“Japan, where being “cute”, or kawaii is the only social currency women have.”
The intellectual dishonesty of this statement skews your entire article, I’m afraid. I read past it, hoping things would get better. Sadly, they didn’t.
Whilst there’s no arguing that women in Japan generally occupy fewer positions of political and economic power than many of their Western counterparts, it is lazy and reductive to pin this to “kawaii culture”.
Euro-centric models of feminism, which assume that wage slavery is the natural state of all humans (suits big corporates who want to drive down wages, incidentally), ignore the fact that Japan (at least, in the 20th century and early 21st century) has had the privilege of having very low wage inequality, and relatively high wages relative to living costs (this is swiftly changing), meaning that single income households have remained feasible.
You are drawing an extremely long bow (and ignoring the above) to relate the desire by many to live in single-income households to kawaii culture, I’m afraid.
Personally, I live in Japan and know plenty of educated, empowered women who couldn’t give two tits about being kawaii (and others who could), who are professors, lawyers, scientists, and more.
And no, they don’t wear aprons to work.