Japan's Women Are Sick of This Valentine's Day Tradition

The ladies aren't really feeling 'giri choco,' or 'obligation chocolates,' for their male co-workers
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2019 11:41 AM CST
Japan's Women Are Sick of This Valentine's Day Tradition
Ladies are choosing to save the sweets for non-work people in their lives.   (Getty Images/OcusFocus)

In Japan, there are all kinds of chocolate that women hand out on Valentine's Day: There's "honmei choco" ("true feelings chocolate") that their romantic interests or partners receive, as well as "tomo choco" ("friend chocolate") given to platonic pals, usually other females. And then there's "giri choco"—a sweet treat that's now come under fire as givers are starting to push back, per Japan Today. That's because the translation for that particular confection is "obligation chocolate," and it's a gift that women are supposed to bestow on male co-workers on Feb. 14. Except some are now balking at both the expense and the general idea behind it, claiming that this "forced giving" can lead to undue pressure at work, and even harassment in certain cases, the Guardian reports.

Basically, some women feel coerced to give chocolates to certain co-workers to stay on their good side. And while it's true that the guys are supposed to reciprocate with a small present on "White Day" a month later, the onus to make the right choices as to whom the "giri choco" recipients will be, as well as how much to spend, falls on the ladies first. A recent survey, however, shows that working women are pulling away from the practice, with 60% noting they're going to give a Valentine's Day gift of Godiva this year to … themselves instead. Just over a third of those surveyed said they'd still hand out chocolates to their male colleagues. (More Valentine's Day stories.)

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