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34% of Japanese men afraid of their female colleagues, according to recent poll

44 Comments
By Oona McGee, RocketNews24

With the Japanese government heavily focussed on supporting women in the workplace, industries and professions are slowly becoming more and more diversified in terms of gender. For one socially curious website in Japan, this begs the question: how are the sexes getting along?

A survey conducted by the Japanese My Navi Woman news website asked 97 men between the ages of 22 and 39 years of age the question, “Honestly, do you think the women in your workplace are scary?” 34% of respondents said “yes”.

The reasons they gave for being afraid of their female workmates fell into four distinct categories.

1. Conversations

“Their conversations are appalling – they look down on others and don’t reveal their true intentions. I’m extremely uncomfortable when I hear them speaking about others in such a sneaky manner.” (38-year-old male; teaching industry)

“I’m scared of them because they love gossiping and rumours.” (31-year-old male; automobile industry)

“Women at work talk badly about people behind their backs all the time without caring.” (32-year-old male; electronics industry)

2. Workplace Communication

“I have to be extra careful when allocating work to them.” (32-year-old male; metals and chemicals industry)

“My female senior colleague is bossy and annoying.” (23-year-old male; food and drink sales)

3. Conspiracies

“I’ve seen instances where women conspire against their superiors by making up complaints and taking them to court. Sometimes when women are in a group together, it can be really frightening.” (32-year-old male; teaching industry)

4. Rivalry

“Trying to understand their real intentions is difficult and it’s annoying when they’re involved in faction rivalries.” (32-year-old male; financial industry)

“Women seem to form cliques. Also, there was one instance I heard of where a female superior would hit a female subordinate really hard when no male workers were around.” (36-year-old; teaching industry)

Readers were quick to jump in with comments in response to the results of the survey.

“This all sounds just like the women in my workplace” “I’m a woman and I’m scared of other women” “I’ve never met guys with this much hatred for women before” “After I started dating a girl at work, I found out about all types of inside stories I wasn’t aware of. I discovered our workplace was very different from her point-of-view.” “I’ve never worried about any of these sorts of things”

While the sample responses mentioned in the survey could well be used to discredit anyone, regardless of gender, it does provide an insight into the current psyche of Japanese businessmen and the state of workplace gender equality in Japan.

Thankfully though, according to the survey, the majority of Japanese men aren’t actually afraid of the women they work with. Let’s just hope they can teach their fellow male co-workers a thing or two about treating female colleagues as individuals in their own right and not just as members of the opposite sex.

Source: My Game News Flash

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- “I think I love you…”: Romantic confessions from around the world -- Nine reasons why Japanese men hesitate to say “I love you” -- On the short side? Lucky you! Japanese women describe what they love about shorter men

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34% of Japanese men afraid of their female colleagues, according to recent poll

There is quite a difference between being afraid of a person and finding them scary.

A survey conducted by the Japanese My Navi Woman news website asked 97 men between the ages of 22 and 39 years of age the question, “Honestly, do you think the women in your workplace are scary?” 34% of respondents said “yes”.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

This applies to men as well...

11 ( +13 / -2 )

“My female senior colleague is bossy and annoying.” (23-year-old male; food and drink sales)

Where to begin...?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

On the other hand as a women all men do not make me nervous, cause fear or frightened me because most of them are wonderful. However there are quite a few or a small subset of the population who are sociopaths also called psychopaths living among us with or without a criminal record. They come from all walks of life and can appear to be normal, have good graces, know how to dress and how to behave in polite society. The most dangerous sociopaths are the ones who have never been caught. A sociopath, he/she will do or say whatever is necessary to obtain a desired outcome. They cheat, lie, steal from you and tell everyone that it is all your fault. Sometimes they commit rape or murder because they have no heart, no conscience, no remorse. Apart from a miracle of God they cannot be treated or cured and are programmed for life. Not all men are sociopaths but you should be aware of the warning signs because you are not a person to a sociopath.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

1. Conversations

Totally agree with that. Women in general like to gossip, but in Japan it's another level, as if they had NOTHING better to do than talking and speculating about people's lives on every single break/lunch time. I spent many years in "100% japanese" companies (only me as foreigner) and have to say there's absolutely no other conversation but gossiping and speculation about other people's lives, sad.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

34% of 97 men aged 22 to 39 comes to what--32 men? And we're supposed to extrapolate from that tiny sample that over a third of Japanese men have this problem??

