Pop Culture & Society
Actress faces jail time for adultery
by | November 26, 2008 | 57 Comments

I hadn’t intended on posting about actress Ok So-ri‘s current adultery case, because South Korean law is one subject that I freely admit is beyond me. But the news has hit the international newswire, so here we go:

The 39-year-old Ok, who enjoyed most of her popularity in the ’90s (her last film was 1996’s Karuna), admitted to having an affair. That alone was scandalous enough, but in Korea, adultery is still a criminal offense. Korea’s adultery rate is high, but rarely is it actually prosecuted. (Imagine the overcrowding of prisons were that true!) However, a 55-year-old adultery law has enabled Ok’s husband to press charges. Ok has attempted to overturn the law, but the prosecution is now looking to send her to jail. TO JAIL. FOR ADULTERY.

Reuters says:

“South Korean enacted its adultery law more than 50 years ago to protect women who had few rights in the male-dominated society but critics say now it is a draconian measure no longer fit for a country with an advanced civil and family court system. …Last month, the Constitutional Court said adultery damaged the social order and therefore was a criminal offence.”

Now, I’m not condoning cheating, but the problem is that this is an archaic law and is being misapplied here as a revenge tactic more than a protection of rights. It’s also pretty damn hypocritical given that Korea’s got a booming sex trade (with the vast majority of johns being men, married and otherwise) and an extremely high (and ever-increasing) divorce rate.

Way to punish one person for the “crimes” of an entire nation, Korea. This here is some fecking messed-up shiz, people.

Via Arts News, Chosun Ilbo, Reuters

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57 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. numberoneoppa

    I for one agree with the law, though only to a certain extent. I think jail time is rather overboard. However, I do think community service would be a great punishment for a crime like this.

    I’m glad Korea has such laws. It saddens me to see Korea becoming more and more like the United States everyday. They just don’t realize that Americans are for the most part, horrible people who should not be copied.

    In the case of 옥소리, where it’s a revenge case, this is absolutely ridiculous, there should be a time limit on allegations of this type.

  2. belleza

    I don’t want to get into a rant on South Korea, but my impression is that the husband and his team will realistically not be able to get an indictment out of that. The law is there, and the husband wants her to suffer as much as possible. And there you go. Divorce is nasty everywhere.

    I think it’s like parents here sometimes going after a teenager with statutory rape accusations, when the age difference was normal and sexual relations were consensual.

  3. sam

    Are you @#*@$#* kidding me? No way should the courts arbitrate a morality case. It’s, like Reuters says, “draconian” and I’m sick of people getting the law involved in bedroom issues.

    Adultery is awful but that’s for the couple to deal with, it’s not for the courts to judge and throw someone into JAIL over.

    • 3.1 jess

      i concur

  4. numberoneoppa

    “I think it’s like parents here sometimes going after a teenager with statutory rape accusations, when the age difference was normal and sexual relations were consensual.”

    In this case, yes. However, not all.

    Sam, different strokes for different folks… or countries. Seriously, though, there are many laws in the states that could be considered morality based, such as public indecency. It all depends on where the government draws the line. [~however, yeah, this would be a private matter, and up to the spouse to 'tell on' the other, and also have proof... ie way more trouble than it's worth.~]

    I remember a friend telling me how Korea’s divorce rate used to be so low before American movies and media became popular. :'(

  5. rocketfuel

    “the Constitutional Court” are a bunch of putos.

  6. arlie

    numberoneoppa: Yeah…. your comment on Americans being ‘horrible people’ isn’t prejudiced at all. Oh wait, you added ‘for the most part’ so I guess that makes it okay.

    I don’t really understand where you get the idea cheating is akin to being American. If you look at it from a perspective of thinking Americans as being more sexual and open with sexuality, than you must be condemning many other countries too, such as the vast majority of European countries which are considered on a whole to be more sexual liberated than the States and generally think of the States as being a little too conservative and ‘prude’ to their tastes.

