There are 4. 1 billion Asians in the world, or almost 60 percent of the entire human race. Individuals in East Asia are marginalized, especially women. There are more expectations for a woman than a man. There are no proportional expectations for men. Asian families stress gender identity, especially towards younger girls. At a young age, people are being ostracized if they do not fit the mold of what is considered beautiful. Humans are impressionable when they are younger, so if they hear something about themselves constantly, they start to believe it.
It does not matter how many positive things are said, the negative will usually have the most impact. Individuals learn through observation. People will compare themselves to others who are perceived to be better off. Media also has a role in reinforcing the social desirability of idealized body images. The Internet also bombards people with ads, whether they are obvious or not. Advertisements can be heinous because it does not always present the truth, but an unrealistic depiction, that people start to believe. However, as long as companies and businesses can sell a product or service, they will do whatever they want in ads.
Majority of ads are targeted towards women and how to better their appearance. Women in advertisements are more likely to wear revealing clothes than men. Females in Hong Kong were 5. 9 times more likely than males to not be as fully dressed, whereas females were 22. 89 times more likely than males in Japanese ads and 56. 83 times more likely than males to not be fully dresses in South Korean ads (Prieler, Ivanov, and Hagiwara 2015). Men are employed in ads that talk about technology and women are employed for ads that deal with cosmetics.
Research has found that viewing stereotypical advertisements decreases interest in jobs traditionally associated with the opposite gender and thus supporting traditional gender divisions in Confucian societies (Hagiwara et al. 2015). Women are sexually objectified and ads that present them as almost naked and weak do not help. Appearance is important and cosmetic surgery is very common throughout Asia. 81% of women in Japan and 67% of women in Korea admitted that they had stopped pursuing their dreams due to factors such as societal pressure – the highest in comparison to the rest of the world.
South Korea is the capital of the world for plastic surgery and people from all over visit to have operations. Individuals can be seen buying skin bleaching creams and soaps, hoping that achieving pale skin will give them a better life. Many stores found in countries like Japan, Korea, or China only sell one size fits all or most, which can make people self-conscious and not want to shop. Women are pressured to look and act a certain way, which can have adverse effects. Thirty percent of Japanese women under the age of 20 can be classified as underweight.
Individuals do not want to be judged or shunned, so they do what they are told. People will pick a career they hate as long as it correlates to their gender. Careers and jobs are being gendered, which is unfair because the most qualified are sometimes pushed to the side because a man does not want to follow orders from a woman. It is thought that if a person is not deemed pretty enough, they will not find a husband. Being married does not make one successful, but families in East Asia find it essential.
Marriage is important, especially those that have been influenced by Confucianism (Yang and Yen 2011). There is an emphasis on patriarchy, which further leads to gender discrimination. Families want the lineage to continue and that is one reason boys are preferred. In East Asia, not many marry because they love each other, but for financial gain and/or status. They want a better life for themselves and their family. The lack of opportunities for woman to gain an education, get a job, made women seek marriage in order to survive (Yang and Yen 2011).
Education is important and not everyone has the opportunity to gain one. Females are less likely to be enrolled in schools than males. Without a proper education, trying to obtain a job can be arduous. Gender inequality in the workplace is particularly pronounced in Japan and Korea (Qian and Sayer 2016). There is weak enforcement of equal employment laws and limited social services for child care (Qian and Sayer 2016). Women are exhausted from working long hours, but are still expected to clean, cook, and take care of the kid(s).
Gender wage gaps are higher in Japan and Korea than in Taiwan (Oian and Saver 2016). Companies are dominated by males and there are limited jobs available to women. Culture is important and in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, Confucianism is part of the culture. The ideals of femininity in these areas portray women as the caretaker and homemaker, while the men are the breadwinners. Employers discriminate against women on the basis of their role as wives and mothers, and this is believed to be the main reason for the gender pay gap (li 2015).
A thought might be that because women spend so much time at home caring for everything, they do not leave the house often, so they will not need as much money. Another thought employers might have run across, is that the man of the house is bringing the money in and the woman just has to do her chores. In households, division of labor among spouses is gendered and highly asymmetric in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan (Yang and Yen 2011). Mothers particularly in Japan and Korea are under intense pressure to produce high-quality children in terms of educational achievement (li 2015).
There is so much pressure, in general, to be a woman. A lot of times women were just seen as baby making machines, sometimes they kept the baby and other times, the baby would be given to someone else. East Asian societies have many women that find the idea of marriage unsatisfying mainly because of the restriction in a conventional marital union (Yang and Yen 2011). Women are not supposed to speak up and they should abide by the rules that are set up by the husband, which always makes it seem like the husband cannot survive without the wife.
Women are as apable as men if not more; however, women are facing discrimination wherever they go. In Japan, women usually have low income and are more likely to leave a job after marriage and childbirth (Yang and Yen 2011). Women are sometimes forced to work more hours, but are still paid less than men. In Japan, married women spend significantly more time doing domestic work than their counterparts in most Western countries (Chung and Kim 2015). Divorce is not something normally done in East Asia because it is considered taboo; people will lose their status and money.
Sacrifices are made to keep the marriage going. The marriage marker favors men with high socioeconomic status while disadvantaging high-achieving women and poor men (li 2015). Not many men seem to want to be outdone by a woman because of their pride. They think they have to be more successful or they have no purpose in being a man, which is insane. A woman who is successful and has the power to bring about positive change should be celebrated. It is always shown that if a woman does a certain thing it is negative, but if a man performs the same behavior or action, he is praised for it.
Women should not be confined in a box, but allowed to explore whatever they gravitate towards. Marrying a foreign bride is becoming a trend in Korea since the 1990s (Lee 2011). There is a shortage of women in China because of the one child rule. Females were seen as inferior compared to males, so they were discarded. Children that were females were often neglected or abandoned. Many women in China willingly became prostitutes because they wanted to live and they did what they could even if there were consequences. Other women are drugged and forced to be sex workers.
Marriage is possible for these women, but no one is lining up to be the groom. The marriage market in East Asia is extensive. Social pressure is strong for men and women to get married. When a family loses all hope of seeing their son marry a local woman, they opt for a foreign bride (Belanger 2010). There are women who become foreign brides in order to migrate to a safer and better place. Domestic violence is apparent in many marriages involving a foreign bride because cultures clash and arguments arise where someone physically lashes out. Nobody wants a divorce, but sometimes it is for the best.
Women are resilient and can bounce back, and also they have other matters to deal with. East Asian women come in different shades as well, and darker skinned Asians are sometimes mistaken for sex workers. People will assume that if an individual is dark, they are a street walker/ hooker. Not many people are comfortable with being a darker Asian, so they stay inside majority of the time and if they are outside, wear massive amounts of sunscreen. With globalization, East Asia is being influenced by the West. Fashion and attitudes are changing, and not necessarily for the better.
People are joining social media at a rapid rate over recent years. Women are the main demographic on social media and pictures with information are being shared all over the world. All this sharing can be dangerous in the wrong hands. Women are more likely to be stalked than men, but it does not help that the innocent pictures with friends and families that are being posted, provide their current location or home address to everyone who sees it. Everyone should be cautious of what they post online. Women in East Asia or anywhere should be able to get a job that is flexible with equal pay as men.
A marriage should be equal and a woman should not be carrying all the weight on her shoulders. They can and should speak their mind without constantly being criticized as a dictator or bossy, especially if they are just trying to do their job. Women should be provided the same opportunities as men. There should be no judgement on the type of job or career a person wants to pursue. It does not matter what gender a person considers themselves, if they are the most qualified, they should be hired. A woman is beautiful, no matter what she looks like.