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被困家中的日本男人开始分担家务,但这会持续吗?

Stuck at Home, Men in Japan Learn to Help. Will It Last?
被困家中的日本男人开始分担家务,但这会持续吗?

TOKYO — Susumu Kataoka was just looking for a diversion from long days sheltering at home with his family during the coronavirus outbreak. He grabbed his drone and took it for a spin around their Tokyo house, snapping some pictures and posting them on Facebook.

东京——在新冠病毒暴发期间,一直跟家人困在家里的片冈进(Susumu Kataoka,音)想找点事情做。他拿起无人机,指挥它绕着他们在东京的家飞了一圈,还拍照发到了Facebook上。

His wife, Aki, was not amused. If he had time to play around like that — revealing their household clutter, no less — shouldn’t he have time to take on more domestic chores and child care?

他的太太秋(Aki,音)并不觉得这有多大意思。有时间这么玩——把家里乱七八糟的样子都暴露出来了——难道就没有时间多做点家务、照顾孩子吗?

Mr. Kataoka, a marketing web consultant, believed he was already doing his share. He gave his wife a list of tasks he regularly performs: bathing their two pre-school-age children, washing dishes, overseeing tooth brushing.

身为营销网络顾问的片冈认为,他已经在分担部分家务了。他给妻子列出了自己经常做的家务活:给两个学龄前的孩子洗澡、洗碗,监督他们刷牙。
 

片冈秋和丈夫在他们东京的房子里。

How little he knew. In a meticulous spreadsheet, Ms. Kataoka, a nursing student, enumerated her 210 tasks to his 21.

他对家务活的了解太少了。在一份电子表格中,他的太太——一名护理专业的学生,列出了两人的家务活明细,她有210项,而他是21项。

“I really wanted him to understand just how much I was doing,” she said.

她说:“我真希望他知道我到底做了多少事。”

For working couples, Japan’s efforts to combat the spread of the virus — encouraging teleworking and asking residents to stay inside — have highlighted disparities in the division of domestic work that shape households across the globe but are especially pronounced in Japanese society.

对于上班族夫妇来说,日本的抗疫努力——鼓励远程工作,并要求居民呆在室内——凸显出家庭分工的不平等,这种不平等影响着世界各地的家庭,但在日本社会尤为明显。

Men who usually see their families only briefly in the morning and at night have been spending weekdays at home during Japan’s coronavirus state of emergency, allowing them to witness just how many chores must be done. Women who toil invisibly doing laundry, dealing with finances and cooking meals are now asking their husbands to pitch in.

在日本的新冠紧急状态下,那些通常只在早晚跟家人短暂见面的男性,平日里也都呆在家里,这让他们亲眼看到了家务活的繁重。那些在背后默默洗衣服、处理家庭财务和做饭的女性,现在要求丈夫不可以袖手旁观。

The results can be combustible: Arguments sometimes erupt over whose turn it is to sweep up or help with math lessons for newly homebound students. Living quarters are cramped, and feel even smaller with everyone stuck inside. And there are doubts that this dose of domesticity, which may be over in weeks, will open men’s eyes enough to reverse entrenched patterns.

这有可能产生激烈的后果:有时双方会吵起来,究竟该谁做卫生,又该谁为困在家里无法上学的孩子辅导数学课。居住空间逼仄,每个人都困在家里的时候感觉更小。有人怀疑,这种可能在数周内结束的家庭生活方式,是否真会让男人们睁大眼睛,扭转根深蒂固的思维定式。

Still, some men say they now feel closer to their families, and hope Japan’s often inflexible work culture will change sufficiently to allow them to spend more time at home even when the pandemic passes.

尽管如此,仍有一些男性表示,他们现在感觉与家人更加亲近了,并且希望日本这种经常缺乏弹性的工作文化能够发生充分的变化,让他们即使在疫情过后也有更多时间呆在家里。

Mr. Kataoka is trying to adjust his habits.

