Lee Hyori's stay-at-home husband and guitarist Lee Sang-soon has gained a lot of attention through JTBC's reality programme 'Hyori's Homestay.' Rather than being looked down upon as a man doing duties traditionally associated with the wife, people have been appreciating Lee Sang-soon for what he is: a devoted husband and a kind family man. In fact, lee Sang-soon has been helping, in his own small way, to change the perception about married men in society.
Even though the strict patriarchal setup of households in our society has relaxed a bit since women gained more freedom and independence, the idea that men should be the providers of the family and that they should be mentally and physically tough, is still believed. A man, who stays at home while his wife earns their livelihood, isn't considered manly enough. In many cultures, such men are looked down upon. Thanks to husbands like Lee Sang-soon, such outlooks are changing.
As noted by website Soompi, on September 16, the producing director (PD) of JTBC's 'Hyori's Homestay,' Ma Geon-young said, "The older generation of parents had the idea that if the husband was warm and kind, he wasn't manly. As the generation changes, I think the expression of their emotions is becoming more natural. Although men used to hide the warm sides of themselves in the past, now, there are lots of men who are good at expressing themselves. That's why they show that on broadcast as well."
Lee Sang-soon, as viewers saw through 'Hyori's Homestay,' seems to be a calm family man who is very caring towards his celebrity wife. He was seen doing almost all the household activities that we normally associate with women, including cooking, cleaning. We saw how gentle Sang-soon is, all the time. Never being agitated or angry; always acting as a pillar of support for Lee Hyori. Not only did the guests who stayed with the Lee family love him but the viewers too found him very lovable. Many expressed their approval of Sang-soon on social media.
The PD also said, "It's giving up on your own comfort in consideration for your significant other, and both men and women do it. I think it's looking at it from a patriarchal society's point of view to only say such things about the husband." He is definitely right as it our age old misconceptions about what a man should be, that colours our judgement of people; when in fact we should look at them as human beings first and see whether they are compassionate and considerate enough. Money isn't everything in any relationship.
PD Ma Geon-young continued, "I think the image of men caring for the woman on TV was very different from what women actually wanted. In dramas, for instance, men show care for women in certain ways regardless of whether the woman wants that of them. What men think of as 'consideration' is different from what women think."
Finally, the PD complimented Lee Sang-soon saying, "I think the person who is showing consideration for his significant other exactly in a way that she wants is Lee Sang Soon. He's not considerate to her because he thinks women will like it, but because it comes naturally to him. He doesn't mean to be considerate, but he is."
Singer IU, who spent a significant time with the Lee family in Jeju island, was moved by Lee Sang-soon's hospitality, kindness and his love for his wife. IU returned to the Lee household, bringing gifts for the couple and subtly expressing her desire that they always are there for one another.
The final episode of 'Hyori's Homestay' will air on September 17, followed by a special episode on September 24.