Lawmaker apologizes for sexist jibe

Suzuki regrets making remark mocking fellow Tokyo legislator

by Masaaki Kameda and Kazuaki Nagata

Staff Writer

A Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker apologized on Monday for shouting a sexist remark last week at a female colleague from Your Party during a plenary session of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly.

Akihiro Suzuki, 51, apologized at a news conference at City Hall five days after the sexist taunting incident, which allegedly involved at least one other male lawmaker.

“I apologize from the bottom of my heart for inflicting heavy heartache and causing trouble to assembly member fellow lawmaker Ayaka Shiomura, the assembly and the public, caused by my remark, ‘Why don’t you get married soon?’ ” the nationalist lawmaker said.

Suzuki, part of a cadre of like-minded nationalists who landed on the Senkaku Islands in 2012, elicited jeers and laughter from his male colleagues in the assembly that have raised doubts about the LDP’s commitment to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s stated policy of promoting women in the workplace.

Abe is also president of the LDP.

The Tokyo assembly’s evident sexism has done nothing to burnish the image of the capital as it gears up to host the 2020 Olympics.

Suzuki acknowledged the remark was inconsiderate.

“I uttered the remark with a philosophy that I’d like people to get married soon amid the falling birthrate and delayed marriage,” he claimed. “I profoundly regret my lack of consideration for people who find it hard to get married even though they hope to do so,” he said, adding that he didn’t intend to defame Shiomura.

The married father of three, who represents Ota Ward, said he should have come clean sooner. He said he has left the LDP to take responsibility for the incident but repeatedly insisted that he would not quit the legislature.

Earlier Monday, Suzuki denied making the remark when asked by reporters. His own website claims he stands behind the policy of “realizing a society with a better working environment for women” and promotes the idea of work-life balance and reflecting the voices of Tokyo women in the city’s politics.

Suzuki also purports to want to improve support for families with children by creating more small child care centers.

Shiomura, a member of Your Party, said her fellow lawmakers yelled out remarks like “You should give birth first” and “Can’t you give birth to a baby?” while she was raising questions about policies related to the nation’s declining birth rate and other demographic problems.

Minoru Morozumi, secretary-general of Your Party’s contingent in the assembly, told reporters later Monday that his party will call on the other individuals involved in the sexist jeers to come forward as well.

“If that turns out to be difficult, we will urge other parties at the metropolitan assembly to conduct an investigation to identify who made those remarks,” he said.

He also said the party will propose setting up a panel to discuss parliamentary reform in the wake of the incident.

Before his news conference, Suzuki apologized in person to Shiomura at the metropolitan assembly building.

“I feel it marked an end to the incident after (Suzuki) admitted it,” Shiomura said after the meeting with Suzuki. “For the past couple of days, I feared it would turn out such a remark wasn’t uttered.”

Shiomura said she asked Suzuki to help her find out who else was involved in the sexist jeers.

Earlier on the day, Osamu Yoshiwara, secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party’s contingent in the assembly, said Suzuki came to Yoshiwara in the morning to admit he was responsible for one of the remarks.

The heckling drew media attention at home and abroad, to say nothing of criticism.

“Marriage and childbirth are matters for each individual, and these heckles are sexual harassment based on a conscious desire to discriminate against women, and they are insulting to the Assembly member herself (Shiomura) and to all women,” the Japan Federation of Women’s Organizations said in a statement issued Saturday.

The heckling shows that “the idea of gender equality has not spread to the people of Japan, and the discrimination against women is still deeply rooted,” said Emiko Munakata, head of Equal Net Sendai.

Nevertheless, Munakata, a member of a government gender equality panel, found a silver lining. She said the heavy media coverage of the incident has left the impression that sex discrimination will no longer be swept under the carpet.

In 2012, Suzuki drew attention by landing on one of the uninhabited Senkaku Islands to reinforce Japan’s control of the chain, which is also claimed by China and Taiwan. He entered the Tokyo assembly by winning a replacement election in 2007.

  • http://twitter.com/stylo2d Mona

    Really shocked to see that the guy is quite young as I was thinking it was some grey-haired, old politician. What a f***ker

    • Steve Jackman

      You shouldn’t be surprised that he is young. In the last election for Tokyo Governor, people much younger than him voted in droves for the most conservative and right wing candidates. This is the opposite of the rest of the world. The youth in Japan are actually getting more nationalist and conservative.

