Lucky One

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I’m the worst blogger ever. Yes I can make the excuse that Dream Concert blew my mind and I haven’t been able to put that into words. Yes I can say that I slammed my hand in the door and it is still painful/swollen/bruised 3 days later.

But mostly I’ve been lazy.

There has been a lot that has gone down since I last blogged.

So I’ll start with the important new things and end with Dream concert so you don’t have to listen to me ramble about KPOP .

First, our school introduced a new policy yesterday. We can only take out garbage and trash on certain days at a specific time. Why? I learned that one of my students from last year, a current sixth grader who has special needs (AKA she has never said one word to me and I learned from YoungJoon last year that she was a little slow) was sexually molested. She told her friends about it and they in turn told the teacher.

With regards to the major trial case that it currently dominating US news, I think the way my school and the students handled it is very important.

In Korea, females are still regarded as less than males, more so than the US where I grew up. Sometimes things like rape or sexual harassment are even less of a topic than they are in the USA. You just suck it up and continue because you want to keep your job and don’t want to be seen as a crybaby. This is not good policy.

The Gangnam murder was a big deal here (mostly because crime isn’t really reported with the same casualness that it is in the US). The murder said he hated women which was why he killed her. It sparked a talk about the major gender inequality in Korea. It gave women a platform to speak out.  And while it may not change too much, it makes more people aware of how male dominated this society is. One of the main issues became: was it a hate crime against women or was he mentally disturbed? From what has been found, he had prior hatred towards women-saying he couldn’t stand being mistreated by them which makes it sound like a hate crime. In other evidence, he had patterns of having mental illness for quite a few years beforehand. For me, I think if you do commit hate crimes there is a part of you that is mentally ill. Not in the sense of how people who suffer from bi polar, borderline , or other mental illness are defined. But if you hate a specific group so much that you have a need to go out and commit acts of murder and violence towards them…then yes I do think you are mentally disturbed. But at the same time it is not something that can be fixed with medicine or therapy….so it becomes blurry – is the killer someone who is suffering from mental illness or is he just a woman hating jack ass?

Going back to my student, wound up telling her friends who in turn told the teacher. Now I can understand why the student didn’t tell the teacher. She’s a young student, who has some mental issues, as well as maybe fearing that it wouldn’t matter. I’m so proud of her friend who were strong enough and cared enough for her to inform an adult. And I’m proud of the school for reporting it to the police, rather than trying to keep it quiet, fearing it would damage the school and cause people to think the school couldn’t keep students safe.  The school is also taking measures of safety as well. When I took out the paper recycling today there was a large truck with the paper right outside the front door as well as about 5 teachers kind of guarding the space.

Now I don’t know what happened to the student, or if the parents will get her the help she will likely need. But as far as Korean society goes, the school did it’s best to take proper legal and safety measures for the future.

It’s a shame I can’t say the same for the poor woman who now has to watch her rapist walk free in 3-6 months time.

This rape case is so much more than what it seems on the surface. It touches on the idea of color, victim blaming and judges.

Color: where to begin. While I do believe that America is a white dominated society I’m not someone who necessarily finds  color in every single thing and feel the need to debate it to death. However, in this case….it’s hard not to. I saw a video that compared rapist Brock Turner to other rapists of color. RBT (rapist brock turner) was given a name, information about his school, his sport of choice along with a nice photo. Set that next to a series of black men who committed roughly the same act : no name (just rapist/man) nothing about his personal life just the acts of crime  that he committed.

The prime example is the Brian Banks case. Almost identical case. No priors. Star athletes. Except that when he was found guilty (which ironically he was not actually guilty and later released) he was sentenced to years of prison time. And he served about 5 of them. RBT is only sentenced to 6 months, 3 if he has good behavior. The judge says that it could hurt his future. You mean like how Brian Banks kind of lost his future for 5 years after he was WRONGFULLY convicted? You mean how the victim now has to live with the fact she was raped for 20 minutes? The judge clearly was one of those pity students at Standford.

