Monday, October 18, 2010

Public School Teachers, Drop a Line, and Female Bloggers, Unite!

Two quick notes:

1. In a follow-up to the piece about articles giving wildly inconsistent statistics about native English teachers breaking their public school contracts, I have two friends who are looking to connect with Public school teachers, either past, or present.  In particular, they're interested in talking to teachers who broke contract, in the way some news sources reported as many as 66(!)% did.  So if you are/were a public school teacher, and especially if you didn't finish a contract, please contact me (roboseyo at gmail dot com), and I'll put you in touch with people who want to talk with you.  If you're worried about your name being out there, I'm sure they'll let you do it anonymously.

(original article from Popular Gusts, ATEK's statement, Brian in JND's post)
More follow-up: after ATEK's statement, and further investigation, Hankyoreh wrote about ATEK's announcement, and then posted a correction of their original article.  This was also reported at Extra Korea, Brian in JND, and Popular Gusts.

2. One of my favorite new blogs is I'm No Picasso, because she provides a smart, engaging, and thoughtful female perspective on life in Korea.  She has a recent post titled "I'm No Picasso.  I'm also No Dating Blogger" where she calls the Korea blogosphere, and particularly the Dave's comment boards, to task for being overwhelmingly male... it kind of reminded me of this video: "X-Box Girls Get Revenge" where at least one of those sexist asses populating the internet gets his comeuppance.

The other thing I loved was this paragraph plus change:

Ladies, my question is, what are you doing? I know you're out there. I know you are insightful and intelligent and well-spoken. I know you have valid things to say about your experiences here in the ROK. Which is not to say that the dating bloggers aren't doing that -- they absolutely are. But that's only one aspect of our experience here. Don't tell me that it's the only way we're capable of expressing ourselves, or that it's the only source of interest we have in paying any attention to each other. Community is what you make of it, and so far, ours hasn't been very strong.
Not that it's easy. You'll all (the women, I mean) know exactly what I mean when I reference the boys' club aspect of life here as a female expat.
Chris in South Korea has a list of female K-bloggers, which he keeps updated, as far as I know, and I once made a call out for female K-bloggers before, but I'd love to hear if there are other awesome ones I should add to my reader, and all y'all female bloggers: heed INP's words, and get y'all connected!


Chris in South Korea said...

Really? First?

Women have as much to contribute as men do. Pure and simple. Perhaps it's because most women don't *feel* they have much to say. That's a shame, to say the least. Blogging is not a 'man's club', to say the least. Honestly, I would rather the Lady in Red (my fiance) have another person to talk to whenever I want to chat up a fellow blogger.

The post Rob mentioned about female bloggers is a bit old, but is still relevant, FWIW.

This Is Me Posting said...

That video is awesome.

I would love it if this would actually happen in real life.

C.W. Bush said...

I read Kimchi & Cornbread and The Kimchi Chronicles regularly, and while she's no longer in Korea, Straight from the Curls keeps a good blog too.

But does seem like it's a majority male blogging population out there,

Breda said...

I also read a lot of female written K-blogs...maybe they're just less well-known.

kissmykimchi said...

I don't understand. The web makes everyone equal. Anyone can start a blog and start blogging away about their experiences in anyway shape or form.

I think its great highlighting a group who may be present but not visible. I think I'll do a post on expat bloggers of color and expat lgbt bloggers.

I'm sure they're out there though a spotlight may be needed to find them.

Hannah said...

Hey, don't forget that Cynthia, the founding editor of Nanoomi, is female! Although she's more behind the scenes, I think she deserves big snaps for bringing a bunch of bloggers together!

chiam said...

There are quite a few femail kbloggers on Tumblr.

JIW said...

Am I not one of those female bloggers? I would say the difference is that most of the male bloggers have pushed themselves into other media such as publications and syndicated websites. But I think it is an issue that the "main voices" tend to be male.

Only way to solve this? Us women get up and make our voices heard beside the men.

Emily said...

