A 2014 study that found Japanese men to be the most unhelpful in the world when it comes to child care and home chores, inspired governors of three prefectures to team up and make a TV ad — wearing 16-pound pregnancy suits that mimic being seven months pregnant. Data shows that when men experience even some of the less-comfortable sensations of being pregnant, they are inclined to become much more helpful at home. The campaign is designed to encourage the nation’s work-focused men to balance their office commitments with their home lives, and assist more with domestic chores.
Women in Japan do five times as much housework as men, according to the video that can be viewed on Refinery 29’s Facebook page. The “pregnant” men are seen struggling to manage everyday tasks, like doing up their shoes, hanging out laundry, and getting into a car.
Comments from viewers include the suggestion to make the experiment more closely resemble reality by giving “them pills to make them sick and loosen up their joints, and put a parasite in their stomach so they are starving all the time,” or adding “the constant punching and kicks to the ribs and internal organs, having to pee every five minutes, Braxton [Hicks] contractions, heartburn and tons of other things — the big belly isn’t half of it!”
Watch the video of three “pregnant” male politicians: