Single-sex carriages prompt sexist backlash

// 31 January 2007

No groping

In an effort to provide women with a safe space away from gropers, Tokyo’s subway has instituted single sex carriages.

But, reports Mainichi Daily News, Japan’s biggest selling men’s magazine Shukan Post (2/9) has gone on a particularly misogynist rant about them:

“Women start applying make-up here, there and everywhere in the carriage as though they’re sitting in front of the mirror of their dressing board at home! Office ladies are slathering on foundation and you can see their office face appearing right before your own eyes. I bet you’d never see this happening in a carriage where there were men around,” Shukan Post rants.

The men’s magazine continues in the same up-in-arms tone: “You can even see some women eating! And others blab away for ages on their mobile phones. There’s no end to their poor manners.”

The men’s weekly then rounds off its article quoting writer Chiaki Aso to back up its claims.

“These women don’t realize that they could be making some people uncomfortable when they’re putting on their make-up, but I guess the lack of awareness of other people’s feelings is a sign of the times. They’re like that in carriages where men and women ride together, so when they get in a place where there’re only other women, it’s no wonder they get lazy,” the incensed writer gripes to Shukan Post. “I think they should be more concerned about their own adherence to public morality before they do their make-up.”

Public morality?! I’m going to generously put that down to mistranslation.

Meanwhile, calls have continued to come in for Japan’s health minister Hakuo Yanagisawa to resign over his assertion that women are baby-making machines. However, Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, doesn’t think he needs to quit.

Photo by Elijah, shared under a Creative Commons license

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