In this gender reader, doing some catching up from October (when I did a spooky gender reader instead): harassment of non-Japanese women in Japan; bottoming out a whopping #105 in the Gender Gap Index; the problem with all the patronizing “sexless” Japan journalism; and Social Justice Wario.
Living in Japan
Holly Lanasolyluna. “Japan: no safe country for foreign women.” The Japan Times. 23 Oct. 2013.
Trigger warning: police misconduct, racism, sexual harassment, misogyny. Lanasolyluna discusses how the Japanese police ignore violence and harassment against non-Japanese women. Because, you know, only “foreigners” commit crimes in Japan.
At the kōban, the police officer’s response went as follows: “Wow, that’s strange. Were they Japanese? Well, I can’t really do anything because I’m here by myself and they’re probably not there anymore. You’re a young girl, and maybe you shouldn’t be out by yourself alone at night.”
No details about the incident were recorded. Not only had every bystander ignored my pleas for help, but the police had also given me a terribly disappointing response — basically, “Shō ga nai, ne?” (“What can you do, eh?”).
Yuta Aoki. “Top 5 Mistakes Journalists Make about Sexless Japan.” YutaAoki.com. 27 Oct. 2013.
Sick of the English-language-news freak-out about “sexless” Japan and their birth dearth? Yuta Aoki shows how statistics can be used to prove or disprove some of the correlation=causation ideas in said articles. (And remember, readers, even if you have a pair of folks who is physically capable of fertilizing an egg together, you can all the sex you want without having children if you’re using reliable protection correctly! That’s not rocket science.) Don’t forget the footnotes.
Working in Japan
Now ranking 105, Japan has hit the bottom of the Global Gender Gap Index for developed countries. The score is a combination of poor scores in female representation in economics and politics, among others. Please note that the English version keeps referring to this as “female equality” when “gender equality” is the correct term.
Sylvia Ann Hewlett. “What’s Holding Japanese Women Back.” Time Ideas. 1 Oct. 2013.
This isn’t a question. It’s an answer.
Highly educated Japanese women are more likely to say that they’re pushed off the career track by unsupportive work environments and managers who do not value them. Nearly two-thirds (63%) say that they quit because their career was not satisfying and a startling 49% left because they felt stymied and stalled.
Heenali Patel. “Rhetoric Not Enough for Japan’s Working Women.” The Diplomat. 28 Oct. 2013.
Abe’s strategy for Womenomics so far – “urging” businesses to be more accommodating towards their female staff – has proved far from inspiring. Surely the Japanese government can see that the real problem does not lie in a lack of laws, but rather in a lack of desire to instate real change? One starts to get the feeling that Womenomics is less about speaking up for gender equality, and more about keeping up appearances.
Fritz Swanson. “Toilets, Ladies, and Exercise.” University of Michigan’s LSA Today. 11 Nov. 2013.
Dr. Eliza Mosher and the first women’s gymnasium at the University of Michigan.
Mosher was the first Dean of Women, the first professor of Hygiene and Public Health in LSA, and the first doctor to serve the students of the University of Michigan. She was unconventional for her time, and she was hardly beloved among students or her fellow faculty. But she was determined to fight for women’s health and equality on campus, creating a legacy that would result in safe, sanitary dorms, and comprehensive anatomy education for women—not to mention regular vaccinations.
Van Badham. “How not to raise a rapist.” The Guardian. 28 Oct. 2013.
Feminism does not exist because it’s a club to join, or a themed bar to hang out in. It exists because gender disparities in society create systemic inequalities and vile monsters. As long as public focus remains on the behaviour of victims, rather than what’s causing the perpetrators, those monsters will continue to destroy the lives of women, emotionally ruin families and weaken entire societies with the menace of violence.
Wario gives social justice advice. It is every bit as amazing as it sounds.
Also, thank you to James for the Royal Society issue on female aggression! I haven’t read all the articles yet, but I was able to download them legally for free thanks to the limited-time offer. I did read the terrible NYT article about the findings and plan to respond!
Have any suggestions for links? Leave me a comment!