I'M NOT LIKE OTHER JAPANESE WOMEN.

reflections Jan 25, 2021

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always proudly said things like, "I’m not like other Japanese women" and the older I get, the more I see how incredibly loaded this statement is.

  • What does it even mean to be a Japanese woman?
  • Am I still a "Japanese woman" even if I hate cooking and have strong opinions?
  • Why do I still feel a need to resist these gendered expectations even though I've lived the majority of my life outside of Japan?

I know that I carry a lot of emotion around this (mostly anger), but I’m often confused by what exactly it is that's causing my anger.

On the one hand, I’m angry at the Western world which systemically doesn’t seem to recognise my strength and power. And on the other hand, I’m angry at the pervasive perspectives that have somehow fetishised and idolised the “Japanese woman” leaving anyone who doesn’t fit into this narrow view as, “not Japanese”. And, I’ll just need a third hand here, to hold the anger I feel towards Japan’s deeply misogynistic culture which just doesn’t seem to progress in time with other parts of the world.

This gender and Asian culture intersection is like a busy junction with no traffic lights (ie. it's a huge, messy topic) and I’m sure that I’m not the only one carrying layers and layers of feelings around this topic.

If you would like to explore the ways in which gendered expectations present and impact our Asian Australian community, please join us for our webinar on Thursday February 4th at 6pm AEDT. You can sign up for the free webinar HERE.

Our resident psychologist, Vi-An and I will be sharing some personal experiences as well as discussing questions like,

  • Why are the expectations so different for men and women in Asian cultures?
  • Why is gender identity often so binary in Asian cultures?
  • In what ways do gender and culture intersect to affect our mental health?
  • How do we overcome gendered and cultural expectations?
  • And how do we navigate these often outdated norms and expectations as Asian Australians?

You can also send me a question that you’d love for us to discuss HERE, otherwise, sign up for the Gendered Expectations in Asian Australian culture webinar HERE and we’ll see you on the 4th!

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