片冈正在努力改变自己的习惯。

When he uploaded his wife’s spreadsheet on Twitter — writing that they had been in danger of getting a “coronadivorce,” a term that has trended in Japan — the post was shared about 21,000 times.

他把太太做的电子表格上传到Twitter时写道,他们面临“新冠离婚”(coronadivorce)的危机,这在日本是一个流行词。这个帖子被分享了约2.1万次。

“We have a long life ahead of us,” Mr. Kataoka said during an interview on Google Hangouts from the family kitchen, where a printout of his wife’s spreadsheet was stuck to the refrigerator door. “If I refused to accept this, then we might face more resentment of each other.”

“我们还有很长的路要走,”片冈在家里的厨房借助谷歌环聊(Google Hangouts)接受采访时说道,他太太做的那份电子表格打印出来后就贴在冰箱门上。“如果我不能接受这一点,那么我们可能对彼此会有更多不满。”

Japan is by no means the only place where women shoulder a disproportionate household burden. And with schools closed in many countries, the extra strains from child care and imbalances in parental help with homework have surfaced around the world.

日本远不是唯一女性家务负担过重的地方。随着许多国家的学校停课,照顾子女以及父母双方在辅导孩子功课上出力不均所致的额外压力,已经在世界各地浮出水面。

But men in Japan do fewer hours of household chores and child care than in any of the globe’s wealthiest nations. In a survey last year by Macromill, a market research firm, about half of Japanese working couples reported that men did 20 percent of the housework or less.

但日本男性做家务和照顾孩子的时间,在诸多富裕国家当中是最少的。根据市场研究公司Macromill去年进行的一项调查,约有一半的日本上班族夫妇表示,男性承担的家务只有20%或更少。

Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has long promoted a platform of elevating women in the workplace. Yet many women are held back because they bear a heavy load at home.

日本首相安倍晋三(Shinzo Abe)一直将推动提升女性职场地位作为自己的施政纲领。然而,许多女性却因承担沉重家务而裹足不前。

“If we can’t split the work at home equally,” Ms. Kataoka said, “then we cannot create a world in which women are empowered.”

“如果不能平等分担家务,”片冈夫人说,“那么我们就无法创造一个为女性赋权的世界。”

About half of working women in Japan are employed in part-time or contract jobs without benefits, according to government data, compared with close to one in five men. That has reinforced a sense among some men that their paid work takes priority over their wives’ jobs, leaving women to carry the bulk of household chores.

政府数据显示,日本约有一半的职业女性从事没有福利的兼职或临时工作,而男性的这一比例只是接近五分之一。这强化了一些男性的观念——他们的有偿工作比妻子的工作更重要,因此女性应当承担大部分家务。

“Japan fundamentally, and compared to other countries, imposes a lot more of the domestic work on women,” said Yuiko Fujita, a professor of sociology at Meiji University. “I don’t think it is suddenly going to become a society in which it is much easier for women to work just because of this state of emergency.”

“与其他国家相比,日本基本上就是把更多家务强加给女性,”明治大学(Meiji University)社会学教授藤田结子(Yuiko Fujita)说,“我不认为它是仅仅一个紧急状态就能让女性工作容易起来的社会。”

Men at home temporarily are unlikely to share chores and child care equally, said Lully Miura, a political scientist who runs the Yamaneko Research Institute in Tokyo. “Most of my friends on Facebook post the nice homemade dishes” made by their husbands, Ms. Miura said. “But this is not the majority of people.”

东京山猫研究所(Yamaneko Research Institute)的政治学家三浦瑠丽(Lully Miura)说,男性暂时留在家中也不太可能平等分担家务和照顾孩子的工作。“我的许多朋友在Facebook上发布了(丈夫做的)美味家常菜,”她说。“但大多数人的情况并非如此。”

Employers are also a major obstacle. Telecommuting was rare in Japan before the government strongly encouraged companies to let employees work from home to help dampen transmission of the virus. Even during the emergency declaration, many companies, wedded to antiquated office practices, have been reluctant to let their staffs telework.