      • http://twitter.com/stylo2d Mona

        It’s not as if Japanese youth (including yours truly) are responsible for voting for people like him because a. they don’t go to elections in the first place b. their votes are overturned because more old people go to elections and there are more older people in Japan. It’s the middle-aged, like Suzuki, who are actually quite conservative

  • http://twitter.com/stylo2d Mona

    His Wikipedia page says that LDP members call him the “typical rightwinger”

  • Lori

    He is not the only one…probably the scapegoat…

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

      No one had to come forward.

      • phu

        Technically true. However, it seems to me that assumes it was an individual decision… it may have been, but I find it more likely he’s taking the fall — whether he made the remark or not — and that this will be the end of the “coming forward” as far as this incident. No progress, no real punishment, just a non-apology with caveats and the old guard groupthink continues.

        Shiomura herself said it “marked an end to the incident,” which seems very short-sighted to me, and I suspect that would make it hard for anyone to credibly keep following up at this point.

      • Gordon Graham

        In Japan, people seem to accept apology more readily than they do in the West.

      • Steve Jackman

        That’s a bunch of bull, Gordon. You’ve been trolling and hounding other posters, including myself, in The Japan Times comments sections for making generalizations about Japan. Is your comment above that “In Japan, people seem to accept apology more readily than they do in the West.” not a generalization? What a hypocrite!

        Fact is that in Japan people are often forced and coerced behind the scenes to accept an apology for the sake of the appearance of harmony. In reality, they often don’t have a choice but to appear to make up in public, otherwise, their life would be made hell. It’s just a way of sweeping things under the rug and that’s why problems like this rarely get addressed in Japan. In my experience, the Japanese hold a grudge just as long, probably even longer, than most Westerners.

      • Gordon Graham

        When I say “seems” it means that’s the way it seems to me. You see, Steve, it’s called an opinion. It’s quite different from statements that start “Fact is in Japan…” And just why prey tell would “their lives be made hell”? Is it because the society in which they live is intolerant of the behaviour you claim they are tolerant of? That’s quite a juggling act you’ve got going there, Steven. I’m impressed!

      • Steve Jackman

        You don’t seem to get that EVERYONE here is expressing their opinion, not just you. This is the comments section for people to express their opinions, duh! When I say “Fact is…”, I’m expressing my opinion based on my experience in Japan. So, stop your hypocricy.

      • Gordon Graham

        I see. When you offer your opinion it’s based on your experience in Japan, but when I offer my opinion based on my experience in Japan it’s trolling. What was that about hypocrisy, Steve?

      • Steve Jackman

        No, I was refering to your saying FU to me and even making fun of another poster’s choice of handle/moniker, among many of your other inappropriate comments, which you have made in The Japan Times comments sections of other stories, when I said you were trolling.

      • Gordon Graham

        You mean after I was told to “get out of here, Kim Jong Un!” as a response to my offering a genuine solution to the sexual harassment case involving Gaba? Is that what you’re referring to? (because I think we call all agree that what you wrote pretty much sums up the FU sentiment) Or perhaps it was my response to “Gaijin Toy” who said, and I quote “you’re an absolute joke” in response to my suggestion “let’s dispose of sweeping generalizations shall we”? If people are going to hurl insults they shouldn’t be surprised if one or two get volleyed back.

      • Gordon Graham

        Here’s what I said verbatim that drew the ire of “Gaijin Toy” enough to call me “an absolute joke”
        “Politicians have many unscrupulous louts among them (throughout the world). You want to attribute the sentiment of the Japanese to those people…I want you to consider that there are voices that vehemently oppose those loutish sentiments. So let us dispose of the sweeping generalizations shall we” I think what has followed in the wake of this incident has vindicated what I’ve said all along.

      • Gordon Graham

        If the Japanese espouse the concept of “wa” and hold people to adhere to it, then how is it a “myth”?

      • Steve Jackman

        There you go trolling again. What I said was that in Japan, people are often pressured and coerced to publicly accept apologies which they may not privately agree with, in order to give the APPEARANCE of social harmony or “wa”. You do understand the meaning of the word “appearance”, don’t you?

