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Assembly member loses bid to punish sexist hecklers

by Masaaki Kameda

Staff Writer

A member of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly subjected to sexist taunts by her colleagues during debate on child-rearing policy submitted a request Friday to the body’s president calling for identification of the perpetrators.

The incident Wednesday grabbed wide public attention, and criticism centering on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party, whose members were allegedly responsible for the verbal abuse.

“I’d like (the assembly) to clarify who made such jeers and take appropriate actions against them,” Ayaka Shiomura of Your Party explained after submitting her request to assembly President Toshiaki Yoshino.

The complaint, however, was rejected because Shiomura could not name the assembly members who were allegedly harassing her, according to Minoru Morozumi, head of the center-right Your Party’s assembly members.

Shiomura was questioning senior officials in the metropolitan administration on plans to help current and future mothers when she faced shouts of “Why don’t you get married?” and “Are you not able to have a baby?”

She and her allies said the heckling came from the section in the assembly chamber occupied by members of the LDP. None have yet to be publicly identified.

The women’s affairs division in Your Party and the party’s Tokyo chapter also submitted formal protests to Yoshino.

Public reaction has been harsh. A Twitter message by Shiomura criticizing the heckling had been re-tweeted by 28,480 people as of 4:30 p.m. Friday. One of her Your Party colleagues in the assembly, Shun Otokita, tweeted on Wednesday night that his blog, in which he had posted an entry describing the incident, had been shut down by a surge in traffic.

The assembly had received more than 1,000 comments as of 4 p.m. Thursday, according to Akane Kobayashi, an assembly public relations official.

Kobayashi said most of the comments were critical, and included statements like “those remarks were rude to women” and “the jeers were excessive.”

Meanwhile, Emmy Suzuki Harris, director of the Japanese branch of Change.org, said Friday that the organization had received a single-day record of 37,000 signatures for a campaign calling on the LDP’s Tokyo chapter to identify who made the discriminatory remarks and to punish them. The number had passed 44,000 by Friday afternoon. The organizer of the campaign, a graduate student in Tokyo who declined to be named, said he launched the drive out of anger.

“I felt outrage seeing the news reports of the jeers,” he said. “I felt the remarks were very discriminatory since they were forcing marriage, pregnancy and childbirth on (Shiomura) simply because she was a woman, disregarding an individual’s condition and intention.”

He said he felt he had to take action so that members of the metro assembly, especially from the Liberal Democratic Party, understand that marriage, pregnancy and childbirth are issues relating to women’s human rights as well as all of society.

“Given the seriousness of the matter, it doesn’t surprise me that the petition collected such a large number of signatures,” he said.

Information from AFP-JIJI added

  • GBR48

    I would love to see this snowball, go viral globally online and lead to the women of Japan drawing a line in the sand on how they are treated.

    Unless the LDP name, shame and adequately punish the misogynists responsible, and establish a code of conduct that forbids a repeat, perhaps Japanese women might all consider being ‘unwell’ on the same day next week. Given that the party in power seem happy to regard them as second class citizens, capable of being underpaid until they marry and then fit only for the nursery, kitchen and bedroom, I’m sure Japan will cope just fine when they withdraw their labour under protest for one day of the week.

    The train service would be cut, many shops and schools wouldn’t be able to open and the convenience stores would be inconveniently understaffed or shut. Half empty lecture theatres and seminar rooms and no female academics. No idols singing, no maids waiting, no female presenters on the TV (or working anywhere within the media) and very few staff at the tourist attractions, quite a few of which would have to close.

    When the newly multi-tasking ‘Office Man’ returns home after an unsuccessful three hour tussle with a photocopier, finding no dinner on the table and no offer of conjugal pleasantries, he might head out to a hostess bar, only to find it closed.

    And if the LDP still refuse to do the decent thing, the good ladies of Japan can always hit the Ghandi button again the following week. I wonder how many millions of dollars of trade the LDP would be happy to flush away just to retain their right to treat half of their citizens like dirt and get away with it.

    I’d like to see that happen, but such things rarely do. Still, to the women of Japan, should you wish to protest at this offensive act of disrespect and make it clear that a kimono, and for that matter a tartan miniskirt is not a burqa, and you expect to be allowed access to every sphere of public life in Japan upon equal terms, there is one thing that you can do: Remember what has just happened. Politicians who treat their prospective electorate with such disrespect maybe haven’t quite got the hang of the democratic system.