14 ( +17 / -3 )

This starts off at the beginning of their social upbringing. I used to teach in public school system in Japan. Boys and girls treated each other like Ebola victims. In Jr. High it was 100% impossible to get a girl and boy to even talk if they were in a pair or group. In High school it was marginally better. Ever since I stepped foot in Japan, what seems like a segregation of the sexes, has always baffled me.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

In my experience, many Japanese workplaces are rife with constant petty revenge, trivial rivalries, elementary school playground feuds, subtle backstabbing and infantile bullying particularly among the women. It's often even worse when you get a group of mothers here.

Sometimes this hostility is readily apparent, but oftentimes the animosity is bubbling just below the surface. Jeckyll and Hyde comes to mind when it comes to the gap between honne (true colors) and tatemae (public facade) behavior exhibited by some of these "shokuba no hana" (office flower) types.

One eye-roll incident I remember was between two female teachers. One of the teachers was caught taking her colleagues street shoes from the entrance area shoe box and hiding them. After being caught, the teacher quit out of embarrassment.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

34% of 97 men aged 22 to 39 comes to what--32 men? And we're supposed to extrapolate from that tiny sample that over a third of Japanese men have this problem??

Also who only interviews 97 people? I guess that is all that answered their crappy survey.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Also who only interviews 97 people?

It's probably a self-selected sample, which is a bigger problem than the small sample size.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

It's probably a self-selected sample, which is a bigger problem than the small sample size.

If they sampled how big they are, we'd probably find that not only the sample size is small here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

one thing i noticed in the work environment in japan that is different from the US is that it is common for women to point out and mock a man's aging such as bald spot or getting fat,,, unfortunately I have been the target,,, although it seems done in good fun and appears to be culturally acceptable I would not expect such blunt treatment in the States in the work environment I think...

5 ( +7 / -2 )

These guys are pathetic, but hardly surprising in a society that likes to keep women down and serving them tea.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

This WHOLE ATRICLE is based upon a survey of ONLY 97 MEN?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Probably responses from single men who find it terrifying to talk with women in general. In this case, 34% of Japanese between the ages of 22-39 sounds about right.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

34% of Japanese men afraid of their female colleagues

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” - Yoda

34% of Japanese men are... Sith?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

It's such a tiny sample size to make such big conclusions. And like some other posters said, I think this is pretty common in Japanese companies in general, not just among women. I think my male coworkers believe we are worse than them at spreading rumors or being petty but I don't think that's true. Is it really better in other countries, though? I've lived and studied overseas but not really worked there so I don't know.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes this small study perfectly captures not only all the problems of women being in the workplace, but also of the concerns all men have of women

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Another article imo unfairly demonising J women.

In my own experience i haven't noticed they were better nor worse than others. Reckon it all depends on the workplace environment management wants to have. If you make it clear from the start that you won't tolerate gossip, bullying, excessive competitiveness etc people will understand what's wanted from them.

And address any situation asap.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@sensato: In my experience, many Japanese workplaces are rife with constant petty revenge, trivial rivalries, elementary school playground feuds, subtle backstabbing and infantile bullying particularly among the women.

From my experience in the company I worked for before I came to Japan, I can say that nothing of the above is reserved for the Japanese only.

This said, I have worked in several Japanese companies and it seems that it all depends on the combination of personal characters and company’s business culture. My workplace at present though is a proof that the above comment applies as much to men as to women. Insecure men can be (or should I say are?) even worse than women. I consider myself lucky for being the only foreigner and one of the few women – makes it so much easier to not get involved in petty games initiated by the few “bad apples” in the office.

