My friend Toranosuke over at the Japanese-art blog A Man With Tea has been looking for a good Japan-and-gender blog, something like a Japan-focused version of the excellent The Grand Narrative, which focuses mainly on Korea. My blog has a broader focus, but if I do occasional Gender Readers, why not do a Japan/Asia-specific one? Readers, if you have links or blog suggestions, please send them my way in the comments! よろしくお願いします.
「働く妊婦いじめ深刻 マタニティー・ハラスメント」。東京新聞。2013年6月22日 (“Maternity Harassment: A Serious Problem for Working Women.” Tokyo Shimbun. 22 June 2013.) [Japanese]
Via @kotowanko via @MariInTokyo.
According to recent surveys by the Japan Federation of Medical Worker’s Unions, 1 in 4 women in Japan has experienced maternity harassment (matahara). Maternity harassment includes being pressured to or forced to quit, being fired due to a pregnancy, not being allowed to return to work postpartum, and being psychologically or physically harassed at work during pregnancy. The number of nurses who experienced threatened miscarriages (tw: medical images of unrelated conditions) on the job has risen 10 points in 20 years to 34% in 2009; many nurses felt pressured to hide the symptoms and continue working.
Satoko Kakihara. “What We Talk About When We Talk About Sex.” UC Humanities Forum. 24 June 2013.
“We Need to Talk About This: Chikan” was cited in this piece by the author, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Literature at UC San Diego.
But I can talk about how many times Japanese men have called me “strong” or “scary”, seemingly for nothing more than having an opinion that differed from that of someone else at the dinner table (and expressing it), or being unable to keep my mouth shut when I had a suggestion to someone (a man) to try something different from what he’d been doing before.
The Personal is Political
Isabel Reynolds & Takashi Hirokawa. “Abenomics for Women Undermined by Men Dominating in Japan.” Bloomberg. 17 June 2013.
“There’s always been this futile tug-of-war,” said Koichi Nakano, a professor of political science at Sophia University in Tokyo. “There’s always been a voice within the conservative camp that the economy should make better use of women. On the other hand, there are the sort of ’traditionalists’ who want to keep women at home.”
Ken Y-N. “Simple tasks around the home Japanese husbands cannot manage.” What Japan Thinks. 17 June 2013.
What Japan Thinks translates online poll results into English. The question this time: “What household task are you astonished that your husband doesn’t do?” (My two cents: Gender socialization begins immediately after one exits the womb [in utero as far as your parents are concerned], but that’s no excuse for adults not to learn how to care for themselves.)
Ken Y-N.”Thirtysomethings and love in Japan.” What Japan Thinks. 24 June 2013.
Kathryn Hemmann. In Defense of Fujoshi. Contemporary Japanese Literature. 16 May 2013.
Extremely NSFW: graphic images, graphic content. (There are more NSFW and trigger warnings above the fold, too!)
Fujoshi (腐女子) (“fangirls”) and the female gaze are often criticized in light of BL manga, dôjinshi, and slashfic. Hemmann takes this idea to task, comparing actual bara manga to actual BL manga, to prove that there’s a huge variety in both genres.
Toranosuke. “K-Pop and an Alternate Masculinity.” A Man with Tea. 13 June 2013.
Gender is never static; it is constantly in flux, changing across time and space. How do contemporary K-Pop masculinities look, and why can’t we all rock pink Chucks?
Have any interesting gender links (Japan or otherwise) or articles? Send them to me in the comments!