Extra! Korea

August 8, 2010

Maybe that cartoon about short shorts isn’t quite accurate after all

Filed under: gender equality — extrakorea @ 6:07 pm

You might have seen the cartoon below (from the ROKetship blog) and/or the post by Grand Narrative that included and discussed it. The idea is that Korean women aren’t shy about showing a lot of leg, but won’t reveal much cleavage, and that for western women, it’s vice-versa.

Maybe it isn’t quite accurate after all. I’ve been in Canada for a couple of weeks, and I’ve seen a lot of young women in short shorts (though very few in miniskirts). Mind you, I’ll be the first to point out several limitations to my observations, based on the fact that I’ve been mostly in Montreal and Ottawa:

– I’ve seen mostly city-folk, and not as many from the suburbs or small towns.

– Montreal is in Quebec, and Ottawa is in Ontario, but next to the border with Quebec. Quebec has a French culture, which doesn’t have as many hangups about the human body as Anglo-Saxon culture. Further west in Canada, it might be a very different story.

– Of course, Canada is not America.

1 Comment »

  1. Maybe it’s just me, but in South Korea it’s the combination of short shorts with very sexy high-heeled shoes that seems to be over the top. In Canada (I’m from the western part) we would judge a young woman wearing this combination as being trashy looking and possibly a hooker. It took some time for me to get used to seeing it here in Seoul without feeling a sudden urge to be judgmental. As for the cleavage issue, it’s not something you see much of here (in Seoul anyway) so when I do see a Korean woman showing cleavage I’m always quite surprised. However, I’ve come to realize that in the long term it’s not my business, or anyone else’s for that matter, to police what women wear, especially being a woman myself. I think women should wear what’s comfortable for them to wear and in this heat and humidity shorts (and whatever footwear they like) definitely beat jeans. That being said, I think it will take a while for (especially older) Koreans to get used to seeing spaghetti-strap tank tops and bikinis and be okay with it.

    Comment by Daantaat — August 20, 2010 @ 6:54 am

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