    Even then, the whole concept of cheating is not a trait that can really be applied to any one ethnic group, race, or nationality. When somebody who is Korean cheats on their partner, I highly doubt they are thinking, “Oh, well, I’m going to be more American and cheat.” Again, cheating is NOT a nationality/race thing, it’s a HUMAN thing.

    Although the States definitely have a large number of problems, it isn’t as though Korea is squeaky clean either. Just looking at the entertainment industry in Korea, you can see some of the social problems prevalent there, from the extreme focus on body image to the unusual number of suicides. However, this in no way means Korea is any worse a country than the States, and if I were to make such a judgment call like that, it would be vastly unfair of me to do so.

    It is one thing to have differing opinions, but please be respectful and not so close-minded to condemn others so easily.

  7. belleza

    “Although the States definitely have a large number of problems, it isn’t as though Korea is squeaky clean either. Just looking at the entertainment industry in Korea, you can see some of the social problems prevalent there, from the extreme focus on body image to the unusual number of suicides”

    Yeah, but see, these type of discussions turn into “my country” vs. “your country” arguments anyway. (Just like Koreans have us for, uhhh, eating mad cows?!?) I see a lot of “What’s Wrong with Korea!!” posts over in other sites, and (though I don’t necessary disagree with the specifics) it makes my eyes roll due to all the Fox News-style jingoism.

    Adultery is still illegal in many states here. And in Utah and Florida(!!!??!!??!!@$!@#%#%!@#!@!), you can still go to jail for it. God bless the United States of Jesusland. :D

  8. Jay

    I don’t agree with the law, I’m of the opinion that if your partner cheats on you then just leave them, they’re not worth your time. I wouldn’t wast my energy trying to send my girlfriend to jail and what not.

    But I wouldn’t mind seeing her serve some time. I mean she knew about the law when she had the affair and she knew the law when she admitted to having the affair. If she no longer wanted to be with her husband, why didn’t she just leave him? There’s no law that says you have to be married.

  9. your average girl

    This is ridiculous. I’m not Korean, but from what I’ve seen in the plot lines for Korean dramas, it seems that male infidelity is pretty common. For example, that drama “My Husband’s Woman” (I’m translating from its Chinese title) was all about the husband’s affair and how there is a double standard for women who are divorced (it’s a huge stigma for women to be divorced but it’s accepted as normal if the man is divorced).

    Sending women to jail for adultery seems so outdated and just plain stupid. This is a crappy double standard because I doubt any men have been imprisoned for having an affair.

  10. 10 tamu

    Wow, Mr. Park Chul have the heart…No mercy on your ex wife…. they’ve got one daughter together…OMG…

  11. 11 arlie

    “Yeah, but see, these type of discussions turn into “my country” vs. “your country” arguments anyway. (Just like Koreans have us for, uhhh, eating mad cows?!?) I see a lot of “What’s Wrong with Korea!!” posts over in other sites, and (though I don’t necessary disagree with the specifics) it makes my eyes roll due to all the Fox News-style jingoism.”

    I completely agree with you. There are lots of things that I think are wrong with Korea, but there are also a LOT of things I think are wrong with the States. I don’t feel discussing what country is better or whatnot is at all necessary, especially as most people discussing the countries probably know very little about what they are discussing or are misinformed.

    As a person whose knowledge of Korea comes primarily from Korean dramas and accounts of Korean friends, I would have to say what I perceive to know is probably not at all demonstrative of the whole. Even as a resident of the states, what I perceive about the states as a Californian is entirely different from what a native resident of Utah would perceive.

    So when I hear statements like “It saddens me to see Korea becoming more and more like the United States everyday. They just don’t realize that Americans are for the most part, horrible people who should not be copied.”, I find it highly offensive and would find it offensive if it were for any other country as well, be it Iran, China, etc.

  12. 12 numberoneoppa

    As it seems you guys didn’t full comprehend my comments, I’ll rephrase, American // western media throughout the years has drastically affected Korea (in what I think is an adverse way). Of course, adultery is probably not related to this; however, the ideology that makes it seem an acceptable thing to do (and therefore more prevalent) probably is.

