‘Wifely duties’ before birth

Backlash: A heavily pregnant wife made a range of meals for her husband and put them in the freezer. — SCMP

A Japanese woman who was nine months pregnant and prepared 30 days worth of dinners for her husband before going into labour has triggered a backlash against him on social media in Japan and China.

The controversy began when the woman shared on X that she had prepared the meals in advance of her due date on May 21, as she would be returning to her parents’ home for post-partum recovery.

She was concerned about her husband eating well while she was away, so she thoughtfully cooked one month’s worth of nutritious dinners and put them in the freezer for him.

The wife’s loving gesture led to an outpouring of online criticism towards the husband.

Some commenters praised her diligence but reminded her that men should have basic household skills.

Others were more direct: “What kind of husband allows his heavily pregnant wife to prepare a month’s worth of dinners? Does he usually do nothing at home? Isn’t it just spoiling him?” one person said.

“Is your husband an junior school kid? Can he not prepare his own meals?” another asked.

Several online observers expressed frustration, pointing out that such “dutiful wives” contribute to a culture that cultivates immature, domestically incapable men.

The wife said she prepared the dinners because her husband comes home very late from work, and that he had always been very supportive and understanding during her pregnancy.

This incident struck a chord not only in Japan but also on social media in China.

“How pitiful she is – she’s been pregnant for nine months and has a vegetative husband,” one person said.

“This Japanese woman is really bizarre. She is pregnant and acting as her husband’s maid. How did her husband eat before he married?” another person asked.

“So, guess why she is going back to her parents’ home to rest and recover after giving birth?” another wrote.

Others defended the wife and pointed out that her husband was not the only man who was unlikely to cook for himself.

“Isn’t it the same in all East Asian countries? When my mum came to stay with me abroad to help with the baby, she forgot to prepare meals for my dad. He survived on steamed buns and noodles for three months, even losing muscle mass,” one man in China commented.

“Men really do not last long without their wives’ care. If we had returned a few months later, we might have found only a mummy at home,” she said. — South China Morning Post

Yating Yang is a Beijing-based culture reporter at the Post.

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Japan , equality , gender , mysogonist


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