Interestingly enough, the version of the Chosun Ilbo’s story that appear on its site –“한국 유부녀들은 남편 대신에…” 일부 원어민 강사들 비하발언 파문 (English translation from Korea Beat) — went up in a different way from Yahoo’s syndicated feed version of the story, which had added the following image graphic:
[Source: Yahoo News]
Interesting to see these two images actually linked together as a single graphic, which does a great job of linking all foreigners’ apparent sexual desire for Korean women and debauchery to the issue of “sexual groping” that was brought up in the story. This is more than a story, or a series of stories, but are actually parts of a growing meta-narrative in which foreigners (specificially men) are an actual pathological threat to the “innocent” members of society, i.e. women and children.
There is no logical reason to link these two photographs together other than that. And since the issue of sexual groping is quite literally at hand, adding a picture in which you actually see it happening is a very powerful emotional move. Here, we have a white man (and perhaps another off-camera) with his hands all over the flesh of two Korean women, in what is a party atmosphere, in an environment that is private. But that doesn’t matter when that picture is used to depict the “sexual groping” that the article talks about. A mere picture of an adult English teacher in a shot of many students isn’t so powerful, since it simply says that “he is in charge of your children”or “watch out.” There is no sense of direct sexual threat in the left picture.
But with the magic of the mosaic, the two white men, who have nothing to do with one another, who are acting in very different private and public spheres, become conflated into a single “white male menace,” made similar by not just their proxomity to each other in their layout, but by the faceless anonymity and notoriety assigned them by that mosaic. They are these men, and all white men. Note that the only “sexual grope” is in the picture on the right, ostensibly between consenting adults, but the psychological effect of such lurid imagery is to make the reader feel almost as if s/he had seen the white male English teachers actually groping a child in the picture on the left.
In a sense, and on an emotional level, the white man/men are guilty of lewd groping of Korean girls, regardless of context, at least in the conservative Korean mind, especially one that is full of stereotypes and negative images already. And once that emotional trigger is pulled, the psychological connection between perfectly legal, but perhaps unsavory “sexual groping” in a night club or other private space, and that of perhaps small girls in the public space of the classroom, is made. In terms of the visual and emotional connections, it’s almost as if a grope, and hence, an actual crime had been depicted in the picture on the left, rather than in the picture on the right, taken from a situation clearly that should absolutely be considered personal and private. In the end, the emotional brain won’t really make any real distinctions, because in a fundamental way, it doesn’t matter which picture sexual groping actually took place in — both pictures are, from a certain emotional standpoint, one and the same.