Elwood 5566

I Touch Kiddies and I'm Proud of it! (Eulogy for Children's Day)

Posted in bathhouse Ballads, Comparative, Korean children by 노강호 on May 5, 2010

podcast 16

In the Ebente-tang (이벤트탕) the aroma of the day is jasmine. I now play this game where I try to guess the scent before looking at the  information board. I got it wrong today but then I have a slight cold. For the second time in 2 weeks I saw an older guy with a snood. Anyway, I was thinking…

Not suitable for pumpkin people! (click)

Betty and Becky are two small kids I teach three times a week. Betty is the most adorable little girl you could ever meet. She is always impeccably dressed, usually in her little school uniform of matching gray skirt, jumper and blue blazer and her hair is  usually decorated with some form of hair clip, a sequined butterfly or a flower. Around her neck hangs the customary mobile phone, stark pink with a little teddy bear suspended from it, as is the fashion. She is always laughing and skipping and incredibly happy.

Recently she has been playing the ‘ddong chip game’ (‘똥  injection’) which a few weeks ago I thought must have gone out of fashion until I noticed a couple of boys playing it. This ‘game,’ more of a gesture than a game,  consists of clasping the hands together and extending the index fingers. The custom is to adopt a sort of James Bond stance, holding the clasped hands like a gun, and then poke your index fingers up your victim’s arse. It’s common for kids to do this to teachers. This week however, Betty has struck me twice in the testicles.  The problem is, she has a habit of jumping out from a doorway so that she is under my belly and I can’t see her, at which point she strikes and runs away, giggling. Obsessed with  my hairiness, she constantly strokes my arms, or feels the stubble on my chin and today after a hair cut, she wanted to stroke my head. Sometimes she sits on my knee or hugs my leg, her face almost in my crotch… Beginning to think I’m a paedophile?  If so, that’s actually quite a sad indictment of our society.

As a westerner configured and attuned to sickening sexual predilections, as all westerners are, at this point I feel compelled to offer some defence. You know the kind of crap: ‘I’m not a perv but…..’.  In Britain you can  no longer make ‘statements’ such as: ‘I love children….’ ‘I touch children…’  I like the affection of children…’ without having to subsequently proffer some heavy mitigation to  annihilate any suspicions.  It’s a crazy situation which has been allowed to develop because  electorates are poorly educated in subjects that matter to civilization and easily coaxed and coached to hysteric proportions.  As with all the witch-hunts of the past, professionals have done little or nothing to challenge  proceedings  until a point is reached where  a profession actually emerges to ensure the paranoia remains; a sort of official ‘Witch-Finder General Body’, which will poke and inflame fears and very successfully accuse, or suggest all opposition, especially professional opposition, as a manifestation of the problem itself. Hence, to defend a witch is to be a witch, and to critique paedo-paranoia suggests one is themselves a paedophile. ‘I love animals…,’ ‘ I love the affection of animals…,’ ‘I touch animals…’ needs no mitigation!  Paedo-paranoia, as an ideology and profession which seeks perversion in everything, is as offensive, anti-social and unnatural as the abuse it seeks to prevent.

Betty’s behaviour is totally normal and no Korean would see anything amiss in her physical intimacy with adults. Earlier this week, in a class with two older boys, probably about 10 and 11, I had to lift up my shirt to let them scrutinize the scar across my navel where I had an umbilical hernia repair. Neither did they wait for me to consent before starting to tug my shirt out of my trousers.  On another occasion an older boy who had an allergic reaction to something, pulled off his shirt and asked me to scratch his back and a few weeks later, the same boy asked me to put drops in his sore eye. Patting your stomach, stroking your arms, and playing with your fingers or hand are all regular, natural occurrences which should, in a predominantly healthy society, be associated with our being  human and mammalian. Older kids will give you massages and play with you in a manner I have never witnessed in a British school and which would certainly lead to an interview with management. As for my Korean boss, I’ve seen her on the floor wrestling both girls and boys and I’ve seen a boy give her husband a massage on his thigh, very close to his groin,  after he pulled a muscle. All totally natural ! Those whose minds have been poisoned with all that western crap, and from which I am not excluded, supposedly premised on love but in practice totally the opposite and in which everyone,  especially men, are  potential molesters, are likely to see such behaviour as suspect. Of course , child abuse goes on in Korea,  probably more than we  are aware off.  But thankfully, during my life time, social relationships in Korea will not be perversified and terrorized to an extent where every adult is a demon and every touch between adult and child  a  potential case of abuse, to the same obsessive level it currently enjoys back home. I like contact with kids and see it as a part of natural, human relationships. If  indeed the sexual abuse of kids is so high in the west, it is perhaps time we reevaluated either western human sexuality or human sexuality itself.  Let’s face it, compared to Korean society, many facets  of western life are fucking messed!  Teenage pregnancy, sex diseases,  anti-intellectualism, gross male machoism,  rampant crime and violence.

In the UK in August 2007, a company launched Kevlar  padded school uniforms to protect children from knife attacks.  Perhaps our sexualities are fucked, too? The way we dress our daughters would suggest paedophilia is a prevalent predilection much closer to home rather than an offbeat obsession of strangers.  What Daddy wants to see their daughter dressed like a tart? Clearly, many! Currently, in the  UK, much debate is raging about Primark’s marketing of a padded bra / bikini for 8 year old’s! This joins similar promiscuous products of tweeny-hood such as thongs for six-year old’s emblazoned with two cherries and the caption ‘Eat Me!‘ (Argos)  Marks and Spencer’s, ‘Angel ‘ range of thongs for 7 year old’s  and the pole dancing kit for kiddies.