      • Perry Constantine

        I agree. He’s definitely not the only one, and I imagine that he was the one who drew the short straw and was forced to come forward by his colleagues because he’s a newcomer to the legislature. This is not even close to being resolved, the LDP is trying to give the media a sacrificial lamb so they’ll shut up.

  • otisdelevator

    If Suzuki were forced to resign, then the rest of Japan would see that politicians are serious about rooting out bullying, sexual and power harassment from all levels of society.

    • phu

      That may be true. The lesson here, though, isn’t for the rest of Japan, it’s for the rest of the world: They’re NOT serious about rooting those things out.

      • Gordon Graham

        This wouldn’t have happened 25 years ago. Things are changing…

      • Steve Jackman

        Sure, things are changing if you’re content watching the grass grow. Change in Japan comes at a snail’s pace, while the rest of the developed world is galloping ahead. The gap between the two is actually growing, as Japan falls behind even more.

      • Gordon Graham

        according to you

      • Dikaiosyne

        “…the developed world…”

        Indeed: the developed world is solely occupied by enlightened ones. If only others on the ‘outside’ (the barbarians) would be so enlightened…

      • Warren Lauzon

        Uhm… no, not galloping.

    • ume

      Resign?! He should be FIRED.

  • Tory Gates

    This poor excuse of a human being should resign immediately. And I am appalled that elitist individuals still cling to the idea that women are supposed to get married and have kids. Isn’t this rather like the “she’s asking for it” rhetoric we hear all over the world about another more serious matter? We as a society need to grow up, and stop feeling so threatened every time a woman steps up does what she has a right to do.

    • Warren Lauzon

      While Japan (and most other “Westrified” countries could improve, it is still far better for women than almost any Middle East country.

      • 8675309

        “Far better for women than almost any Middle Eastern country”? Obviously, you’ve never been to Japan let alone the Middle East. Meanwhile, America women are 80 percent more likely to die at the hands of a gun-owning intimate partner than any other country in the developed world. Western women are also the victims of more violent deaths and sex crimes committed by strangers than any other country in the world. American women also have a higher incidence of drug abuse, recidivism, living in poverty and incarceration than any other country in the world. Also, there is no sane woman in a major city in the U.S. who’d be caught dead walking around by herself, in the middle of the night, fashionably or comfortably dressed, i.e., unless she was some kind of prostitute.

      • Warren Lauzon

        “..Obviously, you’ve never been to Japan..”.
        You mean besides living there for some 17 years and being married to a Japanese? I have also lived in Taiwan, Philippines, South Korea, and Hong Kong, and been to about 20 other countries.
        But nearly all the other “statistics” you quote are totally wrong also, as any basic fact checking will prove, so not going to bother continuing this with you.

      • 8675309

        Oh gawd, please spare us with the “wife” card! How lame and irrelevant can you get? Ultimately, Your wife’s nationality or race has nothing to do with anything you are claiming and is in fact a comment apropos of nothing. (It actually contradicts your argument that Japanese women are inferior to their Western counterparts, as you obviously prefer her over them, which suggests that it is in fact Western women who are lacking in comparison to Japanese women). Also, Think about it…My wife is German and Irish, so of course, by virtue of association, I know everything about those countries NOT! Also, in the absence of a legitimate rebuttal, your allegation is just that and nothing more.

      • Warren Lauzon

        Your original comment: “..Obviously, you’ve never been to Japan..”

        My reply: “..You mean besides living there for some 17 years and being married to a Japanese?

        ..”
        So why did you single out the “wife” part, and totally ignore the having lived there for 17 years part?

      • 8675309

        Seventeen years doing what? You aren’t being very specific are you? If you were just teaching English, I don’t think you really know that much about Japan beyond maybe the ability to order ramen or ride the subway by yourself. Anything beyond that, I’ll grant it.

      • https://twitter.com/chanceawilson Chance Wilson

        Nice anti-western and America rant with some made up statistics thrown in.

      • Netgrump

        Made up statistics trown in? Can’t face the facts?

    • Dikaiosyne

      How does one holding a ‘traditional’ (world) view about the role of women in society make them a “poor excuse of a human being” or “elitist?” Who’s to say that some, 100 years from now, will not characterize your views in the same way?

      Does making disparaging remarks about those ‘others’ help your social cause? Is it so difficult to show them the personal respect you’re claiming they’re denying to women?

