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I had to wait a few hours before I could form a polite response to this, because I respect the APOPA girls and because J.ae is entitled to her opinion. After a few hours of Saint's Row 2, a huge piece of birthday cake, and not nearly enough sleep, my response to this section of the interview is as close to the happy medium of ready and fresh as I'm gonna get. I promise not to drop any F-bombs, which I will admit that even now, takes serious effort on my part.

*cracks knuckles*

"They signed a contract."

"They would be nothing without SM."

"Where's their loyalty?"


Imagine, if you will, a marriage. A marriage is a legally binding contract. An unbelievably rich guy picks some poor-to-middle class girl to be his wife. The girl has been...compromised in life. She's been homeless, has had to live hand-to-mouth on the streets, is in this country alone and is desperately trying to keep what's left of her family together, has a controlling stage parent, or maybe her parents just didn't pick the richest profession. But there is something undeniably special about her that the rich man can see. He says that everything she wants will be hers, that he will pay for everything if he marries her, if she follows his rules and if she signs an extremely strict and one-sided prenuptial agreement. "Just give me thirteen of the best years of your life, and if you're unhappy, after that you can leave me," he says. Desperate for a chance at a better life, the girl agrees and they marry.

The man works the girl to the bone every day. She barely has time to see her family. She doesn't get more than four hours of sleep a day. Even though he is incredibly wealthy, her personal allowance is a mere pittance; she can never put enough by so that she can leave him. He withholds medical care if her illnesses are inconvenient to him. He puts her on restrictive diets that make her lose more weight than is healthy. He pays for her to get plastic surgery. He is emotionally and physically abusive to her. But every day, she comes home to her beautiful condo and every day he dresses her in beautiful clothes. Men everywhere want her, but she must obey her husband.

It is discovered that she has a special talent. Her husband invests in that talent, paying thousands of dollars so that she could rise to the top of her profession. But he keeps almost all the money she makes, again, preventing her from putting enough away so that she cannot leave him.

Years go by. Soon the wife is the husband's greatest return investment. She continues to work as hard, if not harder, as she always has, but she wants some time to nurture her talents further, to grow as a person, she would like a little more freedom, and an increase in her allowance.

Keep in mind that a wife asking for more from such a generous husband is deeply frowned upon. This was not what they agreed to when they got married. "But it's been 7 years! People change." she says.

"I don't." says the husband. So she scrounges up what money she has and takes the first brave steps towards leaving him, even though if she breaks the prenuptial agreement, she could be indebted to him for the rest of her life.

Marriage is a legally binding contract. But you would not expect a woman to stay in an abusive marriage just because she signed an unfair prenuptial agreement.

People snipe about the woman, "She would be nothing without her husband!" Perhaps, perhaps not. The woman had undeniable natural talent and charisma. If she had been discovered by a more scrupulous man she might still be well-renowned and happy.

People say, "Where is her loyalty?" Is a man who exploits and abuses the wife that worked hard for him for seven years and made him a richer man than he once was entitled to her undying loyalty?

People have pointed to his previous marriages, "Yes, he was a bad husband and his prenups were unfair, but he bought that ungrateful woman everything she wanted! His other wives didn't leave him. They were loyal! This woman is greedy and selfish. Marriage is a partnership. You have to put the marriage first. Were those other women stupid or something?" That is their decision and I would argue that staying, while it may not be a stupid decision, it is one that will ultimately hurt them and stunt their individual growth.

The statements put forth by J.ae in regards to TVXQ's situation smack of enabling an abusive relationship. I understand that she is in the industry, but that doesn't make her right.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 5th, 2010 10:43 pm (UTC)
It is a difficult situation to discuss and to agree on. There are so many different angles, history and whatnot to add to the whole thing.
I want to think that I get where the boys are coming from (both JYJ and HoMin) and I also want to get where SM comes from.
But at the end of the day I am just a sad little fangirl missing the group she loves the most....
Aug. 5th, 2010 11:34 pm (UTC)
I hear that. I was just thinking about Cassiopeia and how I kind of consider myself one of Cassie's international cousins and wondering why I continue to hold on.


I mean, TVXQ is clearly more than a "boy band" and more than just a job for them. I'm curious to see what sort of duet HoMin is going to sing at the SMTown concert, whether they have a message for JYJ.

I dunno, maybe it's naive, but it just feels so unfair for it all to be ending now, at least for me, since I got into the fandom rather late (early 2009) :(

I was trying my best to be civil here, and not to make personal attacks. But I feel very strongly about the situation and I have an admittedly strong (and proud) anti-corporate bias which I think given the evidence trickling in over time is being bolstered by SME's fuckery.

I want them all to be happy, but I want to be happy too. These guys helped me through the baby blues. I want more time to enjoy them fully. Every time I see pictures of them or hear them, I say "I want my boys back." I will never love another group like I love them.

*cries in a corner*

Edited at 2010-08-05 11:38 pm (UTC)
Aug. 5th, 2010 11:58 pm (UTC)
*cries with you*

I still count my lucky stars that I got to see them live at least once. All five of them.

I also feel strongly about the situation, to me it is more like a bad break-up so I am too emotional when it comes to it. I want it to be over already so that I don't have to dwell about it. Because as long as it is not official, there is still hope and it is the waiting that is the most painful.

But regarding what J said, she does have some valid points. Sure, to us the way SME works is outrageous but I get it. You have an investment and you go with it, pimp it as hard as possible. Plus that we need to add to it the way Korea works, the mentality, the social conduct and so on. Again, it is a delicate and most difficult situation to grasp but somehow, this is my opinion, every party in this mess have some right. JYJ for wanting more freedom, HoMin for wanting to be loyal and SME for wanting to make more money and not let go of one of the best investments they have ever done. So all in all there is really no right nor wrong, just a lot of butthurt fangirls!
Aug. 6th, 2010 12:23 am (UTC)
Things are so complicated. I understand a little of the "how Korea works" bit because I live with Koreans. And there's neo-Confucianism and Christianity blended together in weird ways in a previously very insular society than now has all of Asia's eyes on them (and some of the "western world" as evidenced by we "international fangirls") thanks to the Hallyu wave.

But it cuts both ways. More people can appreciate Korean culture now, both pop and otherwise, but the spotlight gets shown on the less pleasant aspects as well, like xenophobia, homophobia, etc etc etc.

Now I've completely derailed the conversation, but I hope you know what I'm getting at.
Aug. 11th, 2010 12:03 am (UTC)
I just checked my email and I saw your comment response at OMTD. Reading various arguments and fans fighting each other for the past year has made me feel like i'm taking crazy pills. I must thank you for this entry, I know you and I are not alone. Please don't be afraid to write entries like this in the future ♥
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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