Gender Equality in a Good Partnership

While researching the significance of being a ‘Good Wife and Wise Mother’ (ryosai kenbo) in the Japanese society, I found some noteworthy articles on this topic.

In the early 90s, I was called a ‘career woman’ for working in Japan, which occasionally came with a  negative connotation. For some, I should have stayed at home, being a ‘kanai’ (Japanese for: in-house person), looking pretty, and cooking well. And yes, maybe wearing Snoopy socks while fixing my husband’s meal.

Gender equality is far from being the norm in Japan — the country ranked 101st out of 135 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index in 2012.

For the longest time, it was the norm for a Japanese woman wanting to achieve the ryosai kenbo status in society. This has changed though. Japanese women are less likely to get married these days.

Surprisingly though, even as late as 2016, the Japanese man is still looking for these traits in a wife. If you look at the men’s expectations below, it will become clear as to why fewer Japanese women opt for marriage.

Based on this article 10 Qualities Japanese Men Want their Wives to Possess from 2016, this 10-point list really puts Japan’s gender inequality in the spot light:

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10. She has good “money sense,” and knows how to manage the household finances. It is not acceptable if she overspends.

I want the same good money sense from my male partner too.

9. She knows how to cook well, and can make good meals for guests.

Yes, my husband can cook a good meal. Especially on the weekend, if he has time to scour the New York Times recipe section to cook something new for us.

8. She is good at housework, and can make a clean and comfortable living space.

He’s not around that much to do housework, and I work from home. I do most of it.

7. She has a successful career, and a good education.

This is a rather high demand on a Japanese man’s wish list. Have a successful career and raising successful children too..? Is the same man capable of having a good education, a successful career, and raising children on the side as well? No, these are double-standards.

6. She has a positive attitude, and speaks to people with a sincere heart.

We all like to be surrounded by people with a positive attitude.

5. She has a good character, and excellent social skills.

My husband has a good character, and since he is a working man, he also has developed good social skills.

4. She is gentle, kind, and obedient.

I like a partner with a gentle heart too, but I would not expect him to be obedient. This would not be a partnership. Definitely gender inequality.

3. She has a healthy figure. She loves sports, and is good at one sport, or can play an instrument, or dance.

Don’t overdo it here! After a full day at work, raising successful children at the end of it, you expect your partner to do sports, dance, or play music…? I’ve read the Japanese wife is supposed to bring your slippers, run your bath, and fix your meal when you come home at 11 pm. Sorry, I won’t play the Shamisen for you that late.

2. She must be nice looking, and is willing to raise children; the more, the better.

My husband is nice looking. Thank you.

1. But the most important quality is a good family background; that is what most Japanese men put as the first priority. A good family background brings lots of benefits to the future family. Well-raised kids will get along with other family members, and there will be a harmonious family life.

One of my former students in Japan told me she had to write something similar to a CV and resume before she could be asked out on a date by the man of her choice. He submitted her paperwork to his parents. When it was approved, she could go out with him.

Yes, the family background is still a first priority.

Take my input with a grain of salt, but do keep in mind that we hope for respect, dignity, and equality in any relationship.

Here I played the role of a ‘Good German’ really well: dressed in Bavarian clothing, selling German goods in a Japanese department store. These career women… 🙂

Selling German goods in Japan

More articles to read on this topic:

Three Versions of the Good Wife in Japan (article in the JapanTimes)

Joshiryoku-How is Girl Power defined (women’s ability to look after their appearance and being insightful enough to care for others by savvytokyo)

Recycling Point for Corks, Candle Stumps, and Paper Rolls, in Oberursel

I care about recycling very much in order to help our environment by reducing waste, so I’m always on the lookout for more items to recycle.

The Sheltered Workshop (Werkstätten für Behinderte) in Oberursel collects corks and candle stumps for up-cycling. So the other day, I made another drop-off, and also inquired if they collected anything else. They do. They have added paper/tissue rolls to their list or recyclables. One of the employees pointed it that paper rolls should have nothing printed on it.

Oberurseler Werkstätten für Behinderte
Oberurseler Str. 86-88, 61440 Oberursel (Taunus)

Visit their website for more details: http://o-wfb.de/kontakt/ and they are also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OberurselerWerkstaetten/

Also, Jacques Wine Shop in Oberursel takes in used corks for recycling purposes as well. His collection also goes to a good cause.

https://www.jacques.de/rund-um-den-wein/14/weinkultur/kork-ist-zu-schade-um-ihn-nur-einmal-zu-benutzen/

  • cork: der Korken
  • candle stumps: die Wachsreste (pl)
  • paper roll: die Papierrolle
  • recycling point: die Recyclingstelle, der Wertstoffhof

How to say Happy New Year in German before the New Year Begins

For new readers to this blog, here is the link to the Happy New Year explanation from a previous post. This is used in the spoken language –  in the four days between the end of Christmas (27 Dec) and 31 December. Since Germans have 2 1/2 days of public holidays off for Christmas, people still say ‘Frohe Weihnachten’ on the 26 Dec.

On 01 January, and for several days (or weeks) into the new year, we can greet people with ‘Ein gutes neues Jahr!’

On a greeting card, we use ‘Viele gute Wünsche zum Neuen Jahr!’

Six Ways to Get Rid of these White Worms in the Bio-Waste Trash Can

One of the frequently asked questions is how to get rid off these white larvae in the bio-waste trash can. These white worms come about when flies drop their eggs on top of the bio-waste.

There are several ways to get rid of them:

  1. Have your waste container emptied every chance you get –  even if you hardly have anything in it.
  2. Rinse it out with the garden hose, and let it drip-dry upside down.
  3. You can buy some powder to kill the larvae  at most home-improvement centers and online. Look for: Biotonnen-Pulver, gelöschter Kalk (calcium hydroxide) oder Gesteinsmehl (rock flour).
  4. Keep your container as dry as possible. It helps to wrap your bio waste in newspaper, which soaks up any dampness or liquid.
  5. The cheapest home remedy is salt and vinegar. Drop this mixture onto the container walls, then wipe it off. Make sure not too much vinegar ends up at the bottom. It is important to keep the container dry.
  6. Get one of these bio-waste protectors (see Amazon link below). They help to keep the flies out.

St. Ursula Church Tower Museum in Oberursel

The St. Ursula Church tower museum presents a collection of sacral Art, spanning over 500 years of parish history.

In addition, the museum visitor gets to enjoy a splendid view not only across the Altstadt, but the whole town, and all the way to the Taunus (to the west), Odenwald (to the south), Spessart (to the east), and Vogelsberg (to the north).

Museum visiting hours:

From May – September: every first Saturday 15:00 – 17:00

Entrance fee: 1,50 € for adults, 1,00 € for children.

For arranging a tour on Mondays or Fridays, please send an inquiry to Mr.Abt.

Address: St. Ursula-Gasse in 61440 Oberursel (Taunus)
You can contact Mr. Wilfried Abt for more information
Telephone: (0 61 71) 55 05 0
e-mail: henrich@table-individuelle.de
http://www.kath-oberursel.de

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