I'm a lady k-blogger! You can read me! It's funny to me that a lot of people think blogging is dominated by males! I'd say of all the blogs I read only a small fraction of them are written by men, and those are mostly news related. I get most of my good stuff from the ladies. :)

Anonymous said...

Read me! I'm a female k-blogger^^ But for some reason I tend to attract more people outside rather than inside Korea.

Cait said...

I think it has less to do with gender and more to do with how the different genders approach blogging. I'm no Picasso nailed it when she said: And it seems that more men are taking the initiative to write in a less personal (ie more public) way about their experiences here.

A quick glance as the K-bloggers on my Google Reader show the trend of male bloggers posting about more general topics while the lady bloggers tend to post more personal responses to events. Obviously these are generalizations, but that seems to be the trend and a more impersonal, broad perspective on Korea is more accessible and useful to the general public than someone's personal experience. You're posting about ATEK and the state of teaching in Korea in general. I'm posting about my personal co-teacher woes, which in the past month has turned into a series of unfortunate events that is unique to me and my school. Which one is more useful to the public discourse on the state of teaching English in Korea? Yours obviously, and so they are read and linked to.

I checked my stats, and far and away my most popular post is the one about the Hello Kitty Cafe, which includes pictures and detailed directions. It's a useful post if you're looking for things to do in Seoul or want to spend an evening eating overpriced food shaped like an animated cat with no mouth, and it has received way more hits than a post made the same week about my sister getting locked in my bathroom. The second post is better written and much funnier, but you probably need to know my sister, or at least me, to care.

Brian said...

I don't think it's an "issue that the main voices tend to be male," any more than it's an issue that the main voices are all in Seoul. It just happens that those---and the men---are ones who have gotten themselves noticed up to now. A few years ago there weren't any voices of foreign English teachers being heard, and a few bloggers filled that void. Then it was that there wasn't any F.U.B.U. (for us by us) tourism information being written, and a few bloggers stepped up and filled that void.

Trends and themes in the K-blogosphere change all the time, and they're shifting back to the personal as people get tired of the syndicated (and increasingly sponsored). It's a fine time for new voices to get themselves heard (or read, I guess). Trying to make the effort to expose female bloggers is good in that it reminds people there's more to blogging in Korea than the same things you read on a few blogs, but it's not really an issue of gender. Hell, half of the blogs worth reading in Korea are written by women.


That video is hysterical. LOL. Almost spat my O.J. all over my screen.

Never thought about the K-blogging scene as being male elite before... but I guess I can see how it seems that way. Before moving here, I Googled K-bloggers for information on Korea-- blogsites such as yours, Chris, Brian, Grand Narrative, etc... would pop up blogs matching my general queries, covering wide topics. I feel like it's what Cait mentioned-- women can tend to blog very personal experiences vs. general/ informative. When I google, I'm short on time & only concerned w/ getting information.

Hmmm... I think I'd better take what I just wrote and remember it when I write next time.

Roboseyo said...


This just occurred to me:

see, a lot of the places where a lot of the bloggers who end up writing on social issues start out testing the waters of such topics, are sites like Dave's ESL and Marmot's hole's comment board, which are both very female-unfriendly... without that venue to "cut their teeth" before starting a full-on blog, they end up veering away from those topics. I wonder how much that plays into the fact that the "big" blogs are mostly male -- it'd be like saying
"Not many rock bands have male lead singers"
"Well, that just means they haven't hit it big"
only to discover that clubs around the country were ignoring female-led acts when booking acts for their venues.

TWEffect said...

I think there are lots of women with blogs, they just don't slap on the good adds, then aggressively promote it like some guys do.

I'm not female... but I'm a newish blogger in Korea.

People can check me out if they like.


Jenni said...

I've actually never paid much attention to if blogs I read are from male or female perspectives. I just glean what info I can and apply it to my situation or I just read a funny anecdote. But it brings up a good point, and I'll pay more attention in the future. If you would like to add my blog to your female list, by all means go ahead. Though I am not the most talented writer, I write more to inform family and friends what is going on with me while I'm a little more than a short distance away. ;-)