      “We as a society need to grow up…”

      Because you now know the ‘correct’ way? Is it truly helpful to cast others who don’t share your perspective as not grown up? Be careful to avoid becoming a fundamentalist, as this would surely poison the well you’re wanting all to drink from.

      Be persistent. Be patient. Above all, be respectful and act from loving kindness in your quest for social change…

      • Perry Constantine

        “How does one holding a ‘traditional’ (world) view about the role of women in society make them a ‘poor excuse of a human being’ or ‘elitist?’”

        Because that view is about the oppression of women. If you advocate for a group of people to be treated as second-class citizens and then justify it on the basis of “tradition,” then you absolutely are a poor excuse for a human being.

        “Is it so difficult to show them the personal respect you’re claiming they’re denying to women?”

        Respect is earned. By wanting to continue to oppress women, they have shown they do not deserve respect.

        “Be persistent. Be patient. Above all, be respectful and act from loving kindness in your quest for social change…”

        Yes, let’s all just be patient and let the misogynists have their fun. I’m sure they’ll all come around eventually if we just smile and wait for them to.

        The world is changed by people who act. People who sit back and do nothing never accomplish anything.

      • Dikaiosyne

        “Because that view is about the oppression of women.”

        This statement is enthymemic, since it inherently assumes the validity of a world view against which a traditional world view is measured. Regardless, there have been and still are many cultures that are male dominated. It’s absurd and arrogant to suggest that each of those males of those societies is “a poor excuse for a human being.” It’s simply a different culture with values that are incongruent with currently-esteemed gender equity. Are you suggesting some ‘absolute’ right cultural value here?

        “Because that view is about the oppression of women.”

        No, it’s not. It about oppressing (or suppressing) an idea instantiated by women and others. This is precisely the stuff wars are made of, viz., the killing of ideas by killing those who bare those ideas. It’s ideacide.

        “Respect is earned. By wanting to continue to oppress women, they have shown they do not deserve respect.”

        I truly hope you’re not serious. You need to distinguish between a behavior and the person behaving.

        “Yes, let’s all just be patient and let the misogynists have their fun.”

        The term (or meme) “misogynist” properly applies in this case only if the traditional system is judged in terms of the emerging system–yet neither system can be ultimately justified.

        And why even echo the term? What possible benefit results from its use?

        I have no problem with equity–regardless of genetics or ideational bent (nature/nurture). This is the my culture’s zeitgeist, but it is, by no means, absolute.

      • disqus_1Qhy3vc14Q

        Jeez, I remember my first critical theory class too. But hey, thanks for using the old culture as an excuse for poor behavior line. God knows these discussions wouldn’t be complete without some form of pseudo intellectual excuse making.

      • Dikaiosyne

        You’ve clearly, thoroughly and unequivocally missed the point.

    • disqus_4NsfhsQIBv

      The whole country comes to a halt because a weak, stupid woman can’t handle a humorous remark. With all the REAL problems Japan is facing, this selfish woman basks in all the media attention she’s been getting over something that never would have made news if it had been a man heckling another man–which happens all the time, by the way. Women want to play with the big boys, but don’t want to get dirty.

  • LinkHK

    Patriarch and low international education country, we will force them to learn that woman are not only baby maker but society mother.
    They will learn anytime they get out of that Island that the world is moving ahead not living in Samurai days where women’s office is kitchen.

    • Dikaiosyne

      “…we will force them to learn…”

      ‘Forcing’ them is a great recipe for resentment and a failed effort for social change. Gandhi ushered in great social change without ‘forcing’ others in a certain direction.

      “…the world is moving ahead not living in Samurai days…”

      Yes–we’re all so enlightened to the ‘correct’ way now, aren’t we? Just don’t let arrogance become another obstacle to overcome.

      Social changes like this take small steps–and sometimes those steps might be lost, only to be regained later. Just take it a small step at a time while always being respectful to those you deem unenlightened to ‘the new way’…

      • LinkHK

        I’ve seen that you’d objected to almost every comments that took distance from supporting the foolish you called legislature who dear to call fellow member names because she’s a female.
        I imagine if Ghandi is alive today to see India.
        If you are one of the samurai, think and tell your friends Japan is not to be compared to Middle-East.
        Encourage and respect women now.

      • Dikaiosyne

        Perhaps it was the way I was raised, so I credit my parents, but I don’t distinguish between men/women, rich/poor, those who hold different religious views or reflect different ethnicities.