@reckless: one thing i noticed in the work environment in japan that is different from the US is that it is common for women to point out and mock a man's aging such as bald spot or getting fat,,,

I am sorry that you have been the target and hope it does not affect you in any way. But again, a beer-belly Japanese guy in his 60s in my office ridicules women in their 50s by calling them “obaa-chan” behind their backs and in a very offensive manner. He does this to men, too. Mind you, many of the women he targets look great, are more creative than him and work better than he does. I think that, as with many other such people, rather than a Japanese thing, it is a sign of his being a very insecure person.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

At least once a month my wife will come home from work and say "women are crazy".

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Probably responses from single men who find it terrifying to talk with women in general. In this case, 34% of Japanese between the ages of 22-39 sounds about right.

Agree. Never understood this too. How hard is to ask a woman from your office for a cup of coffee or, if you're more adventurous, a couple beers after work?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The man should be afraid of the women in the workforce. They out score and outthink the men on every level. Be afraid! Be very afraid!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

One eye-roll incident I remember was between two female teachers. One of the teachers was caught taking her colleagues street shoes from the entrance area shoe box and hiding them. After being caught, the teacher quit out of embarrassment.

Reminds me of a former guest house I stayed in. One of the residents used to take my outdoor shoes from the genkan, and throw them in the bin. That is until we had a little chat. Pettiness and passive agression seem the norm here. Workplaces are no different

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Japanese women in the workplace can be very difficult these days. Having worked for a Japanese company in Japan and also in the USA I can attest that Japanese female co workers have an axe to grind even if you are innocent because a lot of pent up anger over how women have been treated for over a thousand of years. My recommendation is to ignore them, don't ask them to lunch and make zero physical or eye contact.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Let's not kid ourselves. Women OUT of the workplace display similar behaviors. Sensato explains it well. Housewives, busybodies, coffee klatches, and the PTA harpies seem to spend quite a lot of time creating problems that have nothing to do with work at all.

The only way around it is to have insanely high standards for productivity and stick to them. It makes things difficult, but a whole lot less time is wasted on bickering and a whole lot more time is spent working.

I might add that I have seen groups of men do more or less the same thing. Shunning people for being lazy is a lot better policy than shunning them because they are troublemakers, but they are basically the same people, so it works well.

Gotta give a shout out to Hawkeye too. I don't know how some people can walk with such a huge chip on their shoulder.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

this article explains why my Japanese wife has absolutely refused to work after marrying me 19 years ago. The above and the horrific commuter trauma I experience everyday.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I like this topic but should it be an article after surveying only 97 people?

Anyways it is this attitude makes men afraid to approach women nowadays hence fewer little ones running around.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Also who only interviews 97 people?

Oona McGee, RocketNews.....probably the battery ran out before they could get to 100 and said the hell with it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

While I think this is a very silly article, it does hit/hint at a problem here - which is basically the work environment in Japan. I have now worked in three countries and Japan is by far the worst for petty squabbling, refusal to help coworkers, gossip, revenge, bullying and just all around childish behaviour. I've seen it all from women AND men.

I do think though that there more women who are quicker to throw people under the bus. Why? Because many are stuck in going no where jobs while watching idiotic and unqualified men climb the corporate ladder. Of course they're ticked off at that. They're pretty powerless in the grand scheme of things when it comes to company management but they can certainly make daily life a nightmare for those they don't like. I've worked in places where men are scared to upset female OLs because the OLs can make things VERY difficult for these men. I spent two years watching women go for lunch together and men going in the opposite direction - nearly everyday. Work parties were a nightmare to organize because people actually refused to sit next to someone and all that jazz. Often it was the women complaining they wouldn't attend if they had to sit next to someone and the like. It's often a power thing and sometimes those without real power and who find opportunities will find power somewhere else.

My worst coworker ever was a Japanese female. Bullied everyone, was a nasty cow. The best boss I have ever had has been a Japanese women but many men WERE scared of her. Why? Because she called them on their BS and worked hard to get where she was rather than just be pushed up the chain like most here.