    Oh, and I don’t know why you would find my comments so offensive, perhaps you haven’t realized, but American values went down the drain (at least for those under ~30 years of age) for the most part a long time ago. Perhaps it’s just my bad luck, but it seems good people in this country are becoming harder and harder to come upon.

    And my primary source of knowledge of Korea is definately not dramas, thanks for the laugh though.

    Oh, and by the way, I’m not saying that the States hasn’t done wonders for Korea (positively). Just not in the case of moral issues in recent years.

  13. 13 sam

    i totally agree with arlie (#6).

    numberoneoppa, globalism is a two-way street. It’s not like Western culture creates vices and the rest of the world (like Korea) suddenly becomes more morally corrupt when they’re exposed. That’s what your statement suggests: “American // western media throughout the years has drastically affected Korea (in what I think is an adverse way)”

    Everything affects everything, and I think your argument is pretty narrow-minded. Korean society has dealt with adultery for as long as Western society, and it’s not like watching Americans cheat in movies makes Korean people more susceptible to cheating. Maybe this is more an issue of changing times, not “East is better than West.”

    “But I wouldn’t mind seeing her serve some time. I mean she knew about the law when she had the affair and she knew the law when she admitted to having the affair”

    But if you prosecute her and not anyone else, it’s like society is trying to make an example of her. I think the punishment should fit the crime, and this is not fitting of the crime.

  14. 14 ed

    i don’t understand how the courts can prosecute her and not the others found guilty of adultery yet skipped jail time? did she just present her case poorly? she could’ve collected evidence of her husband’s trips to the room salons. in this case media definitely worked against her — all those salacious stories about her and big foreign chef making a joke out of “quietly suffering korean husband”…hmm mm!

  15. 15 arlie

    numberoneoppa: If you read my comment carefully, you’ll realize that in no way was I implying your knowledge of Korea was based on dramas or the like, but that MINE was and so it would be unfair for me to really discuss Korea issues to any deeper degree. (However, it does seem to me that your knowledge of the States is a little lacking and perhaps based on American tv/movies for you to be making such drastic statements.)

    Other than that, I really have on interest in furthering this discussion on my part because it wouldn’t get anywhere.

  16. 16 numberoneoppa

    arlie, my sincere apologies. Oh, and my knowledge of the states is not lacking at all, trust me :)

  17. 17 arlie

    numberoneoppa, cool beans.

  18. 18 incarnadine

    Hmmm… your post made me stop and think long about the adultery laws we have here in my own country (Philippines). I guess I am so used to the existence of a law which actually penalizes adultery/concubinage that I forgot to reconsider its social relevance and necessity.

    For a predominantly Catholic nation such as mine, a law criminally punishing adultery seems to be more accepted and expected.

    Oh, well. It really depends on the culture and society wherein the law is applied.

  19. 19 oatmeal

    if you calculate the ratio between the number of men who commit adultery as opposed to women, it’ll be even more apparent that this particular law is sexist. though i don’t support spouses cheating on one another (unless one was getting abused physically or verbally), i really can’t come to accept it.

    if you can’t tolerate your significant other, then divorce them. but of course, easier said than done. i’m from the states and i have to say it’s incredibly easy to divorce someone here. however, i have learned that the law in hong kong only allows a couple to be divorced if both parties are willing, so nothing much can be done there.

    i just gotta say that this is totally sexist. i bet if it were a man, nothing would happen; he’d just be in the tabloids for a few days and get cursed at.

