Single Japanese women want to stay that way

According to a recent poll, most single Japanese women would prefer not to marry and think they would be happy living alone for the rest of their life.
While the newspaper that did the poll, the Yomiuri, noted that the results reflect “a recent trend among single women who no longer attach social stigma to choosing the single life,” they didn’t necessarily think this was such great news.

Japan’s government is struggling to stem a tumbling birthrate and keep the population from shrinking…
“The result depicted a tendency among younger generations to remain single, leading observers to the conclusion that the number of people who marry late will further increase and will lower the birthrate,” the newspaper said.

So ladies, I know you’re happy being alone, but screw you! The world needs populating; get to it!

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8 Comments

  1. elfy
    Posted February 28, 2005 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Hey, I can dig it for a government to be concerned with tumbling birth rates. It needs taxes, it’s all cool. But bloody hell, when will they learn that you can’t FORCE people to breed. You stimulate birthing environment by creating optimal conditions for families to raise their kids in.
    In USSR (and I’m sorry I keep bringing it up, I don’t mean to sound like a communist propaganda, but we did have some good things), after WWII, when the country needed to rebuild the population, the government had free government-operated daycare from 2 year olds through 6. The schools all had free after care where a separate special teacher would help with homework, so tired parents could come home and enjoy their time with their kids vs. tackling math and grammar. The mothers (and fathers) could stay home with their sick kids for almost any time as long as they provided a note from the doctor (healthcare being free, as well). The colleges were – yep, here I go again, free, with students getting paid a stipend that could be lived on, and provided with free dorms. That’s how you bloody foster population growth.
    Just a thought.

  2. Shawn
    Posted February 28, 2005 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Has it occurred to anyone that marriage has become passe? It is no longer a necessary institution as it once was. Look at how much the world has changed. Back in the day, a man needed a woman to reer and raise his family and keep the household running. A woman needed a man for financial stability and to avoid social stigma.
    Today, most men I know cook, which I can’t say for most young ladies I know. And the conveniences of dishwashers, washing machines, indoor plumbing and microwaves, not to mention the swiffer (thank god), has made it easy for one to handle his own domestic chores with little to no back-breaking work.
    And women have more opportunities now in the education system as well as the corporate world than they ever did before and can support themselves quite well. The social stigma of an unmarried woman is virtually gone. So what do men and women need each for today? Not a damn thing. Women can even choose to procreate without the aid of a man. It’s good news for all of us. That’s why it is time to ban marriage as a government-recognized institution. If fools still want to marry for “love,” let the churches or Vegas profit from it, but keep the government out of it.

  3. Posted February 28, 2005 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Finally. A population of single women who are unapologetic and proud to be single, know they can be happy and single at the same time, aren’t desperately chasing after men in order to be “self-fulfilled and validated as a woman”, and aren’t caving into their government’s attempt to make them nothing more than breeding stock.
    And Shawn, I could not have said it better myself. Kudos. But a marriage ban, on all marriage? Well, uh,…well it wouldn’t bother me. I’m sure it would bother others, but hey, we’ll always have Vegas. That’s why we have Vegas.
    And personally, I don’t understand why a couple needs their commitment to one another validated and “recognized” by the government or a religion. You love each other, you know you’re committed to one another…so why would you need government officials and members of the clergy to give it a “seel of approval”? Of course, that’s just my opinion, others would and do disagree. But hey, whatever floats you and your partner’s boat….

  4. Shawn
    Posted February 28, 2005 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    P-A,
    “You love each other, you know you’re committed to one another…so why would you need government officials and members of the clergy to give it a “seel of approval”?”
    Well said. While I am an admitted conservative in many ways, I have lost sight of why the government, in particular, has to stick its nose into the private relationships of its citizenry. The basic reason is to bring “justice” into the situation if there is a split. Unfortunately, the government’s idea of justice in a divorce is not based on the idea of a legal contract. The marriage contract is the poorest example of contract law because it considers no penalties or breach issues. But that is another topic for another time.
    I would also be leary of cohabitation at this point. More and more laws are being put on the books in different states or are being set by precedent that dictate how cohabitation would end. In short, you will soon have to have a divorce for living together. In fact, many family law firms are starting to really push the idea of “living together” contracts. These are mostly set up for people to protect themselves and their interests. Keep in mind, if you are the monied partner in a cohabitory relationship and you split up, in many states, the nonmonied partner can sue you for palimony and only needs to establish evidence of an “implied” contract for the court to order the award. Male or female, its always the one with the money who gets screwed.
    So, yes, a ban on all government-recognized marriages is what I propose. It seems to me we may be evolving there on our own. The marriage rate in the U.S. has decreased 10-fold between 1960 and 2000 (U.S. Census). A study by Rutgers also showed that young men are far less likely to propose marriage now than ever before. Staying single really is the way to go, and I’m glad to see both sexes are finally coming to this realization. IMO, a cohabitory or marital relationship should now be approached as a financial issue, almost like a corporate merger. Can you mutually benefit from the arrangement? If not, in today’s environment where marriage and divorce are more easily attained than escaping a bad cell phone contract, individuals will be better served to protect their assets and not allow their emotions to get the better of them.

  5. Posted February 28, 2005 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Last time I checked there were still lots of people on this planet. If they’re really concerned about keeping their population up, they could let more people immigrate instead of telling women they need to breed.

  6. annejumps
    Posted February 28, 2005 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Trish Wilson’s got a pretty good but short entry on this.

  7. Thomas
    Posted February 28, 2005 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Wouldn’t it be an interesting world if there were no marriage?
    Most folks take marriage as a mandatory social construct — many think they essentially have no choice, except to remain alone. But most people enter their relationships assuming that “marriage” means the same thing to everyone.
    I would love to see what happened if people had to separately negotiate their expectations and contributions to the relationship when they commenced it. Not just the money, of course!
    What if people had to separately negotiate the terms of their sexual relationship — any commitment to exclusivity, for example; their roles in keeping their living space, like cleaning, routine maintenance and renovations; their roles in childbearing and childcare.
    I think if people started sitting down to work these things out, they would be shocked how much the two partners took for granted — and how different their preconceived notions were.

  8. Posted February 28, 2005 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    I was also reading a study not long ago about Japanese women that were returning to Japan after attending high school and college in the States and were refusing to date Japanese men, particularly those men that had stayed and come to adulthood in Japan.
    The reasons given were that in the US they had learnt independence as women and a semblence of egalitarianism, and simply weren’t prepared to take what they saw as a step back to the traditional roles for women in Japanese society; those that they were being expected of them by these men.
    I have to wonder if these aren’t related.
    Now, as to the governmental recognition of marriage. Personally I agree with the others above that stated that the government should stay out of the recognition of marriage. However, while it IS involved, I am going to fight my heart out to get the same government benefits for my relationships that straight get.

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