In this Japan gender reader: Dwango grabs some girls from the steno pool circa 1950 and puts them in tracksuits; how the koseki (family registry) continues to ostracize residents of Japan; and is the patriarchy dead–a qualified NO. Read on!
Koseki: 10 Things I Hate About You
Robert Moorehead. “Immaculate Conceptions and Japanese Citizenship.” Japan Sociology. 15 Sept. 2013.
If you’re a Japanese child born via sperm donation, congrats! You’re officially fatherless, at least according to the koseki (family registry), where non-citizen spouses are footnotes, children born in country to permanent residents are not citizens, and overseas births can lead to denial of citizenship and more.
Women as Workplace Commodities
Yoriko Takahashi. “Dwango – Female health managers keeping engineers in shape!” Akihabara News. 29 Aug. 2013.
Let’s do the Time Warp again with Dwango, where only a woman’s touch can brighten a dreary office and fight off malnutrition and obesity!
If the engineers can have a more healthy and productive day, this project is a genius and innovative idea! For engineers, it is great because they can join the exercise to get in shape, get a free nutritions [sic] lunch, and spend some time with cute, energetic girls… For Dwango, it may help get more interest from engineers who might consider looking for a job there.
Mami. “Joshi-Mane: Female Manager Sensation in Japan.” Tofugu. 6 Sept. 2013.
For more on joshi-mane, this article covers the background behind the concept. I do not AT ALL agree with the “oh, but Dwango’s joshi-mane system isn’t sexist!” conclusion.
I like the idea of having fitness/nutrition coaches in an office to help improve work culture, but to have women used as cutesy housewife surrogates in the office shows male workers that women are there to make the tea, cheer on the men, and perform gender in culturally “feminine” ways that privilege the culturally “masculine” (the male workers and any female workers who are not the joshi-mane).
Dammit, Dwango, women are people, not cheerleaders! The continued infantilization of adult women is not the answer to the burgeoning diabetes problem in Japan. Stop yearning for the days of high-school baseball, get a real RD, and figure out an system that doesn’t use women as an incentive. It’s not rocket science.
Robert Moorehead. “Can Japanese Women Serve the Nation by Serving Tea? The Jietai, J-Jobs, and Justice.” Japan Sociology. 28 Aug. 2013.
Speaking of sexism in the workplace, the Jieitai (Self Defense Force) doesn’t need a few good women, it needs Jieitai-Joyful-Job. Hint: treating women as fellow humans often works as a recruitment technique; discussing and enforcing benefits in a gender-neutral way (parental leave for all, good hours, vacation time) improves the lot of everyone. Shocking, I know.
My university classrooms are filled with intelligent, highly trained women who are looking for career opportunities that take advantage of their skills. They do not want to be asked to serve tea, or be expected to quit when they get married or have children.
They want real jobs, not j-jobs.
Pat discusses the gender politics of cross-dressing in K-pop performances.
Tatsuya Ishida. “Peak Dudebro 2.” Sinfest. 14 Sept. 2013.
We’ve all been there.
Whitney. “Is Patriarchy Dead?” Feministe. 12 Sept. 2013.
Short, sweet, and straight on point on why Hannah Rosin is dead wrong about sexism being over.
The patriarchy is not dead while parents still blame their daughter and her slutty clothes instead of the rapist. It’s definitely not dead while the rapist still beats the legal system…. It’s not dead while I am still sexually harassed in the workplace. It’s definitely not dead when I am shouted at on the street like a piece of meat.
“Why don’t you just come out already?”
“How can you be bi if you’re married?”
“You’ll do it with anything that moves.”
For all their differences, gay and straight people are often united in their problems with bisexuality. People who follow their hearts wherever they lead, regardless of gender, are still usually met with disbelief and suspicion.
From confessional, personal accounts to erotic flights of fancy to undersea identity politics, this collection of comics invites the reader to step outside of the categories and explore the wild and wonderful uncharted territory between “gay” and “straight”.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough (but I’ll be trying in a couple weeks in a guest post, if all goes well). The link also has a great video of the Beyond Categories: Non-Binary Sexuality panel at Comic Con.
Got gender-related articles about Japan? Send them my way in the comments or via social media.
Next time: A spooky gender reader for Halloween!