6.9.06

Sexism Watch #2: What the news forgot to say

AFP's headline, as blurbed in Today:
Japan's Princess Kiko gave birth Wednesday to the royal family's first boy in more than 40 years, the palace said, easing a long-running succession crisis.
Failing to add:
... which only arose because Japanese society is bloody sexist and gave itself a laughable aneurysm over the possibility that a woman might inherit the throne someday.
Welcome to the twenty-first century, where centuries-old sexism passes unremarked but heaven forbid that the media or the politicians go for half a day without fingerpointing at "Islamic fundamentalists" or their political opponents in outraged tones.

I'm not saying there aren't other sexist societies or practices in the world. I'm just pointing out that amidst all the hoopla surrounding this little boy's birthday, let's not forget what some people are really celebrating, huh?

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7 Comments:

At 9/06/2006 1:39 pm , Blogger cour marly said...

*nods in ABSOLUTE agreement

I was mean enough to wish they messed up with the boy prediction and that Kiko has another girl instead.

 
At 9/06/2006 2:28 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Japan is a country like no other - and I can say this because I have lived and worked there.

Sexism, racism and homophobia are entrenched in that society. Also, other quirks include the reverence with which they bestow on their royalty and their emphasis on preserving the so-called Japanese way of life. These are things one can never understand unless one is Japanese. A foreigner can live his or her lifetime in Japan and still not understand it.

So whilst in principle I disagree with the sexism, I am happy for the Japanese. Because this has prevented their society from suffering a meltdown or going into a tailspin - these last 15 years have not been kind to their society and I guess the last thing they wanted was one more nail on the coffin representing the japanese way of life.

 
At 9/06/2006 5:32 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am still living in Japan and i can tell you, no one in my office(no, i am not working as an english teacher or anything related to it) cares a damm about the birth of the boy and ceertainly not me, the only gaijin there. And i have not heard a single word/excitment etc over the boy..i thnk it is only the die-hard tradtionalist lah.
and i doubt the society will go into a tailspin if a girl was born instead. life goes on..even for the japanese.
Sexism..yes...racism ..yes..but err..homophobia..i dun think so...they just have a gay and lesbian parade at yoyogi park last month...depends on which country you are comparing to, i guess

 
At 9/07/2006 2:31 am , Blogger Postmaster-General said...

I recommend you read The Chrysanthemum and the Sowrd, by Ruth Benedict. Japanese culture is a shame culture, not a guilt culture... heh... so things work a little different.

Yes it is very sexist, but then again so are the Koreans. Sometimes it's hard to impose western standards on other cultures.

 
At 9/07/2006 4:23 am , Anonymous nardac said...

Their emphasis on preserving the Japanese way of life includes racism and sexism? Japanese people are obviously paradoxal in their technophilia yet conservatism... Is this really a paradox or is this just another extension of our prejudgements on technology as morally superior?

In any case, I don't think the west is immune to sexism. It just happened to coin a word to recognise its existence. Sexism is cannot be defended as cultural property since sex is not culturally determined.

 
At 9/07/2006 11:43 pm , Blogger littlecartnoodles said...

One good thing that might come out of this is that the pressure is off poor Princess Masako.

 
At 12/22/2007 8:27 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Britain is just as sexist as anywhere else in the world when it comes to royalty, males predominate females when it comes to who,s next in line to the throne, princess Anne was the second child to be born to the queen out of 4 children (3 males and 1 female) but comes 4th in line out of those 4 children just because shes female, one of those 4 children prince Edward has just become a father for the second time with a son, but that son has just instantly become 8th in line to the throne pushing his elder sister down to 9th place, WHY???? this is the 21st century and we do have laws against sexism so why is it that it still happens in royalty, when is something going to be done to stop this blatant sexism.

 

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