Among the many things that are associated with Japanese culture, one of the prevailing aspects of pop-culture in Japan is Kawaii culture (aka being "cute"). However, the Japanese Prime Minister's wife Akie Abe recently came out and said that Kawaii culture is actually holding Japanese women back in the workforce - a statement that has caught the attention of our Eat Your Kimchi duo Simon and Martina!
Akie Abe stated that Japanese women are pressured into being cute and this is holding women back in the workforce, saying that men's way of thinking hasn't changed since she joined the workforce back some thirty years ago. Not only do Simon and Martina agree with Akie Abe's sentiments, the duo follow-up on this by saying that talented, working women who do not conform to the Kawaii image are seen as "snow dolls" and not easily approachable - something that is touched upon only lightly in J-dramas.
Beyond the Kawaii issue, Simon and Martina then talk about how while there are more women in the Japanese workforce nowadays, the difference in working styles between men (spread the work out across long hours) and women (efficiency) can cause some workplace conflict, which could ultimately hinder a woman's career path as she is seen as "not as hard-working".
Hit the audio tab above ^ to listen to Simon & Martina's thoughts on Kawaii culture holding women back:
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