Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games Organizing Committee President Yoshiro Mori Photo: Kazuhiro Nogi/Pool via AP
politics

Mori's sexist remarks show slow progress in narrowing Japan gender gap

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Japan consistently ranks poorly in the World Economic Forum's gender gap rankings, coming 121st out of 153 countries in 2020 and occupying last place among major advanced economies.

You never realised quite how bad Japan is until you see it ranked alongside other countries. And when you see the countries it sits between on the list, you realise that Japan has more in common with developing, often Islamic countries.

15 ( +20 / -5 )

Go Mori go don't listen to the unsophisticated. All smart people support freedom of expression.

-24 ( +3 / -27 )

Was it really that sexist what Mori said?

Women on average do speak 13,000 more words than men. It's a scientific fact.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2281891/Women-really-talk-men-13-000-words-day-precise.html

-18 ( +10 / -28 )

Can never beat a dead horse too much.... apparently.

-13 ( +5 / -18 )

Perhaps Mr. Mori's remarks were taken out of context and not clearly representative of his real feelings towards all women in public service but simply came out the wrong way in expressing his words.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

Go Mori go don't listen to the unsophisticated. All smart people support freedom of expression.

Moron Mori is a public official, and has been draining public money most of his life.

No, he does NOT have the right to unchecked "freedom of expression" in public, when the verbal diarrhea from his mouth offends those who have been paying him all these years. He is a nasty, sexist and entitled old man who needs to go away permanently.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

if by slow you mean zero never going to happen then sure. too many old boys graft networks

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Was it really that sexist what Mori said?

Women on average do speak 13,000 more words than men. It's a scientific fact.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2281891/Women-really-talk-men-13-000-words-day-precise.html

From the article: "It has been claimed that women speak about 20,000 words a day - 13,000 more than the average man"

Note the word "claimed". It's a claim, not a fact.

Again from the article: "Based on our observations, we postulate higher levels of Foxp2 in girls and higher levels of Foxp2 in male rats is an indication that Foxp2 protein levels are associated with the more communicative sex."

Note the term "postulate"; it's a theory, not a fact.

"one of the Oxford team (of researchers behind the report) ... cautioned against drawing big conclusions from a study of such a small number of children."

Even the researchers who produced the report caution against making too much of it.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

Perhaps Mr. Mori's remarks were taken out of context and not clearly representative of his real feelings towards all women in public service but simply came out the wrong way in expressing his words.

Perhaps the moon really is made of cheese.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Why are so many of the men here trying desperately to prove Mori is correct, as if that in any way would justify the comment he made?

It's still a sexist comment. It still shows very clearly that men in Japan believe women have no real place to speak in the public realm, and it shows contempt for an entire gender.

Even if women do speak far more than men, that doesn't make what they say trivial, unnecessary, rambling, off-topic, or any of the other negative adjectives that have been used to insult and degrade women when they speak.

I'd like to point out that whenever there have been conversations about the supposed gender differences between men and women, men have always held themselves up as the standard by which to judge. In other words, no matter what characteristics are ascribed to either gender, it's the supposed female characteristics that are held to be negative.

And whenever women present with what are considered male characteristics, men put those women down and berate them for "acting like a man."

You should sit back and think on why this is. Perhaps it has nothing to do with how women actually behave, and everything to do with how you view women.

6 ( +17 / -11 )

Firstly, if anyone talks too much it is Mori himself. Secondly, for those who think that this is just a faux pas by an old man, think again, this is institutionalized and all you have to do is live here and see for yourself. And finally, as I've been saying this for some time now, what if Mori had made racist remarks or a remark against the handicapped? It's all the same, Sexism, racism, and the inequalities that the handicapped face in Japan are real and institutionalized by the likes of Mori.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

...show slow progress in narrowing Japan gender gap

...

...the lack of progress made so far in eliminating entrenched discrimination against women in Japan.

the problem in this country: subservience; “hai, wakarimashita” / “gomennasai” / “sumimasen deshita” culture / keeping your mouth shut ...

my advice (to women): you have a voice – don,t keep your mouth shut(!)

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

"Why are so many of the men here trying desperately to prove Mori is correct, as if that in any way would justify the comment he made?"

You are absolutely right. It doesn't matter which gender speaks more, his comment is based on his own experience.

Perhaps women that attend meetings with him keep talking about unimportant things and distract others and waste their time. I think that's what he meant, and it is not sexist at all.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

I'd like to point out that whenever there have been conversations about the supposed gender differences between men and women, men have always held themselves up as the standard by which to judge.

I would say that a large portion of feminists women hold other women to that standard. Example, bashing them for choosing to be a full time mother instead of pursuing a career etc.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Not only did Mori's remarks show slow progress in narrowing Japan's gender gap, the feeble response from the JOC and the IOC showed that their so-called commitment to sexual equality is just meaningless words, with no true intent.

The Olympics is nothing more than a billion dollar money-grab with added nationalism, covered by a veneer of sport.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Jax Today 08:54 am JST

I would say that a large portion of feminists women hold other women to that standard. Example, bashing them for choosing to be a full time mother instead of pursuing a career etc.

