Making of Chihiro②: the Woman who can’t become a ‘man’

レシピ / RECIPE

After graduating from university, I entered Japanese ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare. Although working there gave me a lot of fun,
―When I made a mistake and cried, my colleague said ‘After all, you are a girl.’
―When I worked at childcare division, I was frequently told by other people that ‘you cannot understand children as you are unmarried and have no child.’ Some people even said that ‘as women started working, these days children cannot get enough affection‘.
My colleague gave up childcare leave as he is a male and too busy.
―My friend quit, saying that ‘this working style does allow me neither to marry nor give birth. I do not want to give up ordinary happiness.’
My supervisor sexually harassed me (poured beer on my head at dinner party).
I endured all of these, smiling.

After that, I studied abroad and a classmate asked me whether Japan is conservative about gender. I replied yes and told her the stories above smiling.

She didn’t smile at all, just said ‘you must have had hard time.’ That one sentence made me nearly cry.

Yes, I had hard time. I knew I could not become a man even how hard I try. Men never see me as one of them. I knew that at the bottom of my heart. But… did not want to admit. I wanted to keep my position as ‘honorary male’. Thus, I kept enduring.

But… what these endurance gave me?
Where my continuous efforts not to focus on my broken heart led me?

Her remark made me realize how void they are.
I thought that I could not pretend as a ‘man’ anymore.
But at the same time also thought that I could not play a ‘woman’ role.

So… I felt… devastated.

(To be continued…)

※The thumbnail (the view around my workplace) is from this homepage

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