雇主也是一个主要障碍。在政府大力鼓励公司让员工在家工作以便抑制病毒传播之前,远程办公在日本很少见。即便是在紧急状态宣布期间,许多公司仍固守陈旧的办公方式,不愿让员工远程工作。

According to a government survey, just over half of respondents in Tokyo said they were working at home under the declaration. Across the country, it was just over a quarter. With the prime minister lifting the emergency declaration in 39 of the country’s 47 prefectures on Thursday, some employees may go back to the office.

根据日本政府的一项调查,在东京接受调查的人中,只有略多于一半的人说,他们根据政府通知在家工作。而在全国各地,这一比例仅略高于四分之一。周四,随着首相宣布全国47个县中的39个县解除紧急状态,一些员工可能会回到办公室。

Hiromasa Tsuzaki, 39, a manager at a Tokyo recruitment advertising firm, has not been permitted to work from home at all. His wife, Yuriko, 34, has a job in the same industry and has been teleworking while staying at home with their 5-year-old son.

39岁的津崎广正(Hiromasa Tsuzaki,音)是东京一家招聘广告公司的经理,公司不允许他在家工作。他的妻子百合子(Yuriko,音)今年34岁,在同一行业工作,一直在家带着五岁的儿子远程办公。

Mr. Tsuzaki said he wished that the government — which has the power only to request that companies encourage remote working — would “give more bold direction to promote a more comprehensive teleworking system” so that he could share some of the household burden.

津崎说,他希望政府“给出更大胆的方向以促进更全面的远程办公系统”,以便他可以分担一些家务负担,尽管政府也只能是要求公司多鼓励远程办公。

With Mr. Tsuzaki still not coming home until 9:30 p.m., Ms. Tsuzaki relies on frozen meals for dinner and YouTube for her son when she has to conduct meetings on Zoom.

由于津崎要到晚上9:30才回家,当津崎夫人不得不在Zoom上主持会议时,只能依赖加热冷冻食品做晚餐并让儿子去看YouTube视频。

But even men who are able to work remotely during the emergency period may feel extra pressure to prove their productivity to employers who value long hours and displays of devotion to the job.

但是,由于雇主重视长时间工作以及展示对工作的热情,即使是能够在紧急情况下进行远程工作的男性,也可能会为证明工作效力而感到额外的压力。

When Yoshiaki Terajima, 36, first began teleworking about a month ago, he buried himself in his work for a large trading company.

现年36岁的寺岛良明(Yoshiaki Terajima,音)在一家大型贸易公司工作,在大约一个月前刚开始远程办公时,他埋头于工作。

He conducted video meetings at the dinner table in the two-bedroom apartment in Tokyo that he shares with his wife, Erica, 34, a media literacy consultant, and their three children. Mr. Terajima, who was accustomed to being away every weekday from 8 a.m. until at least 8 p.m., rarely had time for household chores during the week.

他与34岁的媒体教育顾问妻子绘里香(Erica,音)和三个孩子住在位于东京的一所两居室公寓中。他在餐桌上举行了视频会议。寺岛习惯了每个工作日早上8点离家,晚上至少到8点才回家,因此他工作日里很少有时间在家做家务。

With school and day care closed, Ms. Terajima was overwhelmed trying to supervise lessons for their daughters, 7 and 9, or find something other than Legos and videos to occupy their 5-year-old son. “I was doing 90 percent of the child care,” she said. “I could not get my own work done at all.”

在学校和日托关闭的情况下,寺岛夫人不知所措,并试图督导两个女儿——分别是七岁和九岁——的学习,或者寻找除了乐高和视频以外的东西,让他们五岁的儿子有事可做。“我负责了90%的育儿,”她说。“我根本无法完成自己的工作。”

Her daughters, noticing she was tired and frustrated, offered to do the laundry. Ms. Terajima finally pleaded with her husband to help because she could not sustain everything else on her own. So he started making daily lunches for the family, cleaning bathrooms and assisting their daughters with schoolwork.

