Saturday, February 16, 2008


How Monsters Are Made

Another Valentine's Day has come and gone. Sam is two years old and he received five Valentines. How many did Mina receive? One. From her American Grandparents. Sam got a box of Swiss chocolates with a picture of a train on the front from one of the ladies I teach. He was given a pack of chocolate cigarettes by one of the girl's at Mina's swimming school. He received a bag full of Disney's Car's chocolates from the little girl who is in his Friday class and attends the same day care center and some homemade chocolates from a family friend. The mother of the swimmer said to me, "he probably doesn't understand yet." I answered that he is learning quickly! Life is good for boys in Japan. What is with the focus on the males? No matter how many years I live here, I think this is one of those things that I will never get over. Japan is often accused of being a sexist nation and in so many ways it is. What can I do about it? I can raise Mina and Sam equally. I can teach them to respect others for how they live their lives and not because of their gender. And Mina can give Valentines to all of her friends at school. And Sam will absolutely be giving presents to those who gifted him when White Day comes around.

Does Mina ask why she didn't receive as many Valentine wishes as Sam?
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