    LDP politicians might not wish to listen to your opinions or respect them (or you), but they will eventually be asking for your vote. And women hold about half of all of those.

    At the next election, revive memories of this. When the LDP candidates ask for your votes, smile politely and then vote against them. Most political parties are pretty much the same in terms of what they will actually do when they are in power (regardless of their promises), but the sort of people who treat you like second class citizens are a group that you might usefully dump out of power with your vote, by casting it for their opponents.

    Because the only good political dinosaur is an extinct one.

    • blondein_tokyo

      Excellent post!! I’d be more than happy to join the strike. But not the no sex part…my bf is a huge supporter of feminist principles and I’m more than happy to amply reward him. ;)

      • GBR48

        Clearly, solidarity takes many forms. :)

    • http://getironic.blogspot.com/ getironic

      “and you expect to be allowed access to every sphere of public life in Japan upon equal terms”

      She has accessed it.

      Seems the growing sentiment around the world that people wish to enshrine is “The right not to be offended.” People have different opinions, some are objectionable.

      “I’d like (the assembly) to clarify who made such jeers and take appropriate actions against them,””

      What are the appropriate actions, anyway? Acting like a fascist and making such talk punishable by law? With opposition to caveman heckles like that, I’d be inclined to side with the cavemen.

      People will take note if they care. To endeavor to engage in the threat of “taking appropriate actions” is acting on the premise that you are not in the right and no one will see it your way unless you force them to do so by law. This is the equivalent of a little child stomping her feet when things turned out “unfairly”. By the twitter retweets, it seems there is a lot of support already:

      Identifying and shaming those who spoke up is one thing, but the implication of legislating someone else’s speech, is another.

      “When the newly multi-tasking ‘Office Man’ returns home after an unsuccessful three hour tussle with a photocopier, finding no dinner on the table and no offer of conjugal pleasantries, he might head out to a hostess bar, only to find it closed.”

      With fewer and fewer men choosing to get married and living a soshoku lifestyle, most of those men in your example are over 40 and paired with women who want him finding excuses to work late in that office. If he comes home early he’ll be greeted with, “You’ll never get a promotion this way!”

      • GBR48

        You seem to be trailing my posts, getironic. An ‘appropriate’ and civilised response in a political debate is a political one, and not a disrespectful personal attack. This has absolutely nothing to do with censorship nor political correctness and everything to do with establishing good conduct and mutual respect in professional life. The behaviour of those who should be named, shamed and punished was indicative of a shocking level of sexism that has no place in a first world country in the 21st century.

      • http://getironic.blogspot.com/ getironic

        She is a politician in a position of political power. Her calling for “appropriate actions” is far different and than someone on a board of directors at a business meeting.

        As for “trailing”, no need to flatter yourself.

      • Warren Lauzon

        You seem to be totally ignoring the fact that the heckling is sexist and totally gender based. They were personal attacks that had nothing to do with her job or how well she does it. Can you imagine a US congressman standing up and proclaiming on the floor of the House that “women are only fit to make babies”?

      • yantao

        She was just talking completly nonsences and she got nailed during debate. When it comes to US, yes i can see woman mocking man, making really sexist remarks and nobody give damm. In opposite way of course is forbiden, but who cares about men’s in US?
        I really love this political correctness.

  • Svenja

    The solution is simple — punish whoever was coordinating the meeting for losing control of it so totally and letting the ANIMALS run wild.

  • Steve Jackman

    And yet, there are still many Japanese out there who deny that Japan has a sexism and racism problem. Talk about having one’s head buried in the sand.

  • Tando

    As much as I agree with the sexist accusations I also think, that the problem has a lot to do with petrified outdated rolemodels. Men are the breadwinners, women stay at home and take care of household and kids. I have often experienced that women interpret this to their advantage. One middle aged homemaker without kids explained to me that it was them who enabled their husbands to perform in their job. “What came first the hen or the egg” she told me. When the time for his retirement came, she had a hard time to imagine him being home all day long and encouraged him very much to stay in the job. Men are still educated to perform in this system and although I can see that many women persue their own career many see in their husbands not a partner but rather the income that he provides.

