Friday, November 18, 2011

Will Miss #388 - husband thanking

This is actually a thank you sign at a rikshaw ride, but it's the only picture I have with the words "thank you" on it in English.

There's a custom/habit in Japan which sometimes receives a little flak from more feminist-oriented types, and no small resistance from at least a handful of the foreign wives of Japanese men. This custom is one in which wives thank their husbands for going to the office and earning money to support the family. The problem with this custom through Western eyes is that it comes across as the woman thanking her "master" of a husband for his contribution, while hers may go unrecognized. I don't know how it tends to work in each individual family, but I do think that it is a good custom in general. My husband is American, and I often express gratitude to him for working while I work part-time and do the housework, and he also thanks me for all I do to make life better for both of us.

I think that recognizing that a particular contribution is of value increases the chance that both parties will understand each other's contributions and that there is nothing subservient or anti-feminist about thanking the breadwinner for subjecting himself (or herself) to the daily grind while the other party looks after the home front, and I'll miss that.