In this reader: lack of treatment options for eating disorders in Japan, women sushi chefs, including trans and non-binary people in US health care, the daycare crisis in Japan, the Rokudenashiko, and more.
Food is a Feminist Issue
Sayaka Matsuoka. “I Talked with One of America’s Only Female Sushi Chefs.” Bitch Media. April 17, 2016.
So for 10 years, Ando waited tables and managed restaurants. Then, one day, she was working for a Japanese restaurant owned by a woman who decided to give her a shot.
When Ando started training to be a sushi chef, some of the male chefs weren’t too happy. Sometimes when new workers would come in for job interviews, they’d see her in the kitchen and refuse the job. But her boss had her back.
“I was very lucky: My boss asked them to train me, so they treated me very well, but new chefs that came in and saw me didn’t want to work with a woman sushi chef,” says Ando. “So I had a few experiences where they would walk in and look at me and just leave.”
Podcast version here.
Tove Danovich. “Taking Mom Out For Brunch? It’s A Feminist Tradition.” NPR. 9 May 2015.
While women had long visited each other for tea and company in the home, the idea of a woman eating out at a restaurant, unaccompanied by a man, was seen as downright scandalous.
But if you were one of the many working-class women flocking to cities for jobs in factories during this era, and you didn’t bring your lunch from home, your options were limited. As Stoffer writes in Repast, “few, if any, places were convenient, affordable, and met middle-class standards of feminine decency.”
Tulip Mazumdar. “Fear over eating disorder care in Japan.” BBC. 25 April 2016.
Content: eating disorders (but not very detailed/graphic)
Doctors say the prevalence [of eating disorders] in Japan is “comparable with that of the UK”.
However, in 2014 only 10,000 people were getting treatment for eating disorders according to Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. That’s compared to 725,000 people in the UK, a country with almost half the population of Japan.
There is no family doctor referral system, so it’s largely up to sufferers and their families to understand what’s happening and to find psychiatric support themselves.
Sarah Marsh. “How are eating disorders treated in Japan? Share your story.” The Guardian. 25 April 2016.
There’s a bilingual series of questions (English/Japanese) if you want to share your experiences living with ED in Japan.
Chris Johnson. “HHS makes final rule prohibiting anti-LGBT bias in health care.” The Washington Blade. 13 May 2016.
Although the proposed rule only sought to clarify the prohibition on gender discrimination applies to gender identity, the final rule notes commenters sought to include non-binary identities within the scope of the definition of gender. As a result, the final rule was modified to include them.
“The first sentence of the definition of gender identity has been revised to reference the application of the rule to individuals with non-binary gender identities,” the rule says. “OCR also made a technical edit to the last sentence to delete reference to the term ‘transgender identity.’ Finally, for clarity and consistency within the final rule, OCR has made a technical revision to the definition of gender identity to clarify that a transgender individual is an individual whose gender identity is different from the sex assigned to that person at birth.”
Although the final rule doesn’t explicitly mention sexual orientation, LGBT advocates say the inclusion of sex stereotyping in the rule means it applies not just to transgender people, but also gay, lesbian and bisexual people.
Tomohiro Osaki. “Day care crisis stuck in vicious cycle.” The Japan Times. 17 April 2016.
Although the day care shortage is a problem dating back to early 1990s, public outrage recently flared anew after a 30-something Tokyo mother expounded on the matter in a blog post that went viral.
With public interest surging, the Abe administration last month scrambled to compile emergency measures to mitigate the day care shortage. But child-rearing experts say the steps are overly focused on further deregulating the child care industry at the risk of safety.
More fundamentally, the measures fail to address what many call the root of the problem: abysmally low wages that often make nursery teachers quit for good, preventing new facilities from being opened.
Despite Japan’s shrinking population, the number of children on waiting lists has shown no sign of thinning over the years, due mostly to the rise in working parents caused by decades of economic malaise. As of the end of April 2015, 23,167 children couldn’t get into day care, up about 1,800 from a year earlier.
Katie McDonough. “Meet the woman who guides pregnant teens through Alabama’s terrifying abortion laws.” Fusion. 10 May 2016.
The clinic is one of just five left in Alabama, which means that a majority of women in the state live in a county without an abortion provider. So in Alabama—like in Texas, like in Mississippi, like in a growing number of states across the country—to have an abortion means to travel….
Minors in the state must overcome another potential barrier: parental consent. Alabama is one of 21 states in the country that require minors to obtain the permission of at least one parentbefore terminating a pregnancy. If they can’t get that, whether because their parent is incarcerated or estranged, abusive, or strictly anti-abortion, then the law says they have to go to court.
For people under the age of 18, getting an abortion in Alabama is a little like that line about Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire: all the same steps, except backward and in heels.
Claire Voon. “Court Rules Artist May Print Models of Her Own Vagina but Can’t Share Data.” Hyperallergic. 10 May 2016.
Over the past two years, Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi has faced charges for distributing data that could be used to make 3D models of her vagina and for creating a yellow, yonic kayak, as well as small vagina-shaped plaster figurines, that she displayed in a Tokyo sex shop. According to the AP, a court ruled yesterday that Igarashi, who goes by “Rokudenashiko” (“good-for-nothing girl”), is guilty of obscenity for sharing the data but not for exhibiting her physical objects since they qualify as art under Japanese law.
Now in English!
A graphic memoir of a good-for-nothing Japanese artist who has been jailed twice for so-called acts of obscenity and the distribution of pornographic materials yet continues to champion the art of pussy. In a society where one can be censored, pixelated and punished, Rokudenashiko asks what makes pussy so problematic?