Now that I am married and live with my husband in Japan, I have the sensation that most people are interested in him more than in me even though we have very similar stories.
In social situations, people ask how life in Japan has been for him? What are his professional plans for the future? How is he in general?
I can be standing next to him, and they won’t ask me anything. I am a scientist like him; I am also living in Japan; I’m also moving to Germany, I’ve also lived in other countries. Why does it seem that others don’t find me as interesting as him? I wonder.
The straw that broke the camel’s back was when a friend of mine who is not even a friend of my husband, who doesn’t even know him, asked me: “How is everything there, how is *Luis?”
Why does he care how my husband is?
I’ve seen this complaint across the feminist community.
It feels like nobody sees us. We are there, but no one acknowledges our presence, and by not asking us as they ask our husbands it feels like they overlook our existence.
It’s not that I am competing with my husband or that I don’t wish him well.
It’s about feeling that others care about both of us, that we are being treated equally, that we both matter.
I’ve told my husband that sometimes I feel like he is the shark and I am the remora.
How many shows about remoras do you know? I bet not as much as about sharks, right? Because who cares about the remora when there’s a shark next to it.
But I am no remora. I’ve never been a follower. I left my family and friends when I was 20 to move abroad to another continent, where I lived 11 years by myself before meeting my husband.
Before being with my husband, the same friend who asked me about him used to ask me when I was going to settle. Once I married, it seemed that suddenly it was ok to change countries so often (because both my husband and I are a little bit nomads).
All this feels that I have to be bolder. That I have to care less and occupy the space I have the right to. Not more nor less than him.