        Calling a person a name because they’re female, male, some ethnicity or because they embrace some religion (or no religion) is unjustifiable.

        Encourage and respect people now. This is certainly easier said than done, as it demands that we first confront ourselves…

    • Warren Lauzon

      From Hong Kong: “The Chinese traditional notion “men are breadwinners and women are housekeepers” is still very common in Hong Kong. Many people think that women’s job is to do household work and take care of the family. According to the result of a recent survey conducted by the Women’s Commission, over half of the respondents said that women should focus more on family than work. Moreover, an overwhelming number of people deem that women should give up their careers and stay at home to take care of family members, raise their children and do housework. Worse still, many men suppose that women are born to bear and raise children.”

  • Warren Lauzon

    Unlike many politicians – and not just in Japan – he had the integrity to own up to it.

  • MikeMcCarthy

    Akihiro Suzuki, do you feel tough when you bully women?

    • yantao

      What kind of bullying? She was just talking rubbish and was nailed during debate. Pathetic poltical correctness.

      • Perry Constantine

        What was she “nailed” on? A misogynistic slur is not a debate and it’s not a nail. It’s a coward’s attempt to avoid debate.

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        You seem to mistake abuse for debating skills.

      • Warren Lauzon

        Yeah, I see that a lot, especially on the internet. If you cannot refute the argument factually, then personal attacks FTW.

      • Warren Lauzon

        She was talking rubbish? I read most of what she said, I guess I must have missed that part. The simple fact is, rubbish or not, she was not attacked on how factual or correct her remarks were, but on her marital status and gender.

    • Testerty

      He will only feel tough if she is made into his comfort woman.

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

      Do you feel tough when you protect women?

      • Perry Constantine

        No, I feel like a decent human being when I stand up for the rights of my fellow human beings. You might want to look into it.

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

        You want want avoid giving advice based on wild assumptions.

      • Warren Lauzon

        Wild assumptions rule on the internet.

      • yyj72

        I thought Luis Suarez ruled the internet?

  • Testerty

    The apology came from a Japanese politician. I wonder how sincere it is, given the history of Japanese politicians who constantly apologize and then turn around to claim they never did.

    • Gordon Graham

      It was forced upon him by a society that has grown increasingly intolerant of sexism.

      • Steve Jackman

        Sexism and racism are everywhere in Japan. In fact, they seem to be getting worse with the rise of conservatism and nationalism. The only difference is that in this case the sexist heckles happened while the cameras were rolling.

        The Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly even rejected Shiomura’s petition to punish the sexist hecklers, Suzuki himself denied that he had yelled the sexist remarks before finally admitting it, and the other assemblymen who were involved have yet to be identified. Heck, even the Governor of Tokyo joined in the laughter after the sexist remarks were made (according to press reports). Has he apologized?

      • Gordon Graham

        Cameras rolling, broadcasting the assembly to the Japanese public.

      • Testerty

        They cannot broadcast without permission from the authority. Abe passed a law recently that punishes people who leak state information.

  • Gordon Graham

    He also said that his comment was “arianai”…unacceptable.

    • Steve Jackman

      It took Suzuki five days to come out and admit that he was one of the hecklers who made the sexist remarks. He even denied to the press repeatedly for several days that he had anything to do with it. What a coward.

      • Gordon Graham

        I agree.

      • Steve Jackman

        The problem is that Suzuki is not alone in this and this is not an isolated incident. As another story in The Japan Times today by reporter Masami Ito shows, it is common for male assembly members of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly to make sexist and sexually harassing comments targeting female assembly members. Apparently, it happens all the time.

        According to the article by Masami Ito in The Japan Times, overt sexual harassment is routine in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly and it often goes unreported.

  • Roan Suda

    The article should have been checked and corrected by a native speaker of English…But that’s a minor point. The insinuations are all too typical of the Japan Times in recent years. What the legislator said was boorish, but what do his “nationalist” views have to do with it? Of course, for a certain sort of braying leftwing foreigner, it’s all part of the same thing. Ah, but it isn’t! My fiercely “nationalist” wife (mother and grandmother) was utterly disgusted and outraged by Suzuki’s remark, but that doesn’t in any way change her mind about, for example, the Senkaku issue…Day after day the Japan Times publishes articles and cartoons bashing (and misrepresenting) the Abe government, so, of course, this article is hardly surprising.

