Japanese Women Are Doing It For Themselves, Sort of!

Japanese Women Are Doing It For Themselves Sort Of!
By Regena English

Yoki is a 33 year old stockbroker who enjoys luxurious vacations, designer clothing, a new Mercedes convertible and lives at home with mom and dad. Wait, lives at home with mom and dad??

Although we seldom see any video documentation or newspaper articles on this fact but the happily unmarried woman is not a cultural phenomena occuring just in North America. She's seen in many forms elsewhere such as in the very traditional country of Japan.

Japan is seeing a big change among it's thirty-something single women, otherwise known as "parasite singles". Yes, you read correctly, "parasite singles". These women are opting to remain at home with their parents as another means of remaining liberated, liberated to live the good life of plenty of money and freedom to go and do as they please.

Although most of their parents don't ask or want finances these women feel bound to support their aging parents financially, as stated above, supporting their parents proves to be alot cheaper than trying to maintain a household on their own. Each month they are left with an surplus of cash they can put into savings, the stock market, expensive clothing, exotic sports cars, or to take vacations throughout the year.

It gets better, not only do they live at home with their parents but their mothers still cook and clean for them. Most thirty-something American women would rather die than to have mom still looking out for their needs, but, not these women. In traditional Japanese culture women are expected to leave the workplace once they're married which means if she has a successful career prior to marriage it's gone forever once she says "I Do".

Now about the mothers, where do they fit in this picture? The mothers can relate to the trade off expected of their daughters once they settle down with husbands and kids, therefore, they encourage their daughters to remain (liberated) as long as possible even if their liberation keeps them in their homes. Well one Japanese mother said, "we don't have to worry about her when she's here with us."

As I mentioned earlier these women are referred to as "parasite singles" for wanting to stay with their parents instead of doing what is expected of them culturally, go to work, find a husband, leave their jobs, make a home for kids. Keep in mind it was a man who first coined this term, which gives you an indication of how these "happily unmarried careerwomen" are viewed by their male counterparts.

Last year I saw a PBS documentary on Italian men, it featured successful (financially and career-wise) bachelors in their thirties and forties who were still living at home with their parents. These men weren't looked upon as oddities or referred to as "parasites" nor were their manhoods questioned, they were celebrated by the community inwhich they resided. There were a few who had homes of their own inwhich they lived a couple weekends a month away from their parents, yet and still no one chastised them for letting their moms cook and clean for them.

Being that Japan is a patriarchal society this trend of women forsaking marriage to stay at home with their parents is not garnering positive support from men in general, only those that are fathers of Yoki-like daughters. Yoki seem to think "parasite singles" are not liked in her country because they aren't controlled by a man, therefore they can't be dictated to like their married counterparts by their spouses. "I can think and I don't want a spouse to do the thinking for me. We (single women like her) live well and our parents live well so everybody benefits from our liberation to stay home." Yoki

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Regena English, the editor of The Leather Spinsters Newsletter (SM) at http://leatherspinsters.com and is the proud creator of Leather Spinster Wear (TM) -clothes that makes a subtle statement for the single woman. http://cafepress.com/st_marypub & http://cafepress.com/st_marypub2


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