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Why 'Dear Immy' Shakes Them Up

July 21, 1993

Why is "Dear Immy" so controversial? Here's a sample of what's on the minds of Immy and her readers:

DEAR IMMY: I would like my wife to be boring. I want to be the leader of the family. I want to bring the excitement to my marriage. What's so wrong with that? --PUZZLED

DEAR PUZZLED: You would prefer a less intelligent and demanding wife because she would be more convenient to control. To you, gifted or brilliant women are inconvenient. You can't lie to or hide from them as easily. They are stimulating and want to be stimulated. This type of woman may scare you. It would be nice if you had enough faith in yourself to appreciate an interesting, expressive and evolving partner. Why limit yourself and seek a limited person? Cultivate your self-esteem and creativity, then you won't need to find a boring person.

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DEAR IMMY: I'm almost engaged to an American man and my family is against it. My favorite uncle said he knows for a fact that non-Korean men are more adulterous than Korean men. Also that a white man would divorce me right away when things weren't going well in our marriage. What do you think? --AFRAID OF ADULTERY

DEAR AFRAID: Many traditional Korean men think that if they are supporting the family financially, then they have fulfilled their family duty and have the right to have extramarital affairs while excluding divorce. In my experience Korean men are just as adulterous as non-Korean men, but Americanized wives have the option to seek divorce when they feel that adultery is unacceptable. Traditional wives tend to put up with it, while feeling hurt and bitter.

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DEAR IMMY: I know of a young girl who became pregnant out of wedlock and has decided to never tell her parents because it would shame the family. Do you agree with this, Immy? --INTERESTED READER

DEAR READER: I know of only a few cases where single, pregnant Korean-American women actually either told their parents or had their parents find out. In those few cases, the parents--after experiencing shock, shame and daughter-hatred--ordered their daughters to get an abortion and to never tell anyone. It's too bad that counseling isn't considered more often during family crises.

Unfortunately, I think the reality is that many of our young women carry a sad secret because many people will devalue them for their sexual or reproductive past.

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