女儿们注意到她的劳累和沮丧,主动提出洗衣服。寺岛夫人最终恳求丈夫帮忙,因为她无法一个人维持所有其他事。因此,他开始每天为家人做午餐,打扫洗手间并协助女儿完成作业。

Once the state of emergency is lifted — currently scheduled for the end of May — he would like to continue working from home. “Now that I’ve spent so much time with them, I feel this is normal,” Mr. Terajima said. “I think we can take this situation as a good opportunity to change the work culture drastically.”

一旦紧急状态解除——目前的计划是5月底——他想继续在家工作。“现在我和他们在一起度过了很长的时间,我觉得这是正常的,”寺岛说。“我觉得我们可以以此作为彻底改变工作文化的好机会。”

That could be a challenge. Not only are punishingly long hours common in Japan, but so are long stretches working out of town, which often leaves women alone at home.

这可能并非易事。在日本,不仅上班时间长得过分,在外地出差的时间也很长,这常常使女性独自在家。

Since October, the husband of Nanae Minamiguchi, 44, has been in his native Chile on business with his trading company. He is now stuck there because of travel restrictions.

自10月以来,现年44岁的南口奈惠(Nanae Minamiguchi,音)的丈夫一直在他的故乡智利出差,为他的贸易公司做生意。由于旅行限制,他现在被困在那里。

Ms. Minamiguchi works five mornings a week stocking fruits and vegetables at a supermarket in Osaka. She has no choice but to leave her children, 11 and 7, at home alone.

南口每周工作五个早班,在大阪的一家超市里将水果和蔬菜摆上货架。她别无选择,只能将11岁和七岁的孩子独自留在家里。

Their teachers dropped off workbooks shortly after the emergency was declared in early April, but there is no other online curriculum, so the children have little to occupy them while she is at work.

孩子们的老师在4月初宣布紧急状态后不久就留了作业,但由于没有其他在线课程,孩子们在她上班时几乎没什么事情可做。

She acutely feels the loss of visits from her parents, who normally help with child care when her husband travels. But with the risk of infection, they are staying away.

她的父母通常会在丈夫出差时来帮忙照顾孩子。但是,由于存在感染的危险,他们不再到访,让她深切体会到他们的重要性。

Ms. Minamiguchi worries about getting infected at the supermarket. She is scared about what would happen to her children.

南口担心在超市被感染。她很怕这会给孩子们造成什么影响。

Yet she said she wasn’t sure her husband would help much even if he were home.

但是她说,即使丈夫在家,她也不确定丈夫会帮上什么忙。

“Maybe in another family where the husband does more,” she said, “it would be different.”

“也许在别的家庭里如果丈夫多做些事情,”她说,“情况会有所不同。”

Ms. Kataoka, too, sometimes frets about how her family would cope if she fell ill with the virus. She figured that listing all her household and child care tasks on the spreadsheet would ensure that her husband knew what to do if she were hospitalized.

片冈夫人有时也担心,如果她感染了这种病毒,她的家人将如何应对。她觉得,如果在电子表格中列出她所有的家庭和育儿任务,万一她住院了,这个表格能保证她的丈夫知道要做哪些家务。

Mr. Kataoka says he has learned to consult the list for nudges. In the past, after dinner, “I used to just sit there and do my own thing,” he said. Now, “the list says I should fold all the laundry. So I started to do that instead of killing time.”

片冈说,他已学会参考清单来提醒自己。过去,用完晚餐后,“我以前只是坐在那里做自己的事,”他说。现在,“清单上写着我应该叠好所有洗过的衣服。所以我现在开始做这件事,而不是消磨时间。”

He suspects that he may slip back into old routines when he resumes his regular work schedule and commute.

他猜测,如果回到过去的日常工作和通勤时间的话,他可能会故态复萌。

“Because I am here, I have more time to do housework,” Mr. Kataoka said. “But once I have to go back out and have to stay out late with work, I may not be able to do all these things.”

“因为我在家里,所以我有更多时间做家务,”片冈说。“但是,一旦我必须离家工作并且不得不很晚回来,我可能没法做所有这些事。”
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