That being said, silly article.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

The question was a wee bit loaded don't you think? Trying to elicit a response from people that agrees with his view

3 ( +4 / -1 )

In the Japanese work-place no opinions of any consequence are given in the open. Even when asked for an opinion it appears an impossibility to produce. The result is an strong undercurrent of gossipy prattle and blather that produces nothing but aimless piddling. Misogyny is the backlash of the male comfort with presenteeism over productivity. If you want change then demand the expression of consequential thought. Insist on contribution potency or get out.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The result is an strong undercurrent of gossipy prattle and blather that produces nothing but aimless piddling

I've noticed that. Many Japanese won't discuss issues with you directly, but are happy to do so behind your back.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Nessie is right, if the group is self selected it invalidates the survey results.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In my office it is Japanese women who most fear Japanese women. Especially the working mums on normal shifts, who live in terror of the next move by the unmarriable spinsters to put yet more pressure on their existences. It's only the blokes in the office who don't feel terrorised by the women, and the men are a real minority where I work. It's quite stunning to work in a room full of Japanese women and watch just how nasty some of them are behind each other's backs. It's a real eye-opener, especially for foreign guys who think J girls are all sweetness and light. If I were a Japanese guy, I'd be wary of them. Not afraid of them though, just wary.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Goddammit, those OL uniforms they wear are sexy though.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

OK, this is not just confined to Japanese women, this applies all over. For the last 15 years I have worked in an industry where women make up around 50% of the staff. In that time, much of the professional conflict I have witnessed and encountered is between women. There always seems to be a percentage of the group who are emotional, irrational, combative and confrontational with other women (mostly, but not always). It results in deep divisions that can be quite lasting and destructive. Men just don't tend to behave in the same way in a professional environment in my experience. So, whilst I can't say I am scared of women in my workplace, I am definitely wary of several of them and make sure that I deal with them accordingly.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Wc626

haha... excellent... always appreciate your honest comments ;-)

I'm a major fan of Japanese "jukujyo" but, yes, you are absolutely correct in this case.

And your description of the lady in question is spot on.

In my defense, I wasn't actually referring to these pics (hadn't even looked at them actually), but referring to OLs in general.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I too have worked with Japanese women.... their desk and their duties were like something they themselves owned. I asked to sit down with two of them to learn how their job was done.... they started crying.... saying we were going to replace them. All I wanted to do is make sure I knew how to handle the position in case of vacation or sickness. The gossip was so thick you could cut it with a knife. I got a lot of respect for Japanese women overall... especially when you take them out of the Japanese office environment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My wife complained about an old boyfriend by saying he never talked about other people.

Basically there are three types of conversationalists: those who prefer to gossip, those who prefer to talk about current events, and those who prefer to talk about ideas

0 ( +1 / -1 )

website asked 97 men between the ages of 22 and 39 years of age

go back to school and learn how to make a poll

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I was looking around the office yesterday and noticed that the new female recruits all seem to be fairly attractive. The majority of older female employees are strong willed, single and not. I'm guessing they are the undesirable leftovers. They are kind of married to the company and work really hard. I'm a little scared of them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“Honestly, do you think the women in your workplace are scary?” 34% of respondents said “yes”. “Honestly, do you think the women in your workplace are tall?” 34% of respondents said “yes”. “Honestly, do you think the women in your workplace are friendly?” 34% of respondents said “yes”. "Honestly, do you think hamburgers are delicious?” 34% of respondents said “yes”. “Honestly, do you think asking questions like this gives you an accurate result?” 34% of respondents said “yes”.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

although it seems done in good fun and appears to be culturally acceptable I would not expect such blunt treatment in the States in the work environment I think...

it seems so, I remember an interview made to this Japanese celebrity Naomi Watanabe in the US, and she said that in America people were very sensitive when talking about her weight, so I guess bluntness in Japan is more common...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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