Saturday 26 March 2011

The murky area of equality...

Thank you to the anonymous commenter who left the links about feminism. Forgive my ignorance, I throw the word feminism around a little too lightly, I know.
However, it really got me thinking about the whole topic, and I realised I really don't think equality is ever possible, and then I thought, 'hang on, have I been in Japan too long?? Would I really have that stance if I didn't live in a country like Japan that is pretty obviously far behind in the male/female equality stakes??'

I think I believe in capabilities. Men are usually more capable of doing hard physical labor. Fair to say? So that's why the majority of jobs involving hard physical labor are done by men. Of course there are always exceptions but I think it's fair to say that women are usually physically weaker than men.
By the same token there are jobs that women are naturally better at than men. My son's daycare has a 100% woman staff. Equal? No. Make sense? Yes. Of course some men are great at taking care of little kids but it's generally women who do those sorts of jobs.

I don't think equality is realistic, and if it was, I'd be fucked. As much as I hate cooking and cleaning, I'd hate to fix shit that breaks in my house and help people move house even more. Inequality is everywhere, and to a certain extent, I think that's why the world works. As a business owner, I sure as fuck would think twice before employing a young woman because of the chance she would get pregnant and quit. Harsh but realistic. And on the flip side, I'd sure as fuck think twice about employing a man because we teach kids and kids are less afraid of women instinctively. Harsh. But fucking reality.

"You are a feminist if you believe women should have equal rights as men"

I don't.

I also don't think men should have equal rights as women. We are different, fuck the brain and it's patterns. We're different no matter how many scientists do studies and contradict each other just to confuse the rest of us. We. Are. Different. I don't know how or why or how many neuroscientists it takes to change a light bulb but I do know that since the cavemen went hunting and the women stayed home and protected the nest, that's just the way things are.

But then being in Japan is hard, it may have skewed my view... I still get angry that girls never participate in baseball or soccer clubs here, because they might not be as good or fast or strong as the boys, but at school level that could give it a crack rather than holding the boys' water bottles and cleaning the change rooms. Seriously. There are times when I think that Japan is so backward with gender equality that it makes me ill. But then, things get done in Japan. Not perfectly or flawlessly but people know their role and usually get on without too much bellyaching and whinging.

What do you think about gender equality?? Are you for 50/50?? Can you do everything the opposite sex can?? Something to think about anyway.


  1. Ok, thank you. Can we now move on to the doll f**ker and the door spraying?

    Being a man in Japan is really easy, I kinda like to cook sometimes (even though the quality is maybe not that great) and usually cook during weekends making me look like a saint among Mrs. Sunshine's friends.

    On the other hand, I'm a complete technical moron, can't fix for shit... Oh, and I don't have a driver's license either, that's a sore spot for Mrs. Sunshine since she hates driving!

  2. I think we all should have the same rights and that there should be a level playing field to begin with. But then everyone should choose what they want and not be judged on it. So if you want to live your life in a typical women's role, that should be cool, but if you want something completely different, then that should be cool too and society shouldn't judge you. Same goes for men of course. I don't think any society is quite there yet though.

  3. I'm fully for equality when it comes to having the same opportunities and rights but I don't think that ever means being the same. Because I used to work in IT before I came to Japan, I copped a fair bit of sexist behaviour which has really pissed me off but, when it comes to dating etc I prefer guys who act like men.

  4. I am not a feminist.
    My mum is not a feminist.
    My nan is not a feminist.

    I'm not because I believe it is harmful.
    My mother isn't because it creates unrealistic expectations for women that they have to have it all.

    P.S. I like your blog.

  5. But I believe in equality as in being held to the same account under the law.

  6. agree with that post. Well written. I think there are areas men and women are better equipped for. We are wired differently. It's proven. My husband's a twat quite often. Proof in point. I believe in equality in the workplace though, but if you are hired as a tea woman then don't get all pissy about having to serve tea.

    and re the no looting - there was a person who smashed open an ATM machine but yes, no looting of personal belongings per se.

  7. I am a femminist. I stay at home and look after the kids. I still am femminist. I cook every meal for my husband and do most of the cleaning. I used work with kids and love it. I would still call my self a femminist. WHY? because I CHOSE. If i wanted to work I could. Are my son and daughter equal in my eyes? YES DIfferent but equal. Outside of the home? NO the are not equal. I think there are many types of feminist. I believe in the right to chose. I will fight for my sons right to work with kids and my daughters right to be an engineer. Not everyone wants to be a SAHM. Without femminist there would be fewer choices for my daughter. I thank them. My daughter will grow up in japan and I worry.

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  9. @gaijinwife

    "and re the no looting - there was a person who smashed open an ATM machine but yes, no looting of personal belongings per se."

    A person? An ATM? No stealing of personal items?
    Glad you got the info..LOL.

    Just one of many contradicting pieces. They are freezing and hungry...of course they are grabbing shit for their own survival.

    "no looting of personal belongings per se."

    I'm in awe of the lengths that people are going to to make this country look abnormally superhuman,peace filled and just pure awesome!!

    Get a grip.

    I would be a looter too if that was the choice between food and hunger...warmth or freezing.

    The O.P. didn't mention looting so you were talking to me. Please don't unless you know what the **** it is your talking about

  10. So, you believe men and women are inherently different, but do you believe men and women should have the same opportunities in life as far as education and work and participating in politics (voting, etc)? because if you do, I hate to tell you but you are a feminist. If you truly believe women should not have the same rights as men, then you are not. I would say, believe what you want, but don't take actions to prevent other women from being able to do what they want in life. If you have a daughter, would you want her to have fewer opportunities than your son? If your daughter was fantastic at math and wanted to be in a traditionally male occupation such as engineering, would you discourage her?

