politics

Gov't under fire over 'moms should care for toddlers' remark by lawmaker

31 Comments
By Toru Yamanaka

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31 Comments
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Infants who are raised by single fathers (e.g. death of the mother, etc.) are just as fine as raised by single mothers

It just depends how well the individual raises them

17 ( +20 / -3 )

If you actually followed his dumb idea about asking 3-year-olds who they like best, sure, there's a good chance they'd say 'mama'. But this isn't because mama is inherently doing a better job - she's the only one doing anything since 'papa' is working all the time and the status quo regarding gender roles haven't kept up with the times. How can people like this be so ignorant and hard-headed? It baffles me.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

"What happened to the government's pledge to build a society where men can participate in child-rearing?"

Japan happened. There is a reason why they rank near dead last in world rankings on equality, more than 70 places behind even China, and with South Korea well ahead of them as well.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

I put the full quote+translation here too :

<冷静にみなさん考えてみてください。0~3歳の赤ちゃんに、パパとママどっちが好きかと聞けば、はっきりとした統計はありませんけど、どう考えたってママがいいに決まっているんですよ。0歳から「パパ」っていうのはちょっと変わっていると思います。

ですから逆に言えば、お母さんたちに負担がいくことを前提とした社会制度で底上げをしていかないと、言葉の上で「男女平等参画社会だ」「男も育児だ」とか言っても、子どもにとっては迷惑な話かもしれない。

子どもがお母さんと一緒にいられるような環境が、これからはやっぱり必要なんじゃないかと私は思い >

"Please think about it. There are no real statistics but if you ask kids zero to 3 years old if they prefer their mama or papa, it surely will be their mama. If an infant [zero year old (sic)] answers "papa", I think it's a little odd.

Thinking like this, if we don't raise the standards in a social system with the premise that women have many responsibilities, saying things like "it's a gender equal society" or "men also do childcare" may be an annoyance when concerning children.

I think that an environment where children can be with their mothers is necessary."

For me, it's clearly a diverted way to say that women belong in the kitchen, not in the workplace.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Abe's and the government's belief in 'womenomics' was always an expedient joke at best. Bareta!

13 ( +14 / -1 )

It's nice to know that people are speaking out against this man and this wretched opinion. Keep shouting, folks.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

"if you ask infants under three which parent they like more, the answer should be mama, even though there are no firm statistics to support it," said Hagiuda,.

The bloke's an idiot.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Japan is all about Living in the Past, it's almost an art form to which perfection is sought.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Despite the controversery, the government is only interested in maintaining the staus quo.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Japan is so behind the rest of the developed world when it comes to matters like these, it's almost laughable. Behind the cool, trendy modern facade there is a very traditional, conservative, and almost ancient attitudes in Japan that you don't even find in other Asian countries.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Shinzo Abe's government came under fire Tuesday after a senior lawmaker suggested only women should raise children under three and another urged newly-weds to have at least three kids.

Abe's government has made "womenomics" -- or boosting women's participation in the workplace -- a priority,

Abe's government is starting to look like Trump's- a clown car driving aimlessly in all directions

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Time to have an emergency meeting about making ridiculous self opinionated remarks without engaging foot out of mouth first.

What are those clueless buffoons going to say next?

7 ( +9 / -2 )

"There are many people who cannot give birth to children despite wanting to and there are many single-father families," Yukio Edano said. "Don't they notice these facts?"

No Edano, they are out of touch with reality unlike you. Perhaps Edano would make a good candidate to become a PM.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

M3M3M3: Woman are extremely valuable in the workplace because they exhibit specific personality traits which are found far less commonly in men (Del Giudice et al. 2012). If you say this about women in the workplace you will probably be cheered as forward thinking progressive. But if you point out that these exact same personality traits are also likely to make women more suited to dealing with young children, people will take offence and you will be denounced as a regressive misogynist. Why?

I appreciate this line of analytical thinking, but you're missing a key point here. I don't know the science behind personality traits as they pertain to gender breakdown or appropriateness for certain types of work, including childcare. However, let's hypothetically say that your point is correct: women tend to have personalities that are better suited for childcare than men. The point you're missing is this: it's not a matter of who's better at it - it's a matter of saying "who SHOULD be" doing it. What if the woman also has a better education, or has a better-paying job, or has a job that she loves? Should she forfeit all those things, just because she also happens to have a more appropriate temperment for childcare? No. What if the man loves children, loves the idea of raising a child, or hates his job and would rather be the one who quits it in order to take care of a baby? Should he NOT do it, just because his personality isn't better than his wife's? No. Marriage is a partnership between equals. You balance the responsibilities, and try to find solutions that are best for everyone. Saying "the woman SHOULD be the one to take care of children" is ignoring the realities and complexities of life, and is therefore ignorant.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Abe's and the government's belief in 'womenomics' was always an expedient joke at best. Bareta!