Of course, when you try to explain to Koreans about the sicker side of western society, the crime, teenage pregnancy, anti-intellectualism, the high rates of teenage infection by sexually transmitted diseases, the promiscuity, our obsession with sex etc, etc, it is rarely really comprehended. Several years ago I was in a bathhouse with my Korean friend, David. It was a hot and sticky afternoon in August and we’d gone to a mogyotang (목요탕) to cool off in the cold pool. As it was the  summer vacation there were a number of children present including a 12-year-old American boy who was on his own. A 12-year-old boy naked and alone in a public place! In the UK, paedo-paranoia is so great kids can’t even go to school alone let loiter in a bathhouse unaccompanied and nude. For a  while we played with a couple of small boys, flipping them into the air with clasped hands in which they put a foot. The American boy, whom we’d chatted with for a little, sat on the edge of the activity and at one point, David tried to encourage him to join in. When David touched the boy’s shoulder I noticed him tense up and I had to explain that for westerners, such physical intimacy is uncomfortable. It was a miracle the boy was in a bathhouse in the first place.

Childrens Day

Physical intimacy for westerners is now predominantly perceived as a sexual act which means that innocent intimacy, especially  between adult and child, is branded suspect and a potential grooming process which could lead to sexual abuse. And if professionals such as social workers, teachers, the police, etc, aren’t enforcing paedo-paranoia,  they are mute in any criticism of it.  Indeed many teachers and other professionals will encourage paedo-paranoia.

Occasionally, though perhaps more so in the past, grandparents or relatives tweaked small kids between the legs, more so boys than girls, sometimes as a game and other times if checking the gender of a baby, and when this was witnessed by a foreign teacher in a school in which I taught several years ago, I found her crying hysterically in an adjoining office. She was adamant this was sexual abuse and wanted to know where she could report the incident. That this was a foreign country with different values and that  it was not a sexual act, fell on deaf ears.  One only has to talk to a professional involved in ‘child protection’ to sense their sickened mind-set, that everyone is suspect, that every intimate gesture must be scrutinized and that it is a perversion which is rife throughout society. In such discussions one always feels judged, that you too must be ‘one’ and hence the intense need to mitigate yourself. Krystalnacht, the Salem Witch Trials, the persecution of women in the middle ages, the Spanish Inquisition, McCarthyism,  all were spurned and inspired by the babble, conflation and hyperbole of ‘professional’ witch-finders.

Physical intimacy with students or Koreans doesn’t phase me and if you think it’s just kids that are so lax about bodies, body proxemics and touching, it’s not. Several years ago a friend of mine who is totally heterosexual, asked to see my dick.  There was a reason, non sexual, which I will save for a later post, but I had to take it out for him to inspect. He had just delivered my lunch  and the steaming mandu were on the table between the two of us as I unzipped.    Then, almost as if returning a favour, he nonchalantly showed me his vasectomy. Tackle zipped away, we sat down and tucked into the mandu which, made by his wife, happen to be the best I have eaten.

So, ‘I touch kiddies’ and I don’t mind when they ‘touch me!’ Indeed I’m proud to say, ‘I touch kiddies.’ And if you think this is perverse you can throw me in water and if I float, I’m guilty. Matthew Hopkins, Witch-Finder General, a medieval ‘professional babbler,’  was paid a pound for every witch he discovered and the  water test was one of his prime methods of exposing them. Needless to say, with a livelihood premised on the existence of witches, and so, so many of them,  he found them everywhere.  Until that was, so legend says, it was discovered he too floated and he was promptly executed.

We have foisted a range of fears onto children and youngsters that lead them to perceive potential danger in innocent interactions, have taught them to distrust intimacy, to seek perversion in others and most perverse of all, taught them that intimacy is solely sexual. It is future generations  that will have to endure the anti-social, anti-human damage wrought by those perverted ‘professional babblers’ and a society who kept silent!

But that is back in the perverted West. Meanwhile, here in Korea it is Children’s Day and my school is taking some students to the park. We’re going to play!

Creative Commons License

©  林東哲 2010 Creative Commons Licence.

Links to the ‘padded bra for 8 year old’s debate in the UK:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/apr/14/primark-padded-bikini

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/apr/15/primark-padded-bikinis-mumsnet-sexuality

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/apr/14/primark-children-padded-bikini-tops

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2 Responses

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  1. Hamish Nelson said, on May 5, 2010 at 11:45 am

    For sure, I get kids come up to me every day and hug me. It’s so nice to be in a culture where it’s accepted and not frowned upon. I’d rather they didn’t put their hands together and run at my butt though, there’s just something wrong with having a little kid try to dong chim me. Maybe I need more practice though http://www.mikewang.org/dongchim.htm

    • Nick said, on May 5, 2010 at 10:33 pm

      This girl pokes you in the nuts – which I don’t think is as common as the ‘ddong chip,’ and what is amusing is that Korean adults in the vicinity just laugh which encourages her more.


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