    • dawnshine

      Petrified. Correct. That world you spoke of, does not exist anymore. There is hardly such a thing as a woman seeing their husband as an income!! Where is this happening? Women are not Only pursuing their careers for their own fulfillment, which there is nothing wrong with Finally having that right. But, women are pursuing their careers because they are The breadwinners for their family and Have to take on this giant role as both Breadwinner, Homemaker, Parent/Student, etc. etc. etc. There is No place for sexism in a world where we women are running the home and the business!!! That’s a tall order that no man would willingly take on and would never allow himself to be forced into. A woman’s ovaries outweigh a man’s balls every day of the week. And, on top of that, running a household and raising children is harder than any desk or labor job on earth (and yes, I’ve done it all).

  • Justin Thyme

    Nobody of any integrity is going to condone ad hominem heckling, certainly I don’t. However, Shiomura isn’t fit for the job if she can’t take heckling.

    If her reaction was genuine, that is to break down in tears rather than confidently retort with some acerbic criticism of the cantankerous old male-chauvinists, then she shouldn’t enter politics, which is notoriously ruthless and unforgiving.

    Politicians need to be strong-headed and thick-skinned. I can’t trust a person to make decisions on affairs of state let alone lead people if they react so emotionally to jeering. Furthermore, her reaction has played perfectly into the male-chauvinist stereotype of a weak and emotional woman unfit for the tough political world of men. She’s scored an own-goal.

    If she can’t stand the heat of politics, perhaps she should get into the kitchen.

    • Warren Lauzon

      The problem is not the heckling, that happens all around the world. The troubling part is that all of the heckling is so totally sexist, and ONLY sexist. It has nothing to do with how well she does her job or any other factor.

      • Scott Beckingsale

        Why is sexist (misogynist) heckling a special type deserving of more concern than other types of heckling? I have heard female politicians belittle and ridicule men, frequently, and without consequence.

    • dawnshine

      The problem with men’s sexism, is they think women being “emotional” is a sign of weakness… when in fact it is this emotional being that has ALLOWED humanity to continue. Otherwise we would throw our offspring and mates to the ditch because they are so much trouble! Similar to how men have controlled the “weak” through brute strength. Politicians are weak mentally, playing games with the masses of people through the immature tactics of school time bullies instead of actually dealing with the necessary issues at hand. So, you would rather have some idiot bully lead you than someone who is tackling the issues of a nation that affect the people’s daily lives? You get what you deserve if that is the case.

      • Justin Thyme

        Males expressing emotions is seen much more so as weakness to the point of failure, is regularly and openly ridiculed, and coercively suppressed at an early age, so I question where the real sexism lies.

        My point is about politics not women. I’m not against women or men expressing their emotions appropriately, and agree it can be healthy for society, but politicians should be made of sterner stuff if they are to get the job done. Shiomura completely missed her chance to deal with the “necessary issues at hand” as you put it. She was relatively unknown and thrust under the spotlight; she should have capitalised on it and highlighted the admirable cause she’d taken up.

        Instead, she cried. The focus shifted to a sexist heckler and an emotional victim. The really important matter of raising children in Japan, which is an absolute crisis, was lost. Media circus enter stage left; great political opportunity exit stage right. Shiomura became a media star for a few days and seemed to adopt one of the worst political traits: vanity.

        BTW, I’m utterly appalled by your suggesting offspring and mates are so much trouble and therefore expendable. Such comments echo the worst kind of feminist ideology and render you unfit for relationships, motherhood and society in general.

      • dawnshine

        I’m glad you are appalled… That was the point, but I guess it flew over your head. Men have been treating women and children (especially girls) as such disposable “goods” for thousands of years, I was making a reference to that ingrained sexism by stating what it would sound like if women were to view men and children in the same manner… Not very appealing is it? Yet, I don’t see anyone discussing this reality. But, please, feel free to take your unfortunate misunderstanding and use it to put me down as a mother and mate. That surely gives you enough information and understanding for such a feat. Bravo.

        It is unfortunate that men are expected to repress their emotions, although I wouldn’t say it is sexist, because it is other men who are mainly promoting this; because anytime men do things in a way that is viewed as “feminine” it is considered weak and undesirable, such as being emotional.

