21 Snow Whites Can’t Be Wrong

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    Snow White and the Civil Suit

    Or, more accurately, 21 angry parents hold a lot of sway these days in Japan.

    Okay, tongue in cheek critique of Japan in hazy terms time: Japanese parents suck at parenting. Obviously that is a gross generalization, stated more to provoke thought that close minds, but let me lay out some totally convincing bullet points:

  • Parents spoil kids like crazy here. Grandparents help.
  • Super strong boys-will-be-boys culture.
  • Children often share beds with their parents until age 10.
  • Parents leave the lions share of moral education and discipline in the hands of school teachers.
  • If a person elects to become a dropout, hikikomori, or NEET, mom and dad let them live at home and provide them meals.
  • Parents form harassment mobs when they don’t like how the teacher is doing things. This is called good parenting.

    Oh that last one is kind of a new one on me, but I’m gonna roll it around in my proverbial can of “Japan is a bit off” stereotypes for a while from now on. Case in point: Recently a school caved to parent demands and made 21 Snow Whites for the eponymous lead roll in a play, because one wasn’t fair. I hope it was a comedy. I hope the parents were demanding a farce, a gross parody of a school play for the derisive laughter of the world, because that is what they’ve reaped.

    The article for this story goes on to say that parents are increasingly raising alarmist voices, forming mom mobs, and harassing until they get their way and every child supposedly gets what is best and most ego-protecting for them. Read and get frustrated.

    On the other hand, in this era of ijime (bullying), death-pact websites, and suicide methods that kill bystanders, parent involvement in their children’s lives is more important than ever. I just find it hard to believe that parents in modern Japan are going about this the right way. Not that parents in the rest of the world are exactly doing a great job either.

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