Being half-Korean and relating to Korean culture, this class as a whole has really sort of jarred me in terms of the things we talk about, because some of them are the sorts of things I think my mother and grandmother would think too embarrassing to bring up or something you just don’t. To be honest, I felt the same way about Emi’s visit and her discussion, but after just a few minutes of listening to what she had to say, all my reservations went away. While I realize that her major points and issues should be the focus of this response, I can’t help but sort of be amazed by Emi on the whole as just speaking out about something that most Asians would consider taboo or strange. Even in the United States we don’t know much about intersex, and so having Emi explain the definition and how intersexual people perceive themselves was really eye-opening. It’s something I had never thought about, and really you begin to sort of question a lot of our social guidelines. It made me wonder – in a “liberal” culture like the United States, intersexual people are already treated as oddities – I have a hard time even trying to imagine what it must be like to experience that in Asia.
Also, on a side note, in case anyone is interested, there is actually a scanlation group I found online that translates one of the manga Emi brought into class – I.S. Here’s the link to the group’s site – I think if you register on their forum you can read the chapters they scanlate online.