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Tweet of the Week #32: Pill Problems

Learn how to use the construction:「だけではない」with this week's viral tweet.

By 3 min read

Legalized in Japan only in 1999, birth control pills, 経口避妊薬けいこうひにんやく (keikouhininyaku) or ピル (piru) in Japanese, just aren’t as popular here — and it’s easy to understand why.

Getting a prescription for the pill is not exactly the simplest pathway to protection. Why bother when condoms are practically sold in every one of Japan’s more than 50,000 convenience stores?

Even if a woman finds a doctor that agrees to prescribe the pill, the prescription will typically be only for one or two months at a time. On top of this, birth control pills cost around ¥2,000 to ¥3,000 a month and aren’t covered by national health insurance.

Just stop doing the deed, the ol’ hanky panky, the getting down and durrrty, I hear you cry! Well, even if abstinence were the best method of contraception (spoiler alert: it’s not), the pill actually has a host of other health benefits for many women — especially young females going through puberty.

Educate yourself

Birth control pills can also be prescribed to treat medical conditions, from acne to endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, cramps and other joyful symptoms dear Mother Nature blessed women with in addition to their reproductive organs.

So when her high school teacher announced during a health class that he believed no girls in the classroom could be on the pill, Twitter user @sasarin took her anger to the internet.

このあいだ保健ほけん授業 じゅぎょう先生せんせいが「みなさんのなかで飲んでるひとはいないとおもうけど」とっていてかなしくなりました

“Please listen to me, as I’d like to get rid of the prejudice against high schoolers that are on the pill. Recently, during our health class, the teacher said that he believes none of the students in our class were taking birth control pills. It made me sad. Isn’t this education program outdated? Birth control pills aren’t only for birth control. Stop trying to make girls with heavy periods feel ashamed (for taking the pill).”

Following this with a couple more tweets, Sasarin explained her disappointment seeing her teacher introducing the pill as a contraceptive method only, totally ignoring all the medical benefits and any other motivation a young girl might have for taking the pill.

Not that being sexually active should be judged either, she added.

Not only… but

Let’s play around with だけではない which translates to “not only” or “not only but.” In the tweet, we can see its longer casual version:

ピルは「避妊」目的だけじゃありません = the pill’s purpose isn’t only birth control

If you combine the first sentence with another sentence, ない (ありません) will become なく and then comes the “but”:

ピルの目的は「避妊」だけではなく、辛い生理もです: the pill isn’t only for birth control, but also for painful periods

  • Verb (dictionary form) + だけではなく
  • Noun + だけではなく
  • I-adj + だけではなく
  • Na-adj + なだけではなく


Japanese English Romaji
kiku hear, listen
ください kudasai please (after a verb)
現役げんえき geneki active, currently
女子高生じょしこうせい joshikousei high school girl
ピル piru birth control pill
nomu drink (also: take medicine)
偏見へんけん henken bias, prejudice
なくしたいです nakushitai desu want to make disappear
このあいだ kono aida recently
保健ほけん hoken health (education)
授業じゅぎょう jugyou class
先生せんせい sensei teacher
みなさん minasan everyone
なか naka de among
いる iru be
おも omou think
けど kedo but
iu say, tell
kanashii sad
なる naru become
おくれる okureru be behind
避妊ひにん hinin contraception
目的もくてき mokuteki goal, purpose
教師きょうし kyoushi teacher
すす susumu continue, proceed
生理せいり seiri period
つら tsurai painful, hard
おんな onna no ko girl(s)
肩身かたみせばめる katami o sebameru to shame, to make someone feel ashamed

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