Saturday, February 8, 2014

Lysistrata in Japan

Japan may confuse you and confound you and perplex you, but by gad it'll never bore you. They seem to stay at least six months ahead of everybody else technologically, but this particular controversy evokes memories of suffragettes chaining themselves to hansom cabs. Or, of course, Lysistrata from even longer ago on a continent farther away. The illustration is Ayuko Oka (丘 歩子) driving her boyfriend nuts in Mysterious Girlfriend X (謎の彼女X Nazo no Kanojo Ekkusu).

Can you imagine how long the title “The association of women who will not have sex with men who vote for (Yoichi) Masuzoe,” would be in Japanese? It takes them a paragraph to say "Howdy." This from The Japan Times:

Women warn of ‘sex strike’ if men pick top Tokyo governor candidate Masuzoe

Women in Tokyo are threatening a sex boycott against any man who votes for the front-runner in Sunday’s gubernatorial election, to protest his 1989 claim that menstruation makes women unfit for government.
A Twitter campaign group based in the capital that bills itself as “The association of women who will not have sex with men who vote for (Yoichi) Masuzoe,” has garnered almost 3,000 followers since it launched last week.
Although the founders have not identified themselves, in their profile they said: “We have stood up to prevent Mr. Masuzoe, who makes such insulting remarks against women. . . . We won’t have sex with men who will vote for Mr. Masuzoe.”
Masuzoe, 65, a former political scientist who became a celebrity through TV talk shows before getting involved in politics in 2001, is widely seen as an establishment figure in a country where gender roles remain very distinct.
In 1989, he told a men’s magazine that it would not be proper to have women at the highest level of government because their menstrual cycle makes them irrational.
“Women are not normal when they are having a period. . . . You can’t possibly let them make critical decisions about the country (during their period) such as whether or not to go to war,” he said.
Masuzoe has the backing of the conservative ruling Liberal Democratic Party of hawkish Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and is seen as likely to pip his nearest rival, former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa, who is standing on an anti-nuclear platform.
All 16 candidates in the poll are men, with many of them aged in their 60s or older.
But Masuzoe’s comments about women, as well as other controversial remarks on taxing the elderly, have triggered a backlash.
Another website was launched Wednesday by a group of women also seeking to prevent Masuzoe from becoming Tokyo governor. That site has drawn 75,000 hits per day and 2,800 people have signed its petition.
“Masuzoe is an enemy of women. . . . He doesn’t love Japan. He loves only himself,” said one comment on the site, by a woman who identified herself as Etsuko Sato.
On the Twitter campaign feed, a post by manatowar3 said: “I’m an old man. But I cannot tolerate him (Masuzoe) from a man’s point of view.”
Despite high levels of education, many women in Japan leave career jobs when they have children, and social pressures to play the homemaker remain strong.
There are very few women in senior political positions — Abe’s 19-member Cabinet has only two — and company boards are overwhelmingly male.
Speaking in Davos, Switzerland, last month, Abe pledged that by 2020, 30 percent of leading positions would be occupied by women. However, most independent observers suggest this target is unlikely to be met.


  1. Sadly, the ladies are as statist as the men. They both miss the boat. By what legitimate authority does anyone, anywhere make decisions and create "wars" that involve millions of people against their will?

    Every human being (or sentient being, if you want to get technical) has the absolute, inalienable AUTHORITY of self ownership, which includes the use of any tool whatsoever, for any purpose whatsoever. Every self owning individual ALSO has the absolute and inalienable AUTHORITY to defend themselves, by any means he/she finds necessary, from any other individual who offers credible threat of great harm or death.

    No person or group of persons has any legitimate authority to decide anything different for any other individual.

    Neither the men nor the women can legitimately or rationally decide for anyone but themselves and those who enter into voluntary contracts with them.

  2. I wonder if Japan finally reached peak feminism with this event?

  3. I thought the Japanese weren't having sex, not with those herbivore guys and suchlike, so this appears to be an empty threat.