Broken by War
War is an universal phenomenon in which ancient societies as well as modern ones have participated in that have been characterized by extreme violence, social disruption, and economic destruction. The human toll of war is well documented. Various media outlets have distributed pictures of the destruction, the injured, the survivors, the dead. Yet, there is an aspect of war that few have of knowledge of; what life is like afterward for those who were affected by the man-made disaster. After the conclusion of the Korean War, in order to fulfill its promise of protecting South Korea from future aggression, the United States government established a myriad of military installations in the small Asian nation. Surrounding the military bases are Korean prostitution camps called camptowns that exist to serve the American military personnel. It is an extensive, regulated industry by both the South Korean and United States military refuse to acknowledge. In a composition entitled “Diaspora of Camptown: The Forgotten War's Monstrous Family” by Grace M. Cho and in a film entitled “The Women Outside” by J.T. Orinne Takagi and Hye Jung Park, both works discusses the life of the prostitutes and how challenging it is for them to have normative versions of home and family due to their profession. It is due to the unresolved Korean conflict that resulted in the establishment of United States military bases in the Republic of Korean and the establishment of camptowns encompassing the bases that causes the inability of many Korean women to create non-normative, alternative version of home and family.
The homeland of Koreans was the battleground of the major U.S. conflicts that devastated South Korea. After its conclusion, the Republic of Korea and her people became poor and struggled to earn a decent wage. Such struggle forced many women from poor families into the world's oldest profession; prostitution. Many poor women were attracted to the prospect of working near military bases in hopes of bettering their lives. Often deceived by false job ads, some women were kidnapped to forced to work as prostitutes in the camptowns. Once in the military camptowns, it was difficult to escape. Most became burdened by debts to club owners and pimps [Takagi and Park 1996]. The women lived a painful and traumatizing life in the camptowns as many women were raped, physically abused, and were abandoned with interracial and stigmatized children. The women are considered ruined women and they are ostracized from Korean society--thus unable to re-enter it [Takagi and Park 1996].
Korean men were unwilling to marry them as well as the American servicemen who perceive the women as sexual objects. Due to the fact that the lives of the woman were irregular, even if they were able to have a family the violent experiences of the women made it extremely difficult to live a normal life and as a result made it impossible for the woman to create a family and home on a normative...