  11. I get it. Nothing wrong with traditional roles if you do it by choice. My cousin Candy fixes cars.

  12. I definitely am not a traditional "feminist," though of course socially I'm all for equality between the sexes. For instance, I don't believe that females firefighters should exist. Hell, if I were in a burning building and someone had to carry me out, bring on a big burly man!!! There's no way that a woman (let's say she weighs around 150 lbs or so) can effectively rescue people.

    You're right: our minds may be "similar," but our bodies will never be. Jobs requiring upper body strength should be left to the gruffer sex. And like you, I also appreciate good, gentlemanly manners and love it when men open/hold open doors for me (I'm in America so this is pretty much the norm).

    I also work in finance and this is an industry that's probably 75-80% male. I do find it sad that females still take on many liberal arts-types of jobs and males are predominantly the engineers/bankers/etc. This is exactly why the wage disparity exists (this, along with the fact that many women have kids and take leaves and then start working part-time, etc. so it's tougher for them to break through the glass ceiling).


  13. I am a feminist. I am doing all I can to raise my children -- boys and girl -- to have feminist values, too.

    If a woman can pass the physical requirements to be a fireman, then by all means, I want her to carry me out of the burning building. If a man wants to get a degree in early childhood education and work in a hoikuen, then by all means, I want him to look after my kids.

    Equality under the law does not mean there are no physical differences. Only women give birth and lactate, and most men are physically stronger than most women. This does not mean that generalizations about these physical realities should prevent any individual, man or woman, from reaching his or her full potential to contribute to society.

    Feminism to me (and as I am teaching it to my kids) means, equal opportunity based on ability, ragardless of gender.

  14. @ Chris.

    Apologies. I shouldn't fling round bits of useless information. The morning news wasn't very forthcoming with the persons name. I also haven't read all the articles about everything but from my very limited watching of the Japanese news there was nothing about people stealing other people's belongings. Not like the Christchurch earthquake that had numerous articles and the like about people going into other people's houses and stealing.

    Personally, I think Japan is coping with a devastating situation a lot better than many other countries would. A lot more peacefully.

    I'll shut the **** up now.

  15. @Gaijin Wife

    I think you're being very polite to 'Chris' response to your post...


  16. Hey Corrine,

    I'm not sure those scientists are trying to confuse the rest of us deliberately, you know? They keep coming up with confusing answers because it's a confusing subject ;)

    It's the whole nature/nurture thing. I reckon that there are probably 'natural' tendencies towards certain male/female behaviour, but these are massively reinforced (or overridden) by how we expect boys/girls/women/men to behave. More so in some societies than others.

    So when you say there are some jobs women (or men) are 'naturally' better at it's not really clear at all. Are the high school girls 'naturally' better at carrying water bottles, or is that just how they're expected to behave?

    'Equal Rights' is also a tricky one. Surely if 'Rights' don't apply to everyone equally they're worthless? I can see that questions of equality have large grey areas, but right are pretty much all-or-nothing.

  17. Chris, you are gross in your language and attitude. Gaijinwife, don't apologise.

  18. I think you are confusing "equal rights" with "the same rights". Men and women are obviously not the same, but can't they have equal or "equivalent" rights and opportunities? And yeah, in general, men are stronger physically than women (though anyone who has given birth knows women have greater endurance and higher pain thresholds). But have you been to Tokyo recently? The number of cute, but skinny, wimpy boys here - I'd rather be rescued from a burning building by a strong woman in that case.

  19. Great points everyone! It's an issue that will probably never have any clear answer though I guess!

    Oooooo bad boy bein challenged eh... I love a good fight within my comments section. Go crazy ladies! I think Chris makes a very good point about looting and has some good evidence on his post about it, but fair play to gaijinwife who apologised and called hereslf out on her mistake and is also just a fucking great lady.

  20. I'm sorry Corinne for using your blog as a platform for my distaste for your bloggy friend, the Man Idiot - Kris. I read your blog quite often, am sometimes taken aback by your language but being Australian, yep, that's how it is. Your stories are entertaining and the way you came out explaining your take on feminism ... so straight forward and makes sense. Seems like you're having a hell of a hard time at the moment and here's wishing for more calm in your life and also success in your business. I looove Japan but have only visited as a tourist a few times and intend to base my life there later for a few months each year, just myself, no Man Idiots, and I do realise that it's not all politeness and everything you imagine Japan to be when you are on holidays. Reading your blog is also a less in gaijin culture in Japan.

  21. Gender is a social fabrication. Don't let it hinder you, and don't let others hinder you because of it.



  22. @Chris
    Before you 'reply' to any of the (most excellent) 'Anonymous' posts commenting on your spectacular display of aggressive, defensive and arrogant 'manliness' check this out, take some advice...
    Corrine why are you being so diplomatic with this dude? Well I guess his hijacking of this comment section proves your point in a way. So disappointing and depressing.

  23. I'm too old for all of this. Women should the same rights as men. As to what they want, I guess each person should just write it down on a piece of paper and tell anyone who wants to read it to fuck off and mind their own business.

  24. Being equal doesn't mean being identical.

    And I think equality is not realistic but definitely is an good ideal to yearn for.

  25. To Anon poster @ 11:28:

    I see your point but I don't think my point was made lucid enough. To put it bluntly, if you're weak, stay the hell out of jobs requiring physical labor. Especially those that can lead to life or death for others. This applies to both sexes, of course.

    There is a gap in your logic, as well: I'm not implying that I want to be resuced by a random weak CIVILIAN, but a trained firefighter. And among the firefighters, I believe men will be able to carry out people MORE EFFICIENTLY than women. I'm not doubting female power nor endurance.

    Again, both sexes have pros & cons and the streotypes that go along with each. But I say this: stereotypes exist for a reason.


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