I hear a lot of people are misusing Japan’s emergency number-110. Some even ring to have their complaints heard! Let’s write to newspapers for that! Last week I sent a letter to the Japan Times regarding Japan’s dwindling birth rate and how disrespected young mothers are in society. My letter was chosen and it appeared in the newspaper yesterday. I enjoy writing and my good friends- an editor and a famous author have kindly commented on how they like my writing style. A few days ago my friend Min said “ writing for newspapers is great but when you start Grad school you must start writing for Academic journals to get your name known out there. You will be knocked back time and time again but you have to keep trying…” . I am still a 51 year old baby in this field and really appreciate kind help like this.
Here is the letter that appeared in the Japan Times↓
Little respect for child-rearing
By SUSAN MENADUE-CHUN
Regarding the Jan. 5 article "Experts say Japan must change how it is handling low birthrate": The policies adopted by the government, Japan’s low birthrate and the comparisons with birthrates in Germany, France and Sweden were worth a read. Still, when you consider the efforts Japan is making to rectify the birthrate with no successes in sight, doesn’t it make you think there might be a deeper problem that is being ignored?
I have raised four children in Japan, mainly on my own as my husband had a busy job. This year I go back to school in Seoul to do a master’s degree, which hopefully will lead to a Ph.D. I am amazed at how many people have congratulated me on my new adventure and how much they seem to respect my determination. These comments have been gratefully received but they have also left me confused.
When I was raising my four children, I battled loneliness and discrimination, and no one ever commented positively on my efforts. The people most highly regarded in this society are those who work outside the home. However, isn’t raising children the most important job in society?
My daughters are now of child-rearing age. I have never complained to them, but in view of how I struggled in Japan — where the work of mothers receives no praise — I can’t imagine them giving up their careers and staying home.
Isn’t that where the real problem is — respect for women who stay at home? Society as a whole should be more supportive of young mothers and give them praise and respect for the important work they do.