Which brings me to the next point. The judge should have not been judging in the first place. He should have recused himself. He is a Stanford alum, former athlete who has a past similar to RBT-well up until the point that he raped an unconscious girl behind a dumpster. Yes, it is a good thing to give a sentence that is fair to all-and in some cases that means a lighter sentence. But not in this case. RBT is like a child-he doesn’t seen to understand what he did wrong-he has no remorse-no self awareness. In this case…giving a lighter sentence is doing the reverse effect, it’s not helping him realize anything other than “I can’t commit crimes, and get off with a light sentence-maybe because I’m white and had a biased judge” No, he is just realizing that with the dumbest piece of writing in history (including Twilight) AKA a letter from his highly biased, misogynistic father, and some victim blaming, he can avoid any responsibility.

Which brings me to my final point and this goes back to the initial sexual molestation crime that happened at my school. Rape is rape. Whether it’s because someone is wearing a short skit, or has had too much to drink. Yes, drinking makes us do really dumb shit. I’ve seen it. I’ve done…some of it. But when under the influence, never have I thought about committing a crime. Drinking is not an excuse for crime. So to use that against a victim is disgusting. That RBT father states “sexual promiscuity” in his letter….it’s a college. Of course it’s college. But it’s not a reason for rape. There is no reason for rape. Ever. When men say “oh she was asking for it” or “oh did you see how she was dancing” or “look at what she’s wearing”….

If there is no non forced consent….it’s rape. No matter if I walk around naked-in no way am I asking to be raped.

And this idea of treating women badly starts at a young age. People say young girls overreact which they do (I had one student who cried because she drank the soy sauce in our taste test) but in the matter of boys being inappropriate, it’s not such a simple matter. It’s not that boys need to be taught how to respect women. It’s that they need to be taught how to respect everyone. If they learn that then things like rape and hate crime would be less. But we simply brush these things off as “kids being kids”-but that’s not always the case. Just look at bullying. It’s still a major problem today and now with social media (as I was a victim of it myself in high school) it is even a bigger problem.

Now….moving on to something less depressing…..DREAM CONCERT!

Where to begin. Well I had standing with my friends so they wound up getting there super early and stayed overnight. I got there at around 8 in the morning. Thank god it was cloudy most of the day!

We got out tickets and wound up doing fan events for most of our wait time-fan events are Korea KPOP concerts best kept secret. If you don’t know what a fan event is let me tell you. Usually fan sites (like twitter) will post what they are giving away and where and what time though there are random pop up events too. Usually you have to follow them on twitter or something. But if you are there in time you get free stuff. Sometimes you have to be part of the fan club or have the lightstick or a concert ticket but not always. Things they give away are fans with idols faces and names on them, stickers, candy….I even got EXO-K Nature Republic note pad stuff this past time. It’s a hell of a lot of fun and running around and starts quite a few hours before the actual concert -super early if it’s EXO ( I learned this the hard way).

So after all the fan events, and eating a little bit, we got in line and went into the stadium. Last year I was number 190-this year 7…so we basically got to choose where we wanted to stand. We chose the right hand side corner at the very front. It was amazing. We were so close! We were right next to the extrended stage so a lot of the idols that walked by saw us and waved, and when I threw hearts at them they would throw them back. It was insane. Though the line up wasn’t as good my location was so much better so no complaints. At the end the idols were throwing stars with the entire bands signatures and a message on it. Ken from VIXX threw his star at me but…the star was too light and wound up falling in the space between the stage and the barrier. The girl next to me hopped the fence to get it. So mad I didn’t think to do that. And then of course EXO didn’t come to our side of the stage….jus the other side…oh well. I will see them again next Saturday…no to mention…the comeback….I will save that for another day because…yeah.

So that’s it for today. I’m almost done  with this semeter’s lessons. Almost every class will enter next week starting the final chapter for this semester.