I've been a part of feminist discourse for the past thrity years, and have yet to see a single instance of a feminist bashing women for making the choice to stay at home and raise children.

This is not a feminist stance at all; and in fact is often used in the way you're using it now - as a counter-accusation red herring in an attempt to take the attention away from the damage the patriarchy has done.

If you think this trick isn't one of the oldest in the book and easily seen through, think again.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

R. T.Today 08:45 am JST

You are absolutely right. It doesn't matter which gender speaks more, his comment is based on his own experience.

Perhaps women that attend meetings with him keep talking about unimportant things and distract others and waste their time. I think that's what he meant, and it is not sexist at all.

So close, and yet so far away. Keep trying.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Great article. It touches on several factors that affect gender relations in Japan, which are complex and should not be reduced to simple Western models of patriarchy.

I especially appreciate the mention of the seishain system and the terrible work-life balance in Japan, because I think they underpin the lack of female promotion in Japan. Japanese men work two hours a day longer than the OECD average. Equality as things stand would mean women having to do that as well, which would just mean more unhappiness.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

JaxToday  07:35 am JST

Was it really that sexist what Mori said? 

Women on average do speak 13,000 more words than men. It's a scientific fact. 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2281891/Women-really-talk-men-13-000-words-day-precise.html

using the daily mail as a scientific source is maybe the funniest thing I’ve ever read.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

to take the attention away from the damage the patriarchy has done.

If you think we live in a male dominated society then why this supposed patriarchy is made of only a tiny percent of all men?

Both men and women are getting screwed in it, if anything, but a great number of feminists claim women are more, which is arguable. Instead of building walls, perhaps let's collaborate?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

“ Was it really that sexist what Mori said? 

Women on average do speak 13,000 more words than men. It's a scientific fact. 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2281891/Women-really-talk-men-13-000-words-day-precise.html “

“ using the daily mail as a scientific source is maybe the funniest thing I’ve ever read. “

Lmao

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The commenters on the other thread seemed to think simultaneously that Mori was wrong and that Japanese women and anybody who even marries one have something very wrong with them.

It's all evidence of what I have suspected already. Often men who claim loudly to be feminists are among the worst misogynists.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

He should be forced to attend women’s MMA, Kendo, Judo classes. As a participant...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

What's interesting to me is how few women in Japan actually seem to care about the gender imbalance. I'm not talking about the loudest voices on the internet and in the media, but the hundreds of women I've met in real life. 90% of the university students I teach are female but 1/3 don't want to work, and they say that's not because of 'patriarchy' they're just like meh why would I want to sit in an office until the last train when I can enjoy life with my children. I got told straight by my ex that Japan doesn't have a problem with sex discrimination and refused to talk about it with me when I asked her about what some gaijin were talking about. I got lectured over not one but TWO 30-tweet threads by a Japanese woman comparing the obsession with 'representation' to analysing how people sit at a baseball game and how Western feminism sees having children as a punishment.

Analysing all the data I've seen and opinions of Japanese women together, I do not think Japan will have 50/50 men/women for a long time, but ironing out discrimination regardless will be achievable legally

3 ( +5 / -2 )

"Slow progress?" My arse! NO progress! It's all been "urges" and lip service!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@Wobot

Your account might also be reflection on the terrible working conditions in a society with weak unions. It makes perfect sense that (for men and women) spending time with their children can be much more fulfilling than spending most your waking hours doing a soul-crusingly tedious office job.

In this case, however, Mori wasn't talking about women who want to stay at home. I have heard many complaints (in real life) about the inability to progress in the workplace from women of all generations over the years I've spent in Japan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Even if women do speak far more than men, that doesn't make what they say trivial, unnecessary, rambling, off-topic, 

Mori didn't say any of these things so why did you? He said women tend to speak for longer so if more women were in the meeting timing would have to be more strictly controlled. Which as a user above posted is backed up by studies.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Recent Japanese society has shameful tendency that they lose interest soon whatever happen.

Continuing international criticism to Mori and his defender including Suga government or ruling party LDP is very important.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Older men who can be out of touch with changing social values often occupy powerful positions in traditional Japanese companies because of the system of promotion based on the length of service, he said.

This one sentence defines the cause of the near perpetual stagnation Japanese society is in...oyaji deadwood promoted to public and private leadership roles without any ability to be effective in the position, just because they put in the years and it's " their turn ".

This country is in desperate need of women and young blood leadership to realize it's potential alas power hungry Showa geezers are doing their best to stiffle progress and keep things "as they were".

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Hideomi KuzeToday 10:30 am JST

Recent Japanese society has shameful tendency that they lose interest soon whatever happen.

This.

When a scandal or some similar situation takes place, only a few people, mostly younger generation react to that, usually critics of some sort. But after a week, two or such short time, everything is forgotten and everything starts over. Older generation either doesn't care, or tries to dismiss it somehow as being marginal problem.

But the thing is, we live in an internet era, everything is connected and the world can see what's happening here. We are not living in a pre-commodore Perry era with Japan being isolated.

He should keep his personal opinion to himself and behave like professional.