        Perhaps you are right about missed opportunity on the part of Shiomura, but perhaps this is the perfect opportunity to take heckling, bullying, and BS of idiotic, immature banter Out of the political arena. It’s ridiculous. And the fact that they weren’t just playing the old tune of “she’s a bitch” or “she’s ugly” or “she’s too sexy to be smart” or “she’s a lesbian” … as is the Usual and Typical BS (also completely unacceptable) heard in politics whence a women enters the stage. Instead they go straight where it hurts most women the most… the ability or inability to have and/or the choices of career vs children. If she can’t stand that heat? It shouldn’t exist in a professional environment, and any so-called politician that stoop to such tactics should not be in such a profession that deals with the decisions of the lives of the masses.

        There will be a change. It will not be quick. But, there will be changes, as there are now, and although we women suffer for these the most, in the end, we and our children and the future will benefit from the uprising of women in civilization today.

      • Scott Beckingsale

        The problem with women’s sexism dawnshine is the hypocritical double standards involved. If a woman sniffs a hint of sexism in the air, then she usually loses all restraint and responds in kind. Do you truly believe all men think the same way? We don’t. How are you even so sure about your knowledge of the ways of the male mind? You can’t be. As to other parts of your reply you should hang your head in shame and hopefully one day you will come to view this post as not your finest Facebook moment. Even if you believe the opinions of another are wrong you should always remember that two wrongs don’t make a right. Your comment that “Otherwise we would throw our offspring and mates to the ditch because they are so much trouble!”, I find deeply appalling. Are you claiming that it is feminist benevolence which keeps women involved with humanity, with their own species? This reveals the true nature of the gender bigotry involved in this discussion: misandry. You reveal with this comment a view of men and children as a type of disposable class of people, who are to be tolerated or disposed of on a female whim? Further it reveals that you value yourself by how long you can endure these lesser humans and keep them around? The facts are that men and women are two sides of the whole with children being their offspring and joint future; not the property of women. Historically women have played the dominant ‘care giver’ role but men have played the dominant provider role, especially in terms of the dirty jobs, the dangerous jobs and the demeaning jobs. Men have traditionally gone out to compete for the material survival of the family and this go some way to explain (not justify) the nature of politics: brutal. You seemed appalled by the misogynist treatment this pampered female elite has received from her male colleagues yet you appear to have no qualms dishing out equally appalling misandric insults to those who you disagree with. There are multiple examples of female politicians belittling male politicians with misandric insults but we never see moral outrage then from the chivalrous among us. This is quite curious. Then you say “Similar to how men have controlled the “weak” through brute strength”. Brute strength has been used by both genders to control the weak for millennia and the fact is both genders contain weak specimens, both genders contain strong specimens, both genders contain bullies and both genders contain the wise. The behavior you describe is not gender specific, it is a human universal. It is misandry personified to ascribe the brutish control of the weak to males only. Statistically the most violent domestic relationship type is that between lesbians (not all Lesbians are violent) so why would you stereotype any type of violence as an exclusively male problem? Mothers often use brutish behavior to control children. Why analyse the incident at hand in such a gynocentric manner? You then go on to claim that ” Politicians are weak mentally, playing games with the masses of people through the immature tactics of school time bullies instead of actually dealing with the necessary issues at hand”. I assume this rather simplistic analysis includes female politicians too? If the women involved in the centre of this controversy is a weak minded, immature, idiot bully who manipulates the masses, why are you so concerned with her welfare? Why do you only rush to the defense of a female, weak minded, immature, idiot bully? Why are female politicians defendable and not male politicians in your world? Could it be that you are exhibiting a in-gender group bias as a women that men do not seem to exhibit? Your views seem to imply that this is the patriarchy at work but the patriarchy is only real in the sense of a subconscious psychological projection on the part of feminists about how the matriarchy will treat men when they have gained enough political power and cultural dominance. You need to remove the feminist tinted glasses and stop conflating criticism with bigotry. Was this woman treated well? No. Are any politicians treated well in the pantomime called parliament? Rarely. There are so many real problems in the world are am stunned that the world media focused on the treatment received by a pampered female political elite, from one of the richest nations on earth, during a contrived political stunt.

