I recently interviewed a Japanese man, Jun, who lives and works in Tokyo, about his observations on Japanese culture and shifting gender roles. If you live in the US and are wondering how his perspective could be at all relevant to your own life, then read on. He has a unique perspective in that he went to college in the US (only about 1% of Japanese college students do this), then returned to Japan to work for a multi-national company. One of his hobbies is reading and reflecting on current events and Japan’s history. In this first installment, we explore how economic, political, and cultural factors can influence gender roles at home and work. If you’ve ever felt alienated from or confused by the way your parents raised you, then read on for some fruitful discussion questions that can help deepen your understanding of yourself, your parents, and your own particular social and historical context.
Welcome to Part 2 of our “book club” on Gottman and Gottman’s “And Baby Makes Three”. In Part 1, we introduced the book and the scope of the problem. In this installment, we share insights about the stresses of parenting that are common yet rarely talked about. You’re not alone – that’s the point of Chapter 1. Many couples feel alone in their parenting because gender roles and parenting values have shifted so much in the past twenty to thirty years that many young couples may feel they can’t look to their parents for advice.... And you may not have an older, wise person to call on for advice (like a mentor or friend from a church or other group). Add to this the tendency for men not to talk about their emotions (though this can affect men or women) and you’ve got a recipe for silence and pent-up tensions that lead to relationship problems getting worse rather than resolved.