  • Lessa

    I feel he should have bowed lower. Or kowtow/dogeza.

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  • Dikaiosyne

    “Then why bother talking about anything at all, since, by your logic, nothing can be justified.”

    This is a ‘slippery slope’ fallacy. Simply because (if it’s the case) all systems are relative or ‘subjective,’ it doesn’t strictly follow that they can’t be evaluated.

    I certainly value equity over oppression, and believe that a system that embraces the former is better than one that’s oppressive. However, I realize that my judgement is relative–a product of my zeitgeist. I’d most likely have a different perspective if I lived 200 years ago in a different culture.

    The danger I see is in becoming arrogant: an unwitting zealot with a fundamentalist attitude who dehumanizes others (e.g., “a poor excuse for a human being”), accusing them of being ‘stuck in the old way.’ It’s the “I see things better than you do” that should be avoided.

    Social change is rough, raw, slow and painful. I think it’s good to call out those who want to oppress others, but that ‘calling out’ doesn’t have to be done disrespectfully, since doing so only hinders the transition.

  • Dikaiosyne

    Your reply evidences a Rorschachian response to my words.

    Men should not bully or dominate women. Women should not bully or dominate men. People should not bully or dominate people. Yet I realize I may have had an entirely different view if I were born 200 years ago in a different culture.

    “So…a disrespectful person spouting disrespectful ideas and behavior towards women should be respected? I hope you’re not serious.”

    I believe in the inherent dignity of an individual that’s not contingent upon their works. This doesn’t mean I should tolerate all behavior from people, but their behavior is different from their inherent dignity. Are you really suggesting that a person’s dignity hinges upon what they do?

    Using the pejorative “misogynist” or characterizing individuals as “a poor excuse for a human being” is a form of bullying that’s counterproductive. Both Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ushered in significant social change through nonviolence. Please find one case for me where either attacked their oppressors by using such terms or phrases as weapons against them.

    In making a transition to societal equity, I think taking a lesson from Gandhi or Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is better than becoming the oppressor of the oppressors, as then one becomes exactly what one is fighting against.

  • Dikaiosyne

    “His view isn’t the problem, his mocking the woman is. Duh.

    Mocking someone for not holding the same view as you do makes one a poor excuse for a human being. And someone demanding ‘respect’ someone who mocks another isn’t too far behind.’

    You do realize that your “Duh.” is mocking, don’t you? And where was respect ever ‘demanded?’

    “I could ask you the same.”

    Which of my remarks were disparaging?

    “There is no correct way.”

    Your earlier words betray this claim.

    “Take your own advice.”

    I’m not on a quest for social change.

  • Dikaiosyne

    “My reply questions why you seem to think any behavior, no matter how bigoted or hateful, should be respected…”

    I never said the behavior should be respected.

    “If a great painter creates masterpieces, but was a cruel and abusive person, his masterpieces do not excuse him from being a poor excuse for a human being.”

    I agree, but his works are still masterpieces–untainted by the cruelty. In the same way, a person’s inherent dignity is untainted by his or her works.

    “You could have a point if not for your insistence that speaking out against hatred and bigotry is a form of bigotry itself.”

    I’ve never insisted this, as I believe oppression should be called to task. However, fighting fire with fire only burns all involved. Be careful to not become the thing your fighting as it can easily consume anyone.

  • Dikaiosyne

    People shouldn’t be oppressed. Period. The oppression of women is the same oppression that oppresses ethnicities, religions, and all others.

    “Besides, when someone tells me I cannot speak up regarding oppression of women because speaking up itself is being called bigotry, I’m not much interested in peace. Apparently, neither was the bigot who heckled Miss Shiomura.”

    You’re mistaken if you think I was trying to silence your voice. You called the heckler a bigot. His behavior was certainly disrespectful to Miss Shiomura. I don’t know whether he’s a bigot, but I strongly suspect he’s intimidated by Miss Shiomura–and he certainly shouldn’t visit that problem on her.

  • disqus_4NsfhsQIBv

    I like how women and man-ginas who throw around the word “sexist” are oblivious to their own sexism when they hurl sexist comments about men.

  • Carol Duchesneau

    Shameful behavior; one can hope these others will eventually ‘man up’ and do the mature thing and come forward and at least apologize.