      • dawnshine

        As per usual… when women stand up for themselves and point out the Obvious and Undeniable history of men using physical and mental abuse to rule the world … You dare claim misandry???? Ha ha ha ha ha. As well, y’all use the word femenism and femenist as an unfortunate title, that I don’t even claim myself! The mere fact that I defend women from the brutal nature of men, and yes, despise the history of women’s ill treatment, Men Like You (certainly not All men, thank God) call me a “man-hater feminist” or “misandrist”. You are so FULL OF YOURSELF. You write in an intelligent manner to cover the fact that you are just defending men To The End, and saying that women are the same, and always have been so it’s ok??? That’s bull. You, and those like you, obviously do not totally get my jest when speaking of women’s nature making them able to deal with the nature of the Male gender and the troubles of raising children. Except that you are right in understanding that I do believe it is a woman’s Nature to better handle these things, because her nature is emotionally attached. Definetely, that makes a difference! You want to claim that Reality as the hypocritical misandry of women? Last I checked, women have never looked at men and children (in general) as PROPERTY. That has been an issue of the Male of this species since before civilization. So, turn the tables as you might, history and present speak out against you. Because of women’s emotional attachment and INNATE understanding that men and children, of all races etc., are Human and have the same needs and desires and deserve equal treatment, because of THIS women have been the forerunners of Universal equality among genders, races, and laws to protect children… and from whom were they fighting and protecting the world????? The Rule and Dominance of men. And this is an ongoing issue in many respects and certainly in many countries. Because, Historically, a Majority of men have viewed the women and children in their lives as Possessions coupled with legal right to treat them as such, and yes, they were therefore disposable. I guess you are Denying this ancient historical to present FACT and pretending that women have behaved the same in the Majority throughout history and today. Blasphemy! Try as you might, twist reality and call every women who wants to stand up for herself and expects men to behave as INTELLIGENT BEINGS a misandrous man-hater hypocrite, but anyone who wants to Really investigate this matter instead of just Hating on every women who Continues to create and expect a greater world, including in the behavior of men in the Professional Realm, will find a greater truth. And, there were plenty of women hunters and warriors throughout history, it was a necessity to be able to function on several levels, and in Many tribes, it was the Females job to Hunt. So, where are you getting your expanse knowledge of the history of humanity?? A patriarchal biased inaccurate source, or your own Misogyny most likely, although that fuels such inaccurate sources.

      • Scott Beckingsale

        Well what an angry outburst, please calm down we are not at the victims Olympics we are merely exchanging ideas.

        Point one: Capitalizing words doesn’t make them more meaningful and its actually quite immature.

        Point two: Your claim that “when women stand up for themselves and point out the Obvious and Undeniable history of men using physical and mental abuse to rule the world” actually reinforces my claim that you are a biased gender bigot. Only bullies are arrogant enough to believe that their opinions are ‘obvious’ and ‘undeniable’ and unable to be challenged by reasonable people. Gender discussions are not hard science and are largely unable to undergo falsification so I am well within my rights as a thinking human to challenge feminist bigotry regardless of how popular it has been for the past 50 years. Really, this is a classic example of female hubris and is very unbecoming. The days of feminist shaming tactics rendering any opposition impotent are over. Deal with it civilly please as online anger really does epitomize cowardliness.

        Point three: Your following claim “Ha ha ha ha ha. As well, y’all use the word femenism and femenist as an unfortunate title, that I don’t even claim myself!”, really does show you to be quite manipulative. If you use feminist ideology, feminist shaming tactics, feminist stereotypes regarding men then don’t be surprised when you are assumed to be a feminist (regardless of whether you employ the specific term or not). Often throughout human intellectual history as a religion or ideology reaches its expiration date, advocates and followers dump the specific labels but retain the terms and phrases (tools). This is a futile act of escape for those unfortunate enough to find themselves on the wrong side of history. Again all I can recommend is open debate and discussion without the crutch of ideology and reassure you that although painful your journey out of intellectual programming will not last forever.

        Point four: “You dare claim misandry????” Yes I do and there is a growing army of people like me who are repulsed by feminism and its claims to be a progressive ideology. You will have to come to terms with this and I make no apology for this.

        Point five: The following claim “The mere fact that I defend women from the brutal nature of men, and yes, despise the history of women’s ill treatment, Men Like You”, is really where you hit rock bottom and your anger opens you and exposes your condescending nature and hatred for men. You have never met me yet you claim I am brutal and participate in the historical ill treatment of women. My wife and I thank you for this comment though as when my two daughters read this they were further distanced from the misandric hatred that is typical western feminism. They both know that I never use language like this and treat both genders with respect.

