my lack of coordination). And he said, "we wouldn't be able to do things together, because it would be like a date" "SO.. I've been thinking, and I think the only way that we can get to know each other is at church, I know you have your own church and thats ok with me, but the children's service is at 9AM.. do you like to sing"... and PLEASE, please tell me how I can get to know someone at church.. in a service?! It was just hard for me to wrap my hands around. I was very polite, and said I would try to be there at NINE AM on Sunday, but no promises for commitment, I just don't understand the whole concept of men and women here at all. I am very happy that I have been able to experience a new culture, and I am soaking it all in, but I think being a part of the VMS will help me be more confident! My boss is not a bad guy at all, and he lived in America for 4 years, I think it is just the culture here in Korea.

It makes me feel all angry inside, and I really don't like that. I am lacking a peace with equality, and I am normally not feministic or anything of the sort. I have loved Korea so far, and I can't wait to see all of the cool opportunities I will have, but there are just some things that need to be left in the 1920's.

I'm done with my rant. Period (for lack of better words :) )

1 comment:

  1. What a great post, Paula! Obviously, after having been living here for a year n a half already, I can totally relate to that. You are so right... In general, they just don't know how to handle "vagina"!