After marriage, most Japanese women became housewives, as is their culture. Beyond a certain age, companies also often showed discrimination towards women in terms of attitude and salary, making the workplace very unfavourable. Pushed by culture and tradition, these young educated women lost their ability to work over time, being trapped and condemned at home. Some of them wanted it that way, some did not. When they reach their middle ages, some of them got divorced, and hence need an income to support themselves. Yet years of not working on top of the unfavourable environment has resulted in them being unable to compete with the outside world. Faced with no choice but to earn money by any means necessary in order to survive, these people turned to the sex industry.
In South Korea, things take a more extreme turn, where even women in their 80s come out to sell their body. While the physical act of sexual intercourse itself is more likely to be absent, behaviours like touching can be expected. Having no equal opportunities during in their youth in terms of education and career, they had no choice but to rely on their husbands and their children, who may or may not be decent and/or capable people. Left to fend for themselves, there are women from the middle to elderly ages who walk down this path.
When given a choice, I believe an overwhelming majority of the prostitutes do not want to be in this line. Putting aside those forced into this job via illegal means, those who are in it voluntary due to circumstances highlighted once again the need for all to have their own earning power. Those who do not have the earning power have no say nor rights.
In many parts of the world, even in developed countries like Singapore, many young and educated women hope to marry rich and enjoy a life without the need to work, yet still able to live the high life. Depending on men to live the good life is unfortunately one of the common pitfalls many women have. However, even if one manages to succeed, such thinking often has its own consequences.
For the woman who married into a life of luxury, oftentimes the man would be fooling outside with other women. It is not that the woman does not know it, but she has to bear with it in exchange for the lifestyle she has. Afterall she did nothing to contribute to the wealth of the family. To put it bluntly, she is a parasite who can only leech on her husband. Her husband can live without her, but not the other way round. There can be one exception – that her family background is rich and powerful enough to match her husband’s family or even higher. In that case, she has value and contribution for as long as her parents are alive and willing to continue contributing.
For the middle class, one common example is the housewife. You may have heard of many housewives in their middle ages crying and complaining upon discovering that their husbands have another woman outside. The husband has gotten sick of the increasingly old woman sleeping beside him everyday, and has gone on to find someone who can give him a more refreshing experience, although the third party may not necessarily be prettier or better than the wife. Naturally many women threw a big temper, and it is common to see the wife confronting or even punishing the mistress. But such acts are often followed by forgiveness to the husband and subsequent tighter controls if possible. But even if they got rid of one woman, it does not solve the root of the problem. The fact that they can forgive and still choose to stay is an unspoken message to the man that such an act will only incur wrath but not divorce.
For the bottom class, we have often hear about women entering and leaving abusive marriages repeatedly and the everyone else wonders why it is so. The reason is simple. These women have only thought of relying on other men for money, safety and security. However, the bottom class without much earning power are doomed to only attract low quality men. The decent average men will not look at them because they have nothing practical to contribute to the family building, much less the upper class who have scores of pretty and capable women swarming all over them. These bottom class women end up marrying the only people who are willing to take them – generally scums.
We are not living in a Taiwan or Korean romance drama where the young, handsome CEO of some big company will forgo everything, even his pretty and sexy childhood friend who is infatuated with him, just so that he can be with a poor, average looking village girl.
For all 3 classes (the top, middle and bottom class), the factors which drive these women’s behaviours is usually not love, but a dependency for the men to provide for what they need. Whether it is a life of luxury or a life of psychological dependency, these women have one thing in common – the lack of earning power to achieve the life they want by themselves. Ironically, for those in the bottom class, the women who sought security from the men are often better off by themselves, having their money and time depleted by the scums they chose to follow.
Words like staying for the children or a love deep enough for third or fourth chances are generally used to give such illogical decision a justifiable and noble reason. Those with equal or higher earning power would usually opt for divorce, although the time to reach such a decision ranges from the immediate to a few days. Tears of remorse or begging for forgiveness from the men usually do not warrant a second chance.
In international politics, the same logic applies. Taiwan is like a lower-middle class person, with some earning power but unable to get its economy up for the past 20 years. Refusing to go back to China, it opts instead to pander to the US. Spending millions and even billions of money every year on arms purchase, it is much like a woman spending money on her scum boyfriend or husband, hoping that he will protect her, only to find out in the end that he only uses her to his advantage and will be more than willing to dump her any time.
Iraq was invaded for suspicion of possessing weapons of mass destruction (WMD), but no WMDs could be found. Iraq’s invader is the world’s biggest holder of WMDs, but nobody could say anything. Libya was invaded after Gaddafi stupidly disarmed its nuclear capabilities, yet till this day nobody dared to touch Iran or North Korea, because they really had the nuclear weapons. It does not matter whether you are right or whether you are innocent, only when you have sufficient military might for self-protection can you have the right to talk about peace.
We scale it back down to our original topic – women having earning power. It does not matter how good of a wife you are. It does not matter how much you have sacrificed for the family. I am not saying that all men are jerks, but I am saying that a very significant number of them are inclined to seek out other women. The difference is whether they chose to act on it or not. Having the earning power does not guarantee that your husband will not be unfaithful, just like having nuclear weapons does not guarantee that Russia never had to fight a war. There are many other factors which can contribute to a marriage breakdown. But it certainly provides a deterrence to those who dare to harm you, and in this case the threat of a divorce, simply because you have the ability to take care of yourself.
Continuing to work does not only bring monetary benefits. It is the mutual contribution to the family, that both members of the marriage feel invested and the bond continue to solidify as the family is built up. As one continues to work, one remains in touch with society and one’s world view expands, rather than having a narrow range of conversation which revolves only about family and children. Both parties are able to keep up to a certain level on their communication. When one continues to work, she has her own circle and not focus everything only on the children and the husband, which may be suffocating.
“You are my world” is romantic in the movies but suffocating in reality.
Pretty sure Taiwan is feeling very suffocated right now too.
Of course, there are still many men who simply cannot treasure a good women. There are still other factors that threaten a breakdown of a marriage other than an affair. I am simply saying that by having your own earning power, you are in a better position to protect your marriage from infidelity, and even if in the end your marriage fails, you do not have to resort to extreme measures such as selling your body or going into another disappointing marriage due to a lack of choice. Similarly, there are also men who are victims in a marriage. Just like there are jerks in the male population, there are also scums in the female population. However we are not going into that today.
If you are an unemployed woman reading this today, go get a job. For yourself and for your family. Even if your husband is 100% faithful to you no matter what, sickness and accident befalls us all. If one day he is rendered incapable to work, what are you going to do?