        Point five: “You are so FULL OF YOURSELF. You write in an intelligent manner to cover the fact that you are just defending men To The End”. Well this nasty little comment is more about you than it is about me. You not only conflate criticism with bigotry you also conflate oppositions with stupidity and intelligent discourse with an attempt to shield a hatred of women. Are you so arrogant that you cannot conceive of intelligent men wishing to escape the binary prison of 20th century ideology? Do you always insult men who disagree with you by playing the ‘you are stupid’ card? Can you not accept that I may actually be intelligent or does your anger stem from an understanding that I am possibly more intelligent than you? This comment is not only disappointing it is offensive and unfortunately for you it is a published comment which cannot be erased or remedied without an apology.

        Point six: “The Rule and Dominance of men”. This is a puerile comment that could only come from someone trapped in either an ideological or religious prison. Elites dominate human societies, and yes most of those elites have been men but not all. There have been many Queens, Many female Presidents and Prime Ministers and even a few female war lords. The vast Majority of men have been as powerless as the vast majority of women. Elite people tend to identify as elite, they eschew identities adopted by the masses. The simple fact is that these females leaders have acted the same as their male counterparts.

        Point seven: “And this is an ongoing issue in many respects and certainly in many countries. Because, Historically, a Majority of men have viewed the women and children in their lives as Possessions coupled with legal right to treat them as such, and yes, they were therefore disposable. I guess you are Denying this ancient historical to present FACT and pretending that women have behaved the same in the Majority throughout history and today. Blasphemy”. Once again you reveal yourself to be a biased bigot. One there are few historical facts as history is the narrative of the powerful. Two, I do not deny that legally women and children were seen as male property but legal is only one layer of social understanding and that this didn’t necessarily result in all women being in a lesser position than all men. This situation was abhorrent though but let us compare the current standard in modern western societies whereby men who go through divorce have little to no property rights, little to no parenting rights and have to endure a situation whereby the state takes a very biased position and refuses to allow fathers any bargaining power. The patriarchy was always an illusion but the matriarchy is very real and results in roughly 84% of fathers being completely devastated by divorce. Feminism is merely socialism in drag and revenge for the perceived wrongs of the past (which are in reality nothing more than a convenient manipulation tool). Finally in relation to this point you use of the term blasphemy really made me laugh out loud. Do you see a goddess when you look into the mirror? If not why use a biblical condemnation against an opposing view. Really, once again I must point out that once your anger has abated you will come to see this a quite a shameful online moment but rest assured I forgive you.

        Point eight: “Try as you might, twist reality and call every women who wants to stand up for herself and expects men to behave as INTELLIGENT BEINGS a misandrous man-hater hypocrite, but anyone who wants to Really investigate this matter instead of just Hating on every women who Continues to create and expect a greater world”. This is both a projection as well as a straw man argument. I offered a critique of your argument which you have failed to address. I was hoping to have an intelligent exchange of ideas with you but you have twisted and exaggerated my words and made claims which I never made. Why can’t you respond civilly? Not all women are feminist bigots thank goodness and some like Karen Straughan are leaders in the men’s movement. Men are intelligent and since this is a fact it is independent of your hatred. We don’t need you to accept our intelligence for it to be real. It is not only women who desire a greater world or only women who participate in the creation of a greater world. Feminism is a parasitic redistribution ideology and has not created a better world. All feminism has done is make the lives of female parasites (not all women are parasites so calm down please) more comfortable at the expense of men.

        The remainder of your diatribe is beneath contempt and won’t be commented upon but I hope you learn something from my response. I directly respond to you in a civilized manner and look forward to you doing the same to my original reply. You make no direct comment on the points I raise which I believe deserve a thoughtful response. I you don’t believe my comments deserve a thoughtful response then please, by all means, ignore me. Go back to your childhood and remember the sharing lessons learned in the sand pit at pre-school but please, please, please don’t fire back back with a vitriolic mix of ad hominem, straw man and feminist hyperbole. I await your considered response and once again assure you that I forgive you violence as I understand that breaking free from any type of cult is painful and rest assured I am here to help. Lets talk more.