  20. 20 anne

    wow what an ironic example of how this law is applied!
    really!
    man, she must be soo embarrassed .
    they should just go old school and use fists

  21. 21 koalabear

    we have the same laws here in my country where the adulterers actually go to jail, it’s just too bad that Ok is a public figure and admitting to what she did became a big issue, but I can’t understand the double standard that when Men cheat is just okay but when Women cheat, it’s a big taboo

  22. 22 Jessica

    @ your average girl

    I think it’s very dangerous to judge a country based on it’s media. I’m sure there are just as many tv shows about women cheating as well…

    And like belleza mentioned, there are several states in the US that have similar adultery laws. For example, in Illinois adultery is a 5 year prison sentence. In Utah, it’s 3 years. In Florida it’s 2 years, etc…

  23. 23 Winnie

    If I may jump in, I’d like to make a point about adultery in America and Korea:
    “American // western media throughout the years has drastically affected Korea (in what I think is an adverse way). Of course, adultery is probably not related to this; however, the ideology that makes it seem an acceptable thing to do (and therefore more prevalent) probably is.”

    While I won’t disagree that American media has made sexuality in general more prevalent and accepted in Korean society, I don’t know if I believe it made adultery more prevalent You see, it’s been happening in every country in which marriage exists for hundreds of years – men and women sleep with people other than their spouses. As javabeans pointed out, there’s plenty of prostitution in Korea, and it’s been there for quite some time. American media might have made it more socially acceptable to discuss and perhaps more socially acceptable for women – horror of horrors! – to commit adultery too. But has adultery risen because of America’s influence? I’m not sure.

    By the way, incardine, you’ve given me food for thought with your comment.

  24. 24 cbc

    I guess So-ri is sorry now… Get it? So-ri = Sorry…haha..

  25. 25 Winnie T

    And yet another Winnie…
    I’ve noticed that most of the comments are political, but I ‘d like some backstory on this. Why did she confess? I feel bad for her, but she should have divorced or just kept secret about it.
    Furthermore, I don’t feel like one example that has been publicized like this should be representative of a whole nation.

  26. 26 Sara

    overall i like that law…great way to get back at a cheating b***ard of a husband or wife.

  27. 27 Kobe

    There’s something terribly wrong with the so-called “justice” system if people get put in jail for adultery when there are rapists, murderers and child molesters getting away with just a slap on the wrist.

  28. 28 Artemis

    This even made the news in my country Norway, because it is so absolutely incredible! It’s like South Korea is an Islamic country! Goodness me – get rid of this ridiculous law!

  29. 29 jojo

    I have two comments, firstly, why arent more women using these laws against their errant husbands too, why are women willing to be more tolerant to them? What does this speak of women in general and not just in Korea… It seems that the original intent of the law which is to protect women is too “advance” for its time and thus abused.

    Should the law be abolished or should more be educated on enforcing and knowing their rights?

    Secondly, men have it tough too. It isnt easy for a man (with all their ego and pride) to acknowledge that he has been cuckolded. But definitely, women have it tougher. For So-ri her reputation is ruined..she has to act/sing somewhere in the West which one cannot deny is more forgiving in that sense.

  30. 30 who?

    have u seen the husband?
    any woman would cheat on that fat bastard.

  31. 31 tc

    Korean jails would be full of cheating husbands if they get procecuted.
    This law is so hypocritically against Korean women! :(

  32. 32 claire

    I feel really bad for So-ri. I know adultery is terrible and wrong, but this law just seems way to extreme for my tastes.

    Also, I can’t help but notice that a lot of the other comments are very political and just, well kinda mean. I don’t think that any country deserves blame for adultery…it’s definitely been around since the beginning of time and honestly it happens everywhere.

    I think it’s dumb that anytime something goes wrong somewhere America gets blamed. What the heck? Did Americans come force her to commit adultery? Um no.

  33. 33 numberoneoppa

    Winnie, yeah I’d like to know why she confessed as well. She knew the laws were in place when she confessed. Also, why doesn’t she accuse him of adultery for a counter-suit? [I'm pretty sure it's well known that he has also cheated on her.] Oh, and I agree (and stated earlier) that Adultery is not America’s doing, and of course it has existed as long as the institution of marriage.

    Kobe: “There’s something terribly wrong with the so-called “justice” system if people get put in jail for adultery when there are rapists, murderers and child molesters getting away with just a slap on the wrist.”
    ::Oh? In Korea, which cases would you be referring to? I haven’t known Korean law enforcement to be that incredibly broken.

    tc, why? There’s no rule against the women filing allegations against the husband. In fact, that’s what the law was designed for (at least according to the Reuters quote in the original post).