Yes, Abe's idea of 'womenomics' is a handful of high-profile Ivanka Trump-style glamorous female executives that can be wheeled out for PR purposes when necessary.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

"You're newly wed? Please have three kids" - yeah, that's all you need to say -.-

6 ( +6 / -0 )

"Children need an environment where they can stay with their mothers ... if you ask infants under three which parent they like more, the answer should be mama, even though there are no firm statistics to support it," 

Uh-oh. 

Fingers crossed this won't come up for discussion at my dinner table.

"These comments overturn what the government has said, and I'm sure many fathers have been angered" by Hagiuda's "rude remarks," she said.

Seriously?

The LDP politicians are a joke, why would I take offense at what a bunch of dopey old clowns say.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Moron!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Making Kids is the easiest part, housing and feeding them whilst trying to keep a job... now that's the difficult part,

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@M3M3M3

OK, but that's not actually what he said, is it? The word 'should' comes from AFP which knew that using it in the headline would get the maximum rise out of an English speaking audience.

I won't pretend to know anything beyond what this article reported. If you have a better translation, perhaps we can have a better-informed discussion.

The context of this dicussion is whether it's wise for the the government to be incentivising more women into...

I don't see a single reference to government incentives anywhere in this article. Again - perhaps there is greater context to this statement that this article doesn't include, and if so, I'd be glad to hear it. But based on this article's content, the story here is "lawmaker is lecturing society with poorly thought-out and outdated nonsense."

Regarding the rest of your response: I very much agree with what you wrote, and I hope you'll recognize the same sentiments from me in my previous response. The government should stay out of it. Couples should make these important and sometimes difficult decisions based on their own preferences, values, and life situations.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If you need to ask for your toddler's opinion on who (papa or mama) should be taking care of them then you shouldn't have babies in first place.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It is the old dinosaurs of this old-boys club party with their old thinking that's prevent Japan from progressing economically, politically and socially in this dynamic and every changing world.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Meiyouwenti: What’s wrong with mothers taking care of their children and children wanting to be with their mothers?

No one said there was anything wrong with that.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"Please think about it. There are no real statistics but if you ask kids zero to 3 years old if they prefer their mama or papa, it surely will be their mama. If an infant [zero year old (sic)] answers "papa", I think it's a little odd.

It's only one example on a planet housing billions. However, a female friend on a time-limited maternity leave had no other option but to go back to full time work when her child was a year old. She made more money and hubby's contract was part time.

One of the hardest things she had to deal with was coming home at the end of the day wanting to embrace her child and her young son turned away from her and wanted daddy. This phase of toddlerhood passed and family circumstances improved to the point where both parents are now in full time employment. Their children wonderfully adjusted and engaged 6 and 8 year-olds.

But until one year ago when he finally secured a full time contract the father was the primary caregiver, the one who got the children to the doctor and lessons and made meals the majority of the time.

Parenting is teamwork--at least it is if it's done properly. But too many Japanese men have a Botchan mentality expecting women to look after them as well as the children. Yes there are exceptions, but I'd love to see the (likely woeful) statistics.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

These knuckleheads just can't seem by their best will to shake off their sexist tendencies. Unbelievable!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I hope when all of these dinosaurs retire, the new generation of leaders will be forward thinkers when it comes to gender and race equality.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@The Original Wing

Saying "the woman SHOULD be the one to take care of children" is ignoring the realities and complexities of life, and is therefore ignorant.

OK, but that's not actually what he said, is it? The word 'should' comes from AFP which knew that using it in the headline would get the maximum rise out of an English speaking audience. The comments in Japanese are far more measured and less prescriptive, as they usually are.

The context of this dicussion is whether it's wise for the the government to be incentivising more women into the workforce simply to satisfy corporate and government objectives, and whether all the unintended consequences have been considered. In the west, modern consumer culture has almost demonised motherhood to the point that many young women now think less of themselves if they don't build a career in their 20s before having children. Personally, one of the things I find very refreshing about Japan is that there is still no stigma attached to young women who say that their greatest desire for the future is to get married and become a stay at home mother. If that's what they want, I say good for them. My view is that people should be left to make their own choices free from government intervention. There shouldn't be programs/incentives to push more women into the corporate workforce nor to keep them at home churning out babies.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

What’s wrong with mothers taking care of their children and children wanting to be with their mothers?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Just an anecdote.

It was john lennon who was the stay at home primary caregiver to his and yoko's baby up until age 5.

But John was bemused that at the first sign of upset it was akways yoko that the child ran too. John surmised that it was indeed biological.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Woman are extremely valuable in the workplace because they exhibit specific personality traits which are found far less commonly in men (Del Giudice et al. 2012). If you say this about women in the workplace you will probably be cheered as forward thinking progressive. But if you point out that these exact same personality traits are also likely to make women more suited to dealing with young children, people will take offence and you will be denounced as a regressive misogynist. Why?

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

Women are over-sensitive, but know that truth betold, the official is correct. Women are to stay home and care for the children. Men stop being deadbeats, support your woman and family even if it takes two jobs..

-15 ( +0 / -15 )

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