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Boys = pro sports players ...Girls = clowns?


1 Sep 2003
It's so typically Japanese that they teach girls how to be a clown and boys how to be a professional athlete. I mean .. what the hell is it with teaching girls how to ride a unicycle .. as part of the national curriculum!!!? Whilst the boys learn how to play baseball! They teach girls how to run a 3 legged race whilst the boys learn how to compete in athletic events. Why don't ya give um a red nose and some face paint? My daughter will learn how to play soccer ... if a teacher so much as puts her near a unicycle .. I'll remove her from the school which tried it! 😄
hahaha...I couldn't believe it when my friend told me she had to learn how to ride a unicycle at school over there! When she was living here in the States, she started getting nostalgic and bought one so she could ride it around the neighborhood... :D

I don't know. I think riding a unicycle is quite a task to learn. It does take a great deal of coordination. Also, don't they learn to juggle over there too? Hmmmm...beginning to sound a little like clown school, yes...

Anyway, I don't see many of them complaining about it. The girls I knew thought it was fun and wished they could go back to school just so they could do it all over again...because it was so kawaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii...(might as well listen to fingernails scraping down a chalkboard)
I haven't 'been' with any clowns lately but i've 'been' with lots of girls and I'll have to disagree with what you said and all I have to say is Unicycles? What about Mini-skirts? Unicycles is for (puking) as Mini-Skirts are for (An Incredible night on the town,) In the sense that one makes up for the other heh and thus like Corn-fed hens into chicken mc-nuggets I'm very pleased with my eight piece.


Salaryman, watch what you call the national curriculum and please clarify what level you are talking about. I work in a Japanese middle and elementary school and see no such behavior you describe (gender role divisions). At my school ride unicycles, both boys and girls run 3 legged races and play baseball/softball, badminton, tennis and volleyball, etc. When I attended Japanese high school, there was no division between athletic and "clown" activities again. Both boys and girls learned both. Might I suggest that you are in a more conservative school district? Not everything comes from MEXT. My students learn about WWII (the unaltered history complete with all the dirty details) and take a basically gender-free approach to learn and instruction.

I agree with you that your situation is disturbing, and I would probably be upset too. But a lot of people on this board are here to learn about Japan. Please don't hide the bad stuff. Just watch what you claim is endemic to the entire nation. Take care- M.
Riding a unicycle would be no fun at all. I wouldn't want my daughter doing any of that biase activities you mentioned(like unicycling, not football!)
I agree with Mandylion, I see both sexes riding the unicycle. I've never seen the three legged race though. And at my son's school both boys and girls do soccer and baseball/softball. My only gripe is that the activities are not co-ed! I think that both the boys and girls would do better playing against each other!
Things have improved slightly. When I was at school in Japan the boys had an extra lesson of PE while the girls had Home Ec. Totally sexist.
Hmmm I think that learning to ride a unicycle is pretty tough heheh

Other than that, it's so easy to generalise :) ... I like drawing parallels between what I read here and what goes on in the Netherlands. It's probably just like Mandylion points out, it depends on how conservative schools are. The Netherlands are pretty liberal, but I often think the liberalism is just perceived liberalism in many cases. There is a world of difference between what goes on in the big cities and the more rural areas and even within cities it depends if you are attending a public school - this is not like the British schools, it just means that schools are not based on religion but are open to anyone, although these days all schools are open to everyone, but I digress - or attending a protestant/catholic school. The conservative schools even these days - apart from the general curriculum - tend to put some extra time in teaching girls useful things for later in life where they are expected to give birth to kids and mind the house ;) ... the boys shall spend more time doing 'manly' stuff, like sports. But luckily, most schools seem to have adapted to modern times where girls and boys are treated equally heheh ...

So I guess it's something that can happen everywhere ... although in Japan, the girls at least seem to get to grips with three-legged races ... that's something I've hardly ever seen done in Holland, or maybe I lead a sheltered life ;)
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