  34. 34 tc

    cuz women tend to look the other way when their husbands are cheating.

  35. 35 bbww

    Thanks for the interesting discussion. I think there are a lot of factors that we all don’t know about. I have a friend that married a Korean and moved back there. In order for her to press charges or divorce and get alimony she had to prove the adultery and I think she had to catch them in the act. It’s been over 5 years but I don’t think it’s changed. Can anybody out there confirm this process?

  36. 36 Sere

    Are you kidding me? OMG! She could go to jail for *adultery*?!? The mind boggles…

  37. 37 ami

    Uh, I thought jails in any country were overcrowded no? Or is it more like the husband just wants to make as big of a case as he can?

    I didn’t know that IL had an adultery law, and you could go to jail for 5 years, although that’s probably on the extreme end(I bet it’s mostly a fine)

    Has anyone else used this law to prosecute their husbands? Is this the first time the law was being used in such a way?

    man, it’s like a bad ancient chinese drama where the husband can say a few words and the wife is thrown out like garbage, but the woman could never get rid of the husband no matter how badly he acted.

  38. 38 coco

    This just shows how nasty divorces can get! The adultery laws were enacted to serve a purpose, revenge should not be one of them!
    As for the cause of moral decline, the blame cannot be bundled up nicely and laid at the door of the USA! Since when has what others do made it okay to copy or follow?
    We are each responsible for ourselves. If there are increasing problems in Korea it’s the easy way out to blame US media.
    Just for the record I’m not an American! I agree with Arlie #6! I found America to quite prudish and the level of censorship to be higher than I was used to in my MotherLand!

  39. 39 jusash

    Agree with Jay @#8:

    >>> of the opinion that if your partner cheats on you then just leave them, they’re not worth your time. I wouldn’t wast my energy trying to send my girlfriend to jail and what not.

    But I wouldn’t mind seeing her serve some time. I mean she knew about the law when she had the affair and she knew the law when she admitted to having the affair. If she no longer wanted to be with her husband, why didn’t she just leave him? There’s no law that says you have to be married.
    ====================================

    Yup exacting such revenge is not really achieving anything imo. Especially with a kid involved in the picture – just end it with some dignity regardless of who the more injured party was would be the better way to go.

    Agree too that – ideally – she should have made a clean break then proceeded to have her affair.
    But things may not have been so simply clear cut as we presume, perhaps. We don’t know their situation – or can he simply refuse to grant her a divorce if she filed? (don’t know enough about Korean marital laws).

    As for such a law:
    Double Standards prevail overall (as usual – so what’s new?)

    Moral decline:
    While we may/may not agree with a lot of bygone Confucianism values – those had their virtues in keeping checks and balances.

    We can’t discount Western influences and media in overall perception of ‘what’s acceptable’ and ok these days.
    And yes, some Western states – while not blatantly open or permissive – may appear and act prudish on the surface but there’s also a whole lot that doesn’t meet the eye.
    We will also probably be shocked at the stuff that goes behind closed doors = especially when it is exposed and made public.

    No one is going to wear a badge proclaiming they had been involved in incestous relationship/orgy, or was groped by their scout/guide/religious leaders are they?

  40. 40 Steph

    This even made the news in my country Norway, because it is so absolutely incredible! It’s like South Korea is an Islamic country! Goodness me – get rid of this ridiculous law!

    Artemis, I’m not sure if I should be offended or just feel sorry for you.

    Anyway, personally, I think it’s a good law. Why commit adultery when you could just get divorced and be with someone else openly? So what if it’s not socially accepted in your neck of the woods. With all that said, I do think it’s stupid to make an example out of her if this law has been in place for a while and others haven’t been punished under it. Like others have said, why bring other countries and religions in to this? Let’s keep it relevant. Every country has it’s problems.

  41. 41 Secret Sunshine

    One of the best ways to live by…

    Commandment #7 Thou shall not commit adultery

  42. 42 Rebeca

    I don’t think this is all that bad. She is damn stupid for confessing if she knew there was a law against this.

