I've just woken up on a drizzly Sunday morning to a headline in The Japan Times the likes of: Survey shows 52% oppose wives staying home alone.
At a glance, I wasn't sure what it was supposed to mean. Could 52% of the Japanese people truly believe that a wife should not be trusted to be "home alone" and thus requires some kind of adult babysitting service while their husbands were out all day and night?? Are you thinking what I'm thinking? ? ? ? ? ?
All that seems a bit extreme, even for Japanistan. But I've been shocked before.
Thankfully however, the article has nothing to do with adult babysitting and instead contains some hopeful news. That is to say:
The number of people opposed to the idea of a wife staying at home while her husband works has passed 50 percent for the first time, a Cabinet Office survey showed Saturday.
In a government survey taken in 1979, those opposed to the idea of a wife staying at home stood at 20 percent while those who supported it stood at 72 percent.In the latest nationwide survey, the opposition rate came in at 52 opposition rate came in at 52 percent.
The survey, conducted in July and August, received responses from 3,118 adults.
According to the results, 46 percent of men and 57 percent of women oppose the idea of wives staying at home.
Before we break out the sparkling cider, however, check out the last paragraph.
The survey also showed, however, that although the majority of respondents were opposed to women staying at home, 85 percent of respondents said that the wives were cooking the meals.
So a good percentage of "the opposition," here, or those who don't believe that women should stay at home alone all day long, also assume that these same carreer women will nonetheless have dinner waiting for them each night. Instead of having any sort of Choice between homemaking or an outside carreer, the survey suggests that women should have to do both.
Is this progress?
I really can't tell.
Welcome to the modern world, Japanistan.