アラフォー[aro-four]

March 15, 2009 at 5:18 pm (general, slang)

 I know it is too late to introduce this term, but I am getting more nervous than before when I come across it. That is because I am starting to care about my age. Oh what shall I do? Someone, please stop the time!

300px-around40dvdcover

 I’m sorry, I’ve got to stop whining, haven’t I? Okay, let’s get down to the topic. This term was actually one of the yearly famous words last year, and there was the same title TV drama series called Around 40~注文の多いオンナたち~[Around 40 -Demanding Women-]. In this drama, the heroine is a 39-year-old psychologist who is worried about being single. And most of the other leads are women aged around 40 years, and this story depicts what the real happiness for women is. We Japanese shall abbreviate around 40 as アラフォー[aro-four], and for some reason(or because of this drama?) this term got popular. Having said that, there was another word before this word came, that is アラサー[aro-thir], or women aged around 30 years. Yes, アラフォー stems from アラサー, and started since 2007.  As you may know, these are Japanese-English[和製英語], so around 40 in English does not work the same way in Japanese. Technically, アラフォー indicates any women who are from 35 to 44. Those women at this status seem to pursue some even higher career thanks to Equal Employment Opportunity Act for Men and Women(1986)[男女雇用機会均等法]. This act could give all the women more chances to come to the society. Even that, there is some invisible sexual barrier left though. Anyway, at the same time this act might have given another option that they don’t need to hurry to marriage. Because of this, they might be worried about the following future while they are working well if they are single. Yes, the far important thing is a delivery thing. The older they get, the harder delivery is. If they are childless, they would have to consider how they live after they retire.

 So I am not sure if アラフォー is a honorable word or an ironic one. The good side is that they are professional women, but the bad side is that they are desperate women.

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 Speaking of アラフォー, I can think of the certain Japanese celebrity. She is Ayako Nishikawa[西川史子], and everybody calls her 西川女医[Dr. Nishikawa]. She is a cosmetic surgeon while she often works as a celebrity. I wonder when she works as a surgeon because she shows on TV too much. She is thick-skinned and powerful. And she definitely wants men to make over forty million yen a year(年収4000万以上の男性). As far as I know, she is still single though she is about 37 or so.

 Here is something we should discuss. In my opinion, even if such a man exists, I doubt he is willing to marry a woman like her. Dr. Nishikawa already makes a killing as a doctor, so most men would give her up. I don’t know exactly how much her annual income is, but it must be more than over twenty million yen. At this point, most men have nothing on her. Also, even if a man whose annual income is better than hers showed, he would not be willing to marry her(of course if he loves her, things would be different), I suppose so. Because she is too smart. 男を立てるってことが出来ないタイプの女性…って英語で何て言うの?Well, a woman like her is not able to put a man up forward みたいな…So I doubt even such a rich guy can get along with her. So he might choose other girls who easily fawn on him, his money.

 So after all, men who come to a woman like her are good-for-nothing[ダメ男], gigolo[ヒモ], or ドエム[doemu]. That should be pretty easier for a woman like her. She just gets such a man and treats him as a pet, that’s it. So that is why it is not unusual to see a pairing of a rich woman and a shabby host. うっ、夜王の見過ぎかな俺(笑).

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 Come to think of it, I still remember an interesting song. That is 夏が来る[Summer comes(1994)] by Maki Ohguro[大黒摩季]. This song depicts a woman who is waiting for her prince coming. Although she is doing her best, no chance comes to her or something like that. Here is some quotation;

何が足りない どこが良くない” どんなに努力し続けても[what do I lack? How can I improve myself? No matter how much I keep trying to do my best,]

選ばれるのは ああ結局 何にも出来ないお嬢様[the chosen one is, ah eventually, a helpless indoor princess]

残されるのは ああ結局 何でも知ってる女王様[the spinster is, ah eventually, a queen who knows how the world works]

 When I heard this song, I was still 13 or so. But now I can understand what this is supposed to mean. The more perfect she is, the less men comes to her.

  Smarts and wealth don’t necessarily bring about happiness, that’s what I believe. Ugh, I am already an アラサーcosplayer! GYAAAAA!! どどどどーしよー!!Hey, I am sounding like Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City. Can I be a writer? lol

 All hail, アラフォー!!アラフォー万歳!

Sex and the City

Sex and the City

 

 

20 Comments

  1. Shii said,

    I like how you add your personal judgment to the pop culture, so I know what the normal reaction is. Come to think of it, Dr. Nishikawa would have similar problems in America– we just don’t like to discuss it so openly.

  2. bangin said,

    Thank you. Time flies…so not knowingly, you will turn アラサー, and アラフォー someday! We are guys, though.

  3. Ariyana said,

    This was a really interesting post to read. As a girl, it’s also a little depressing to think about.
    anyway, hope you’re doing well.

  4. goodyfun said,

    I read articles and studies, and they show consistently that a good relationship is made of two people with the same, or a similar level of intelligence. I don’t know how people don’t know this! It’s so obvious! I know I don’t like talking with anyone who gets confused by my words.

    If a man shies away from a strong, smart woman, that probably means he’s… not as smart as her. I think men don’t want to admit to this fact. It would hurt their pride something awful.

  5. w said,

    I think it would be silly for women to feel like they *have* to sort of… ‘bend down’ in order to find a potential mate.

