F*cking nasty foreign English teachers. Serve your time. And then go home. Seriously, go home.
So I posted the above on Facebook and thereafter followed an onslaught of comments, which I think are worth posting…
So I’m just going to leave my two cents here, I hope you don’t mind and I hope I can get my point across properly, even with my limited ability express myself in English. (I don’t always get the tone quite right)
I agree with you completely, in that there are English teachers here, who are not interested in learning anything about the culture, or the language; who just come here because it’s easy or because they just want to delay getting a “real” job by moving to a country that accepts them without an actual qualifications for teaching. I see how ignorant and insensitive some English teachers here are, and I couldn’t help noticing, that most of them are from North America. With that said, I also know countless warm hearted, friendly people, who also didn’t know what to do after graduating, but trying to make the best out of being here and actually put an effort in their work.
The crime committed was heinous and can not be excused. I think people who use thei position of power over minors to pressure them into having sex are the scum of the Earth, no doubt.
Of course a negative emotional response to such a thing is inevitable. However, I find it very problematic when cases like this are used for negative propaganda against English teachers, which was often the case in Korea. Pedophilia and Ignorance towards other cultures are two seperate things and should be treated as such. Emotions one naturally has when hearing a story like this should not play such a big role in forming an opinion on a minority. Also mind, that people write blogs on tumblr to vent and to get rid of their negative emotions they would not display in real life because they know it is not acceptable; I for example had my fair share of culture shock related venting when I came here. I was just smart enough not to put these rants on the internet for everone to see but only to tell my close friends who knew that I when I say grotesquely negative things about Korea or Koreans, that I wasn’t serious about it.
(I’m talking about the Negotiation phase of Culture shock here; sorry it’S just wikipedia)
After some time (usually around three months, depending on the individual), differences between the old and new culture become apparent and may create anxiety. Excitement may eventually give way to unpleasant feelings of frustration and anger as one continues to experience unfavorable events that may be perceived as strange and offensive to one’s cultural attitude. Language barriers, stark differences in public hygiene, traffic safety, food accessibility and quality may heighten the sense of disconnection from the surroundings
I am convinced that the most negative blog entries you find on tumblr are written as a way to deal with the transition from one country to another. Of course, this is not an excuse to write spiteful articles about another culture, but it’s an alternative explanation, other than Ethnocentrism.
Back to the article and your reaction: maybe I am especially sensitive about this topic because I am from country that has a lot of immigrants from other countries, where the public reacts negatively to those immigrants.
I put this headline of a (unfortunately) very popular Austrian newspaper here to make a point regarding sensationalist articles about crimes committed by immigrants (I don’t really like the word expat, problematic in my opinion). It reads “Asylum Seeker Destroys Viennese Churches”. It doesn’t say “Man destroys Churches”, it puts the man’s status as an immigrant first, much like the fact that the man was an American English teacher is emphasized in the article. The gut reaction to the headline in the picture would be “Fuck those immigrants who destroy our churches” much like your gut reaction to the article was ” Fuck those English teachers who rape kids” (I’m not saying that rape and destroying churches is the same; of course rape is on a completely different level).
Of course I am not saying that there are no problems with English teachers in Korea and I am very glad that you take your time to call out some of the problematic things.
It’s just that I sometimes see people letting their political opinions be influenced by incidents like this because in this case, it’s really not all immigrants. In both cases.
To sum it up: Extreme incidents like this should not be the base of your opinion on a group of people and it should not guide how you approach a member of said group of people.
I hope I got my point across; although it’s kind of messy with my excursion to Culture shock, I hope get the gist of what I am trying to say. I am also not defending or ecusing anyone’s negative behaviour.
I’m really tired now any my brai doesn’t function properly, so I’m going to leave it at that. I hope the things I wrote don’t insult you or offend you in any way, that is definitely not my goal. You’re super cool! <35 notes ·reblog