Older men who can be out of touch with changing social values often occupy powerful positions in traditional Japanese companies because of the system of promotion based on the length of service, he said.

Exactly. It's not about the result here and skills. It's all about being a senior here. Just sit there, fill out paperwork, stay late in the office so you'll think people will think you're working hard. Eventhough the result is just without any value.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Dinosaurs gonna dinosaur.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Was it really that sexist what Mori said?

Women on average do speak 13,000 more words than men. It's a scientific fact.

Yeah, the Daily Mail to back up the dubious claims. That well know supporter of women.

What do the female readers of JT have to say?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It depends on workplaces and industries, in some of which women rule and predominate, and men could be banned entry or put in subordinate positions.

In Japan a problem is that there are masculine-feminine dichotomy or borders which individuals regardless of sex find it hard to go across freely at will. (It has little to do with the issue for LGBT or transgender). Men thus may feel discriminated within "feminine" fields. When visiting a gender-equal society, Japanese tend to get surprised at local women engaging in "masculine" work while men doing "feminine" professions.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In my company we have the same experience. Two ladies keep talking and waste our time. So we learned that we have to ignore them.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

In my company we have the same experience. Two ladies keep talking and waste our time. So we learned that we have to ignore them.

Learnt to give in to confirmation bias, in other words.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Women on average do speak 13,000 more words than men. It's a scientific fact.

I didn't read the link, but I do find that in Japan, women are much more social than men. Whenever I say good morning to people at my workplace, women usually respond, but there are certain men who never say anything - it's like they're living in their own world. So yeah, women do talk more.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It's all the same, Sexism, racism, and the inequalities that the handicapped face in Japan are real and institutionalized by the likes of Mori.

Agreed, apart from the word handicapped. The preferrable term is disabled.

Mori has to stand down. He's made a fool of himself, dismissed half the world, and it reflects badly on Japan.

Although, maybe the latter is a good thing, in that maybe this ingrained misogyny can be addressed, rather than accepted.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Gender_Gap_Report

If you look at 2020 and put the countries in order from best to worst, Japan comes out in between UAE and Kuwait! China and South Korea are already doing quite badly, but Japan is bottom of the East Asian heap.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Jax Today 09:38 am JST

If you think we live in a male dominated society then why this supposed patriarchy is made of only a tiny percent of all men?

Both men and women are getting screwed in it, if anything, but a great number of feminists claim women are more, which is arguable. Instead of building walls, perhaps let's collaborate?

You don't seem to be aware of the last 30 years of feminist discourse that has disscussed all the ways in which sexism hurts men, too.

This type of comment really underscores how little men pay attention to what feminisim is about, yet they feel completely free to make assertions about it.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

This just in! Mori quit!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Breaking News: Mori is going to QUIT!!!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I wonder if there would have been the same hysteria had say, Koike made the same comment about men. Somehow I don't think so.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Equality as things stand would mean women having to do that [work long hours] as well, which would just mean more unhappiness.

Perhaps it would, but working practices in Japan may also be a symptom of its male-dominated culture. Having more women in management might help reduce the pointless long hours that people often work here.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Agreed, apart from the word handicapped. The preferrable term is disabled.

Not preferable, but mandated. I have discussed this with handicapped people who have a literary bent, and they agree they have a handicap (the way a golfer does), but that they are perfectly able - not disabled.

Disabled is a far more dismissive and disempowering phrase. People can succeed with a handicap. But are not able when they are disabled. Hear the difference?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mori's sexist remarks show slow progress in narrowing Japan gender gap

Yeaaahhhhh.............You could have seen this in any school, office, or place of business in any corner of Japan, day or night, for decades. Among other things.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"We should not only seek (Mori's) resignation but also correct the background that generated his remarks," Minashita said.

That can't happen until all the old men like Mori who have far too much power and influence either die off or are shunted off to nursing homes and kept sedated. They all get far more respect and deference than they have ever deserved, as the seniority system for promotions and rigged Diet elections guarantee that none of these useless old codgers have ever had to be competent or successful at anything to get to the top.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This type of comment really underscores how little men pay attention to what feminisim is about, yet they feel completely free to make assertions about it.

The idea that men should not feel free to make assertions about feminism (or even feminisim) - or ANYTHING - is inherently sexist.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This type of comment really underscores how little men pay attention to what feminisim is about, yet they feel completely free to make assertions about it.

Some men feel threatened. They want to be the centre of attention, even if it means acting the victim.

You don't seem to be aware of the last 30 years of feminist discourse that has disscussed all the ways in which sexism hurts men, too.

Indeed. But some men won't even acknowledge this, they'll just focus on your second comment (which I quoted first, ironically).

Of course, it's unfair to tar all men with the same brush. There are many out there who aren't terrified and claiming that their masculinity has been diminished because they support feminism.

What is fascinating, in a grim way, is how some angry men will be incensed by these kind of topics. I do think that they are curiously over represented online (esp in Japanese English speaking media) or maybe drawn to such subjects like moths to a flame, but that's a whole other topic...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are many out there who aren't terrified and claiming that their masculinity has been diminished because they support feminism.

They understand what feminism is.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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