    ANd i hope this serves as a fear therapy sort of thing to keep other ppl from cheating.
    Cuz there is nothing more disgusting than saying your wedding vows and meaning them for a lifetime, only to break them for sex. Stupid freaking people

  43. 43 anna

    i also agree with steph n rebecca. if she knew there’s a law, why did she still did it? she can just left her husband and then, do it freely.

    well, there’s positive side in this law. it teach people to respect what marriage is. is there anything else in marriage if husband and wife freely commit adultery with other people? and its not like there’s no other option, they still can divorce if they want to . come on, i believe everyone can understand how a wife feel when they know her husband have affair with other woman. and so does the other way round.

    it frighten me when i see most people are actually strictly against this law. and its good that some states are ‘at least’ still have this law.

    • 43.1 penny

      i am horrified that you think it is a good law, while i think
      it screams medieval madness.
      adultery though may imply immoral to some based on
      their perceived notions of morality, it is still not a crime
      at par with say robbery,rape,murder that inflicts way
      greater harm to be charged likewise.
      while for a long time, i found it immoral myself, i have
      lately come to realise that happiness is the most important
      thing in the equation.if being coupled to each other comes
      at the cost of what could have been, no one would be sadder
      for it.i am sure like me there would be many who would be ready
      to separate from our spouse(s) if we knew he/she loved someone
      else.A facade simply is not worth it for anyone, especially
      when i cannot really gloat happy after keeping someone tied to me
      just because i have been given the right to it by law.
      And also, due to some comments, i would wish to impress that a divorce is not necessarily a bad thing.in fact, i would go as far as to say, odds are it is the better decision.a time to open to a fresh chapter in life, both being able to chase a more compatible partner, to improve their chances of happiness instead of being forced to be suck it up & remain trapped because society says so.After all, as in everything else, it is possible to err in love & everyone deserves a second chance, not only select K drama heroes/heroines.People really need to stop judging life choices of other people.And looking at families, i have also come to the conclusion that separated parents are the more successful parents to their kids (engaged in other fulfilling relationships) than parents just going along in the rut.Happy parents will have happy children.period. :)

  44. 44 sippycup

    This law is nonsense. Life is complicated, marriage is complicated.

    This law is clearly being used for revenge and not to preserve the sanctity of marriage. And as everyone else has said is completely sexist. Therefore must get the boot, i think.

  45. 45 ed

    “it teach people to respect what marriage is. ”

    it takes both partners to have meaningful respect (not out of fear, oppression etc) in a marriage. the law means squat if it’s not enforced consistently & fairly — which it is not. making an example out of ok so-ri is just lip service to the “preserving social order” rant: the ajossis/men philander far more often and openly, because it’s already under the table accepted behavior. it’ll be real disruption of social order, if men in various powerful positions go to jail because they screw around a bit after work or on business trips! but god forbid their women should “retaliate” in the same way. nobody’s coming out of it a saint here, and it’s a complete joke if they think ok so-ri’s jail time sends shivers down the guys cheating on their wives. they’ll just look at her as “that dumb broad who confessed; men, let’s carry on!” the women will just have to more careful if they cheat.

  46. 46 asianromance

    i totally agree with javabeans comments.

    i can’t believe this! sending a woman to jail for adultery- what a waste of government resources. they should be catching rapists and loan-sharks. how about educating those kids who get into fights at school? I guess this might be the case of once of those archaic laws left unchecked. Like whoops, forgot to cancel that law. I read a wacky laws humor book before listing outdated/ridiculous laws and restrictions that the govt forget to get rid of.

    as for moral decline due to american media- i can’t lay the blame on US media’s doors. I think the situation nowadays is not entirely a decline in morals and values but in increase exposure of situations that lack morals and values. suddenly our eyes are open to the follies of our fellow neighbors. cheating husbands is universal and has been happening since the dawn of time. however, in the present, there are more ways to catch a husband/wife cheating and technology to aid it (video cameras, cell phone logs, emails) and there are more options for what happens afterward. People don’t feel the need to stay with cheating spouses and turn the other way/work things out. They just get a divorce.