    • Guest

      I’m glad you are appalled… That was the point, but I guess it flew over your head. Men have been treating women and children (especially girls) as such disposable “goods” for thousands of years, I was making a reference to that ingrained sexism by stating what it would sound like if women were to view men and children in the same manner… Not very appealing is it? Yet, I don’t see anyone discussing this reality. But, please, feel free to take your unfortunate misunderstanding and use it to put me down as a mother and mate. That surely gives you enough information and understanding for such a feat. Bravo.

      It is unfortunate that men are expected to repress their emotions, although I wouldn’t say it is sexist, because it is other men who are mainly promoting this; because anytime men do things in a way that is viewed as “feminine” it is considered weak and undesirable, such as being emotional.

      Perhaps you are right about missed opportunity on the part of Shiomura, but perhaps this is the perfect opportunity to take heckling, bullying, and BS of idiotic, immature banter Out of the political arena. It’s ridiculous. And the fact that they weren’t just playing the old tune of “she’s a bitch” or “she’s ugly” or “she’s too sexy to be smart” or “she’s a lesbian” … as is the Usual and Typical BS (also completely unacceptable) heard in politics whence a women enters the stage. Instead they go straight where it hurts most women the most… the ability or inability to have and/or the choices of career vs children. If she can’t stand that heat? It shouldn’t exist in a professional environment, and any so-called politician that stoop to such tactics should not be in such a profession that deals with the decisions of the lives of the masses.

      There will be a change. It will not be quick. But, there will be changes, as there are now, and although we women suffer for these the most, in the end, we and our children and the future will benefit from the uprising of women in civilization today.

      • dawnshine

        still figuring out the Disqus thing. Not sure why it posted as Guest or here. So, see below the same thing but in right place.

  • Tim Johnston

    I felt so sorry for a lady who is just doing her job to take the sexist abuse and have to endure the childish “Te Shu kampaku” comments from a Japanese Male who is chauvinistic and should be banned from Politics.
    Xenophobia and sexism have no place in modern society.

    I hope the man suffers and is thrown to the lions. His actions need to set an example for the next generation.
    Tim Johnston Japan

  • Scott Beckingsale

    Since when has any politicians had the right to enter into a political career and be immune from hostile and offensive behaviour? Politics has never been a vocation which attracts the nicest type of person as politics is about power and power has always been at the centre of most unpleasant things. Politicians are meant to be capable of leading a nation through extremely difficult times and I just don’t think this women is capable of doing that as she seems to be either too delicate to handle heckling or only seeking public office to represent half the population: women.

    • dawnshine

      Being “capable of leading a nation” doesn’t come by the means of the extreme immaturity of people to heckle and disrespect like a child bully. That is Ridiculous. The fact the the masses of people in many countries love to watch politicians behaving like guests on a Jerry Springer set is an Unfortunate testimony to voters lacking, but has absolutely Nothing to do with being a good leader…. What heckler and defamer and abuser has become a great leader? What is it they are greatly leading? A further propagation of bad behavior, sexism, ethnocentrism, socioeconomic privilege?? Humph. That’s a politician You are voting for I guess.

  • dawnshine

    I don’t think that is totally wrong no matter where you look…. However, it seems that it is very difficult to pull off the traditional roles these days, because, there is too much for the women to lose in the end… and it’s too easy for men to walk away because of women being allowed in the workplace. So, we end up with women taking on all the roles (and some men also doing this) and there being no cooperation nor true commitment in relationships to support all the areas that need support. Supposedly there can be a meet in the middle… but, as a society of men and women, worldwide, I think we are all struggling to find it. Women may openly or secretly desire the supportive aspect of tradition, but they may still long for educational, creative, and career independence or even support in that as well as participation from a spouse and extended family as a mother. And often men are expecting women to work since they are able to and help with ever increasing costs of living, yet, may not take up slack in the home or with children (although there are exceptions of course). Ask some men what they want… most of the time they will say they want an “independent woman who is financially independent” yet, they still also want to have a dominating role in such a relationship. Women get worn out from all this and because they don’t Have to put up with it, they often don’t; similarly men can always find another woman to take up, as women do certainly desire the emotional attachment. It’s complicated. I hope it all works out someday so that everyone can have some balance all the way around.