Japan: Are you a man or a woman?

Me: Me?

Japan: Yeah, i never know exactly who i’m talking to. You’re just called, “Me”.

Me: Well, that’s who i am. Does it make a difference?

Japan: Well, yeah, i mean, it might change how i talk to you.

Me: So, you’d treat me differently if i was a woman?

Japan: Well, yeah, i guess.

Me: So, for example, if i was a woman you might objectify and fetishise me in ways you very rarely do with men? Would you treat me more as some kind of cute, smiley decorative thing to be viewed and admired physically rather than mentally.

Japan: Erm…maybe?

Me: Isn’t that a bit, well, sexist?

Japan: Sexist? No, no, no. It might be a bit unfair though.

Me: Unfair?

Japan: Yeah.

Me: But not sexist?

Japan: Right.

Me: What about the social stereotype that your men don’t want a woman who has a bigger brain or pay cheque than himself so his ego can remain firmly intact?

Japan: That’s a bit silly isn’t it? Unfair really.

Me: But not sexist?

Japan: No, no, no. Not sexist.

Me: And what do you think about the women who are in their 30s who are referred to as “Christmas Cakes” because they’re passed their “use by date” and nobody wants one anymore?

Japan: Also unfair. Childish really.

Me: But not sexist?

Japan: No, no, no. Not sexist.

Me: Do you have an opinion on the blurred, legal, illegal interpretation of prostitution laws? And hostess bars? And armfuls of pornography available in the convenience stores?

Japan: Erm, well, i guess it’s all good fun for the fellas.

Me: And for the other half of the population?

Japan: Yeah, it is a bit unfair isn’t it? Exploitative even.

Me: But not sexist?

Japan: No, no, no. Not sexist.

Me: And did you hear about the diplomatically retarded governor of Osaka who said that female sex slaves were “necessary” in World War Two so men could “maintain discipline” and “get some rest”?

Japan: Yeah, that was a surprisingly, ignorant and stupid and thing to say.

Me: But not sexist?

Japan: No, no, no. Not sexist.

Me: And the almost complete absence of women in politics?

Japan: It’s, yeah, regrettable.

Me: What do you make of the Gender Gap Report 2012 that ranked Japan at 101st place; lower than Bangladesh and Tajikistan?

Japan: That’s slightly unfortunate. Definite room for improvement there.

Me: And the fact that such reports never seem to get that much oxygen and daylight in the media because most of your news editors are, well, men?

Japan: Seems a touch unprofessional. Unfair really.

Me: But not sexist.

Japan: No, no, no. Not sexist.

Me: What do you think of the social stigma attached to working mothers that limits family choices and forces people to quit careers at companies that provide little or no childcare or maternity leave even though your working population is shrinking and the IMF stated just this year that “low female labour force participation represents a significant missed opportunity to strengthen economic development and growth in many countries”? All the while you seem to be happy to continue with the stereotype of women as being child rearing, kitchen dwellers.

Japan: It’s a bit outdated, isn’t it? Old fashioned.

Me: But not sexist?

Japan: No, no, no. Look all these issues you’ve brought up here are very important but they don’t have anything to do with gender or equality.

Me: Don’t they?

Japan: No, no. The issue here is whether you’re unlucky enough to be born female.

Me: And if you are?

Japan: Well, let me just say right now that being born female is definitely not sexist.

Me: Erm…okay…But it might be a slight disadvantage as far as you’re concerned?

Japan: Possibly, yes.

Me: A hindrance?

Japan: At times, maybe.

Me: Unfair even?

Japan: Right.

Me: But it’s not sexist?

Japan: Absolutely not.

Me: OK. Well, thanks for clearing that up.

Japan: No problem.


May 27, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized.

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