Japan’s voters seem apathetic to sexist pols

Regarding Philip Brasor’s June 29 Media Mix column, “Sexist remarks seen through a clouded lens“: I find it ironic and quite hypocritical that Tokyo assembly member Ayaka Shiomura, who spent most of her professional life perpetuating the marginalization of women, now plays the victim when that sexism no longer plays in her favor.

The Japanese media may often be the vehicle for propagating an ethos of misogyny, but many women also choose to enable that sexism when they emulate such vapid female TV personas as Shiomura’s [before she was an assembly member].

It is encouraging that this controversy has created such constructive dialogue, but I think it is naive to think that there will be a true sea change in Japan without considering why politicians here feel empowered to make such remarks. Could it be that they feel entitled to do so because they were chosen by a male/female electorate who have historically been apathetic to [the politicians'] well-documented sexist ideology?

In a society where such discrimination and harassment is so pervasive, everyone is complicit. I can only hope this groundswell of public censure maintains its momentum and evolves into some meaningful soul-searching as to why so many voters have passively enabled such repugnant behavior for so long.

north k. compton
tokyo

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.

  • Tando

    very well said