It is not hard to see why pornography is so harmful and dangerous to not just the individual psyche but to relationships and even just human interaction. But Betsy Hart interestingly raises the other side of possibly the same coin: Romantic Pornography. At the risk of being unattractively prude, she writes in her column article titled “Beware Romantic Pornography” of how romantic comedies unreasonably feminizes the ideal man and guises chivalry with over sensitivity. She shares an experience illustrating the phenomenon:
That’s where the pornography comes in. Just as sexual pornography twists an understanding for men about real women’s bodies and sexual appetites, so romantic pornography twists the perception for women about real men and how they “ought” to behave toward women, which tends to amount to, well, behaving like a woman. I have a dear friend who once didn’t like a fellow I was dating. Among other shortcomings, he didn’t arrange spa treatments for me, she explained. Seriously. No more chick flicks for that girl.
The lines she draws in terms of the appropriate sensitivity level in a man is definitely arguable, but there is something to the point that being a civilized man is not the same as a feminized man, and that though enjoying rom-com’s is not bad in itself, watchers must be clear on what is fantasy and what is real.
In this discussion, there is one question that arises in my mind. That is whether Korean dramas fall into the same category of rom-com’s of which Hart speaks. And this is where it gets less clear because I know plenty of men who watch and enjoy Korean dramas and rom-com’s (though I’m sure they do not publicly advertise this affinity). So then, how does this affect the male psyche?