  47. 47 anna

    “it’s a complete joke if they think ok so-ri’s jail time sends shivers down the guys cheating on their wives”

    i know, it doesn’t teach other people. not only adultery, but in any other crimes, nobody really scared and criminals rate are still high today. but still, this law proves that the state in overall still have some moral value which, against adultery in marriage.

    i dont see anything wrong with this law. in fact, i feel glad some places still at least show their stand, which completely against this moral less act. is that mean u allow every wife and husband have free sex outside? do u approve your wife/husband have an affair? me, not.

  48. 48 your average girl

    Responding to Jessica (#22)

    I’m not Korean, so the only exposure I have to Korean culture is through movies and dramas. Of course I am NOT saying that “Korea must be like this because such-and-such drama showed such-and such.” I know better than to stereotype a culture based on something like a drama.

    HOWEVER, we must all admit that media is often a reflection of a culture. American movies give foreigners a glimpse of American culture– how sex-obsessed Americans are, how much emphasis Americans put on physical appearance, how materialistic we can be, what our standards of beauty looks are, what sort of humor we prefer, our definitions of gender roles, what we think of gay/lesbian relationships, how we perceive teen pregnancy (think Juno, Jamie Lynn Spears and Sarah Palin’s daughter), etc.

    American dramas/media/TV are not shy at all about including sex (even between teenagers) while Korean movies tend to be more conservative. Wouldn’t we both agree that this is a subtle reflection of both cultures? Americans are very open in general while Koreans (like most Asian countries) tend to be more conservative when it comes to sexual relationships– or at least, Asian countries frown upon one night stands and promiscuous sexual behavior more than America does.

    So my statement above was simply saying that there I have observed a trend in Korean dramas, and therefore I believe there must be a motivation or cause for this trend. I could be entirely wrong– maybe Korean men are SOOO loyal that script writers are fed up with the loyalty and writing dramas about divorces, affairs, etc.

    However, while I am not Korean, I can tell you that the Chinese have the same double standard for men and women. It’s fine for a man to be divorced, but if a woman is divorced, it’s like she has some evil mark on her. The Taiwanese apparently have a similar law regarding adultery, but once again, I am sure many women overlook their husband’s affairs because they cannot afford to get a divorce– for many women, they would have to find a job though it’s so hard to do once you’ve been out of the work force for several years and the only marketable skill you have is cooking and cleaning, they would be looked down upon in Asian society, etc.

    Therefore, I do believe some of these Korean dramas ARE pointing out the inequalities, injustices and double standards in society by subtly addressing them through the media. In America we have movies that address issues like teenage birth and racial stereotypes, so why can’t Koreans have movies that address social issues that exist?

  49. 49 Mindy

    WOW I THOUGHT THAT WAS MRS. KWON, AS IN KWON SANGWOO’S WIFE!! WHAT A RESEMBLANCE!

    ANYWAY I BELIEVE IN SOME JAIL TIME FOR ADULTERS. BUT IF SHE’S JUST CONFESSING SOMETHING IN THE PAST AND WASN’T CAUGHT IN THE ACT THEN I DON’T THINK SHE SHOULD BE DOING JAIL TIME… BUT THEN AGAIN KOREA SEES THIS IS SIN, JUST AS MURDER IS SIN. IF U MURDER SOMEONE AND CONFESSED LATER, YOU WOULD DO JAIL TIME FOR SURE.

  50. 50 dae

    i agree in the law that adultery is a crime… women should maintain self respect more than anything else… but yes i too disagree on how the law come out as an avenue for men’s vengeance on women who place a big slap on their ego – men aren’t the only one capable of cheating. i would wait for the day to come when concubinage or those who continuously cheat their wives would be punished as well, put to jail or tagged w/the scarlet letter like how women are treated. how men can be punished only when concubinage is proven but not when their habitually cheating.

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