Regarding Joseph Jaworski’s Feb. 21 letter, “Cut the irrelevant gender data“: While the treatment of female pop stars is not specifically a factor in Japan’s low ranking of 101 out of 135 nations in The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap report, the low ranking is not irrelevant. The ranking and the recent AKB48 debacle (involving a female member’s night with her boyfriend) indicate that Japanese society has yet to allow equal rights for women.
The idea that women should be packaged commodities for the consumption of romantically inept men is abhorrent, especially when that packaged commodity leads to an emotionally wrecked woman who has been humiliated for a nonexistent wrong.
Forbidding a human being to have a normal romantic relationship so that she lives up to the irrational fantasies of some customers is not right and should not be tolerated.
Jaworski notes the pop music culture of other developed countries, but fails to mention that in countries such as the United Kingdom or the United States, pop stars are not prohibited from having boyfriends or girlfriends.
Jaworski then seems to contradict himself when he writes that if Japan were to outlaw performance contracts that restrict romantic relationships, the pop stars would be out of business — which completely ignores the status of other countries where pop stars thrive without such restrictions.
It’s time for Japan to start respecting the human rights of women, and start moving away from a culture that objectifies human beings for financial profit.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.