Men and women are like two feet; we move together to get ahead. But two recent incidents have made me vividly aware of how we change direction in tandem.
In May I was in Tokyo on business and to my astonishment almost every journalist I met wanted to discuss the same thing: "plant eating boys." These are young men who fail to express the typical Japanese drive to rise in the corporate world. Instead they stay at home fiddling with
their computers, reading, watching movies or listening to music with a few like-minded friends; and although they often have a girlfriend, many dress in girlish ways. They are passive and feminine. They lack the carnivorous spirit of the organization man. And the journalists I spoke with feared the Japanese are getting soft; their youth have lost their vigor.
Then this week in Amsterdam, a journalist told me that when she tried to schedule an interview with a high ranking political figure, he declined, saying it was
"daddy day." The Dutch have a new program by which working fathers can take one day a week off from work to care for an infant under the age of one year: "daddy day."