The more misogynistic the society is, the more polarized the dichotomy of good girls and bad girls. The misogyny puts women in their places of good and bad so that the patriarchy is not threatened. There is a stigma around the hostess because the hostess job is for bad girls. Men would say they wouldn’t want their girlfriend to work as a hostess, while they’d happily become regular customers at a hostess bar.
The hostess job is the derivative of the patriarchy. If women were treated equally and earned the same income as men, they wouldn’t have to gain financial stability through either marriage (good girl option) or hostess job (bad girl option). My sister chose the hostess job because the economy tumbled when she finished school, and among scant options for women, the hostess job gave her at least financial power to render her independence.
I entered a similar job, though less commercialized than my sister’s bar, because I had seen my sister do the job with dignity. I visited her a few times as a customer because some of the customers from Kubo took me. I was curious to find out what women were missing out. Hostesses at my sister’s bar wore flamboyant dresses and hairdo that wouldn’t be seen in women working in offices. They were in their 20’s, and attractive in the Japanese modern beauty standards. They sat with us in rotation, made drinks for us, introduced themselves, and naturally segued into the conversation. They asked me about my study and my hopes and fears for the future. They praised my achievements and encouraged me to go after my dreams. I felt like surrounded by my best cheerleaders. They were not bad girls. They were playing the societal role given to women – caring for men.