Another Day, Another House Wife

3 Nov

Teaching is amazing, it’s a truly great feeling. Seeing the smiling faces on the children every morning, seeing their cute little outfits, but I especially love their attempts to say “good morning Michelle teacher” because their Korean accent always sneaks in. Day after day, I slowly began to notice something though; every single child was being dropped off by their mother. Wow, I thought to myself.

There are a few rare occasions when I would see the grandfather and grandmother drop off the kiddies but eighty percent of the time, it’s their mothers. They are usually dressed to the tee, looking ready for a long day out on the town. Some of the moms carpool, some walk together in groups to drop the little Koreans off but it’s always the mothers, always beautiful, and they are usually always house wives.

At times, I think to myself that could be me that could be the life I could be living. But then I think again, and I realize that could never be me. I would never trade my life right now for their lives.

God willing, the mothers of my students are doing something besides shopping, eating and gossiping with friends. Hopefully, they are being active members in society and making a well-deserved contribution to Seoul society but more than likely they aren’t.

Many Korean women are raised to be house wives, focusing their attention on keeping the men in their life happy and healthy with little focus on their wants and needs. In many women’s minds as long as there is bread on the table and their husband comes home at a reasonable time, that is suffice for them, but not for me, never for me.

I want more; I deserve more and so do women all across man-centric Seoul and Asia for that matter. Unfortunately gender inequality is just another fact of life in Korean culture, another accepted norm by women across the country.

Yet, statistics show many women in Korea do work BUT one must always look at the socio-economic background of these women, many come from lower class families and therefore work to help maintain the family. Many of the married women in Seoul tend to come from the “high” society or from more respected Korean families.

I work and live in Songpa-gu, the wealthiest district in Seoul, and every single one of my Korean, women co-workers lives in other areas in Seoul, more inexpensive areas, less ritzy areas. Songpa is considered an area of happy families, and even happier husbands, considering most work in downtown Seoul and away from their families. After all, in Korean culture, it is normal to work sixty-hour work weeks at the very least, let’s not forget to mention, Korean’s largest company, its pride and joy, Samsung has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. So, something is going on here, what exactly happens behind closed doors? Well…one can only assume.

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