    Then again I think marriage is highly overrated… then again having good friends from the opposite sex can be helpful… then again it’s not worth it and rather sad anyway when all the other intelligent men around you are incapable of appreciating the idea that women don’t always have to be subordinate in a relationship.:/

    I’m definitely not the kind of intelligent high-career money-making woman described in the post but I would totally love someone like Kyon whom I can just talk and talk and talk to and get some kind of sarcastic but ドM response and go all moe~ inside.

    Anyway no matter what society says, once *you* believe you’ve completely passed your best-before date then you’ll be at a loss… When you can still carry yourself with confidence that’d be your greatest asset.

  6. khim said,

    もう婚活に入る予定?
    ^^)

  7. jaredinnakano said,

    Thanks for your take on アラフォー[aro-four]. I thought Japanese people (like Italians and many others) had already stopped having children. As a “late stage” アラフォー[aro-four] オトメン [otomen], I discovered the wonderful thrill of having imaginary children– super-obedient, undemanding, and willing to be disciplined in any manner you provide.

    Plus, the Sex and the City women are all pushing 50 now (past アラフォー), and no less fabulous. Who really needs permanent husbands or r/t kids? As if they can be depended upon.

    I think my best decade will be my 70s!

  8. bangin said,

    Wow, many feedbacks! Thank you as always.^^

    Ariyana: It is too early for you to think about this. I’m feeling more depressing! Haha, I am fine, anyway.^^

    goodyfun: Most men want to look themselves better financially and mentally than women. When he doesn’t want to accept the fact, yes, that means he is not as smart as her.

    w: I’ll be fine if I have to be a househusband. Oh it is pretty easy. I can stay at home and don’t have to work. All I have to do is support her and home, right? Ugh, I feel I prefer following than commanding. それってキョンってことじゃん!

    khim: あーホントどーしよ俺。

    jared: Sex and the City is one of my favorite drama series, and watched the film last night. I can’t bring myself to frown upon Samantha’s face. Yes, no fabulous.

  9. Hinano said,

    All the things she could say to me was that she should find a man like Kyon in the Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi. Since she is too smart, most men can’t come to her. So the best way is to get a man who humbly obeys her and does whatever she commands like Kyon

    This is how me and my fiance are. I’m pretty independent and I don’t ilke it when a man has to feel “superior” to me. I think that is the difference between American & Japanese women. Most Japanese women are happy to just get married and stay home with the kids. However most American women want to rise in status and work in high places rather than sit at home all day. (Not to say that women who would rather sit at home all day don’t exist😛 )

  10. bangin said,

    For me, I would like to stay home, watch TV, make food, and clean up…oh no, I forgot to take care of kids! I have no confidence to take care of them well although I am good at any chores.^^ I wouldn’t mind if I have to be a 主夫. Yes I know I am not like most men. 俺って甲斐性ないなァ(苦笑)

  11. w said,

    Don’t put yourself down, you have no idea how desirable you are among the Yakushiji Ryokos around the world!

    It’s a real coincidence, I learned about 亭主関白 in school today… and just learned the opposite of that, かかあ天下. I know the word 愛妻家 from a Shiina Ringo song, but hadn’t known about 恐妻家😀

    Is it really true, though, that husbands in Japan have to get “pocket-money” from their wives although they’re the ones earning? I can see why the wives would like to manage the accounts, but it seems a bit unfair to have to ask for your own spending cash… then again, you could just keep some if you wanted to, and if you really loved your wife you wouldn’t mind the arrangement, I guess. Personally, I’d never do that.

  12. Neohybrid_kai said,

    So much comment ahead me, guess I’m late reading this post. Well, I love powerful woman but she’s got to be open minded to accept each other’s strengh and weakness. I’m not the type of person who see “this is men’s job, that is women’s” stuff. I think whoever excel the most, that’s his or her job. Though I agree that most men have to feel superior, because, ironically that’s what most of the girl looking for, secureness.

    But don’t worry Bangin-san, I’m behind you! lol
    Being born in a mediocre family, doing chores is already my daily task
    I think its still far away from becoming an ojou-sama’s butler, though
    surely they don’t eat a common meal ^^;

  13. bangin said,

    w: Oh yes, normally wives manage the accounts, so when husbands get a paycheck, they would have to give it to wives. Then wives take some cash out of it, and give husbands as お小遣い. Though wives could make more pocket-money as へそくり. It is not fair.

    Neohybrid_kai: I have been thinking, househusbands deserve to have a kid or not.
    Those kids whose dads are househusbands feel bad, don’t they?

    Sebastian is also cool. But he is not a doemu.

  14. 子犬 said,

    As a woman I can say things like: “I want a weak, thin guy with glasses who does what I say,” and people are not offended. If I was a man who say such things they would. Just say you want a date skinny girl, if you are a man you could be in trouble for even that!

  15. goodyfun said,

    子犬: If women and men were more equal, that wouldn’t be the case. That’s why feminists don’t like it when women take advantage of their sex, or their sexuality. Women are the “unfair sex” but only because that is how it has to be right now in the world. Things are getting better, though… slowly…

  16. bangin said,

    子犬: I don’t wear glasses, but what about me? Wahaha.

    goodyfun: Men are also the unfair sex sometimes. Especially…on the train, oops.

  17. 子犬 said,

    I like your personality very much! You say you are a doemu right? Ha, ha. (´∀`)

  18. bangin said,

    Danke.^^

  19. leroy said,

    Ayako Nishizawa is really a doctor? incredible! There’s also sexy dentist Aya Nakata!
    http://japansugoi.com/wordpress/aya-nakata-sexy-japanese-dentist/

  20. bangin said,

    Yes she is. But I wonder when she works as a job because she always show on TV, not her clinic.

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