Survey asks Japanese women what professions they don’t want to date

Posted on the Japan Times on April 27, 2015 by Casey Baseel
Disclaimers : Posted without permission

TOKYO — Japan is a country that values fiscal responsibility and economic security, and that can influence how people judge a possible romantic partner. For example, we previously looked at a survey in which an overwhelming number of women said they’d rather date a man who’s ugly but rich than a guy who’s handsome and unemployed.

That doesn’t mean that just any old job will do, though. A new poll asked Japanese women what jobs were deal-breakers for a potential boyfriend, and the resulting list includes some surprisingly high-paying professions.

Women’s interest Internet portal My Navi Woman conducted the survey during March of this year, receiving 206 responses from women aged between 22 and 34. Let’s dive right into their dating landmine field with a look at the top six responses.

6. Pilot (7.4% of respondents)

Starting off with a surprise, the number six answer was pilot, which in the Japanese job market generally means a commercial airline pilot. Despite the necessary intelligence and skill for the role, plus the accompanying salary and cool factor, maybe some women just don’t like the idea of their guy being gone for days at a time on international routes, gallivanting all over the sky with a crew of perky young flight attendants.

5. Small business owner (7.9%)

A recurring theme of the list is that the respondents seemed to place more of a premium on stability than absolute earning potential. While owning your own business allows you to soar as high as the free market allows, it also means there’s no safety net to catch you if you fall, and the difference between success and failure is sometimes a single-minded devotion to work that leaves no time for romantic dates.

4. Teacher (10.9%)

In general, Japan has a deep respect for educators and learning institutions, but some of the women polled seemed to feel that deference can go to a teacher’s head even once he steps outside the classroom. “A lot of teachers are very logical people,” observed one 33-year-old respondent. “They have too many of their own convictions, and whoever they’re talking to, they sound like they think they’re superior to them.”

“I have the impression that many of them have a narrow-minded way of thinking, and lack common sense,” added another woman.

There’s also the fact that many teachers take their position of molding young people’s minds pretty seriously. “I think the school would always be his priority,” speculated one woman, “and his private life would be secondary.”

2 (tie). Medical practitioner (12.4%)

Wow, seriously? Doctors couldn’t catch a break with this group of women? Once again, a lack of stability seems to have hurt Japan’s healers. Aside from concerns about their prideful personalities, some worried that the busy, irregular hours of medical work would leave them handling all the child-rearing duties should the relationship lead to marriage and kids.

That wasn’t the only family issue, either. Japan is dotted with small, privately owned clinics, which are sometimes passed down from parent to child. The result is families made up of generations of doctors, and more than one woman worried about measuring up to the lofty standards of the potentially elitist parents of a boyfriend from the medical field.

2 (tie). Beautician (12.4%)

The ratio of male to female beauticians in Japan is much more even than it is in many other countries, and being a male hairdressers doesn’t come with the stereotyped stigma that you’re not interested in females. Some of them, however, won’t be interested in you.

Being a successful hairdresser in Japan often requires not only keeping up on the latest trends and radiating a stylish image, but also being outgoing and able to chat enthusiastically with anyone. But while that’s all good for the salon’s bottom line, some women aren’t sure a beautician boyfriend could turn it off when he finishes his shift, and worry that he’d end up being a flakey social butterfly in his private life.

Then there’s the 25-year-old financial worker who’s not sure she wants a guy with such a keen eye for detail. “I think he’d be really outspoken and critical in his opinion of how I look,” she says.

1. Food industry worker (14.4%)

As social norms change, men in Japan are gradually becoming expected to do more housework, meal-preparation included. That doesn’t mean the women in the survey want their boyfriend doing it professionally, though.

At least in the eyes of the survey respondents, restaurant work seems to combine the worst of both worlds, with low pay and irregular time off as a result of having to serve dinner and weekend patrons. “They don’t seem to make much money,” fretted a 24-year-old apparel worker, “and they’re so busy, I don’t think we’d have anything left over for each other, and we’d just fight all the time.”

Still, all else equal, a guy who enjoys fine food and drink is a good thing, right? Well, maybe not so much the second part, it seems. “People who work in the food industry tend to like to drink a lot,” said a 33-year old respondent, “and they’re bad drunks.”