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"Cute 'Kawaii' Culture May Be Holding Back Japan's Women" ?

#1 User is offline   mikusingularity Icon

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 01:13 AM



Japan’s women are being held back by pressure from men to be cute, rather than capable, the wife of Japan’s prime minister said in an interview.

"Men’s thinking has not changed," 54-year-old Akie Abe said last week when asked how society’s attitude to women has evolved since she joined the workforce in her twenties. "Japanese men tend to prefer cute women over capable and hardworking women. So women try to appear to be the type that men like. Even very talented women put on cutesy ways."

While many more women now continue working after marriage and children, "big companies are a man’s world," she said. "Some things have changed and others haven’t."

I always liked the "cuteness" culture of Japan, but I never thought "cute" and "capable" (or "independent") had to be mutually exclusive. What do you think of this?

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 04:43 AM

It is an interesting take on why women in Japan's work world are in smaller roles. However I would of worded more around the line of Japan's society still think that in a more traditional manner; where women and men are separate sphere's of influence on society or something around those lines.

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 12:42 PM

In my personal opinion, I can see the appeal in either "type of women" (for lack of better words). I can deeply respect hardworking women while I can be interested in cute women (non-romantically to be specific). I mean, as long as the women being given attention aren't being seen as mere sex objects I guess treatment is "somewhat decent" despite being able to reach towards larger improvements. I'm actually pretty happy with women joining the workforce in Japan, but like all countries, there are unfair social norms. I just hope those norms slowly and eventually even out. Equalization of housewives / househusbands in ratio of working husbands and working wives (however it's not a requirement to be married in my eyes to begin with, more like a preference / choice between the individuals) might be nice.

I do like the "Cute culture" of Japan, but I think there are other preferences/social standards/tolerances/concepts to be embraced as alternatives.

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