Ladies, do you think that life is all fun and games for your male counterparts? As a multitude of men would have you know, that’s certainly not always the case.
The following list chronicling all the expectations and financial burdens placed on Japanese men both before and after marriage has been circulating the web. Of course, not to rule out the many challenges that women also face, myself being a woman, perhaps it would be better to just say that life can be a real drag for everyone.
Whoever compiled the following list is either extremely bitter about life or has experienced some of these hardships firsthand. While reading, remember that cultural, societal, and legal expectations for men and women in Japan are most likely different in at least some ways from those of your own country, and that this list compiles the reflections of only one individual. A few of the items seem a bit questionable in their harshness, but maybe the original author was just having a bad day…
Men prior to marriage
- The man is expected to confess his love, and eventually propose, to the woman.
- The man is always expected to pay for the meal.
- The man is expected to either give presents unconditionally, or to give presents worth three times as much as the presents his girlfriend buys for him.
- The man is always expected to make calls and send messages to his sweetheart.
- The man is expected to decide on the ideal location for a date, dinner, etc.
- The man must always give preference to his girlfriend’s opinions when it comes to dates.
- Women are allowed to judge men based on their income and appearance, but the opposite does not hold true.
- The man is expected to go and meet his girlfriend’s parents first.
- While meeting her parents, he must prostrate himself before them and endure a shower of criticisms from her father.
- The man’s side of the family is expected to offer up a large sum of money as an engagement gift.
- The man is expected to pay for the wedding ceremony and reception.
- The man is expected to pay for the engagement rings and other jewelry.
Men after marriage
- The husband is expected to pay for the honeymoon.
- The husband is expected to buy a house with his own money, and continue paying off loans until he dies.
- If the husband refuses the sexual advances of his wife, he becomes the perpetrator of DV [domestic violence].
- If the husband’s sexual advances come off too strongly, he becomes the perpetrator of DV.
- Even if the wife is a housewife, the husband is still responsible for a share of housework and childrearing.
- Regardless of whether he did or didn’t do the above, the man loses custody of the children and must pay alimony in the event of a divorce.
- Even if the man has a higher source of income, almost all of his visitation rights are taken and he must pay high child support.
- Even if the man wins custody of the children, he cannot seek child support from his former wife.
- Almost all of a husband’s salary is eaten up by extravagant purchases by his wife, school expenses for his children, gas and electricity bills, and food expenses.
- If the husband does not surrender the full amount of his salary, which he slaved away working for, to his wife, it can be considered DV.
- The husband must make due with the minuscule allowance he receives from his wife, but the wife is excused from taking secret savings out of his salary [Note: Traditionally, the wife is expected to keep track of all of the finances in a Japanese household].
- While the husband gobbles down a 380 yen (US $3.16) lunch at a beef bowl fast-food restaurant, his wife enjoys a 3,000 yen ($24.95) lunch at a sit-down restaurant.
- Husbands spend their entire lives living under the mantra “What’s his is hers, and what’s hers is hers.”
Needless to say, the lists provoked both sympathetic and incredulous reactions from online commenters:
“Eh, what a pain. Guess I’ll stay single for life.” “Are we talking about husbands, or slaves?” “We’re like livestock…” “You’ve left out taking care of your wife’s aging parents.” “I’m gonna get a sex change.” “I’d rather not think that all women are like this.” “There are probably households like that, but mine is different (^-^)” “How about writing a reasonable contract before marriage?”
Guys, if these lists are anything to go by, shelling out a load of cash might be part of your future if you’re settling down in Japan. Hopefully your future lives are filled with dramatically less bitterness than the author of this list.
Sources: Hamusoku, Tumblr
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