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Ryō Kawaguchi, ICU student

The Minato City Center for Gender Equity Promotion held a “Gender Concepts Symposium” on March 25, 2006. As stated on their website, this symposium was planned as a response to the so-called “Kokubunji city incident”, along with an attempt to counter the resistance towards research activities and actions for gender equity, and the growing intensity of the backlash movement. The event was hosted by the Gender Concepts Symposium Committee with support from Image and Gender and the Woman’s Studies Association of Japan.

Mabel AU
a former CAW Coordinator

Historically, the labour movement was largely developed along with the process of industrialization. The labour movement grew stronger through the daily struggle against unfair working conditions. Following a similar logic, women workers in Asia should already have gained substantial strength to defend their rights. Particularly, the capital had been intensively involved women in industrialization in Asia since the end of WWII. However there were many obstacles hindering the organisation of women workers into a strong collective.

In this article, I am going to present the situation of women workers in Asia and the difficulties they faced in their efforts in organisation. Then, I will further illustrate the impact of globalisation on women workers. Finally, I would like to argue that a strong labour movement is possible only if we put more effort into organising the unorganized, particularly the women workers.

Ling LIN
Graduate Student, Beijing Normal University

The first encounter: curiosity
Before I received education under the guidance of my advisor, Prof. Zhengxinrong, I had never known that she was a feminist. Even after that, I still couldn’t imagine what deep influence her involvement with feminism would have on me. Four years have passed since my first encounter with feminism. I am now greatly interested in this field: Like my adviser, I have also become a feminist.
The past four years have of course been a slow process. First, introduced to a number of studies concerning women, I learned to discuss the issues surrounding the status of women. In addition, my co-workers and I had a formal interview with Prof. Zhengxinrong to learn about her experiences in women’s studies. However, it wasn’t until 2002, when I attended a Chinese women’s studies seminar supported by the Ford Foundation in Guangzhou, that I began to see where my future was headed.

 The seventh issue of the CGS Newsletter is now available both in print and online. Click the URL to download the PDF version.

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Undergraduate Student, Toyo University

On May 23rd 2006, Ms. Kanako Otsuji, a member of the Osaka prefectural assembly who publicly came out as a lesbian last year, gave a lecture entitled “Towards a Society that Celebrates Diversity” at the International Christian University.
I participated in the lecture as an interested party, that is as a homosexual male. However, the lecture was basically comprehensible also for heterosexuals, who do not have much knowledge of LGBT.

Undergraduate student, ICU

On May 8, 2006, Ms Junko Mitsuhashi gave a talk entitled Sexuality in Transgenderism as part of the ‘Approaches to Gender Studies’ course at ICU. Ms. Mitsuhashi is a cross-dresser as well as a gender studies researcher specializing in the social history of sexuality. The talk was a powerful and comprehensive presentation on the reality of the Shinjuku cross-dressing community that did not belie her claim regarding her own candidness.

Midori ITO
Executive Committee Member, Women's Union Tokyo

The full text of this article is not available yet. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Graduate Student, ICU

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Kazuyoshi KAWASAKA
Graduate Student, ICU

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CGS staff member

【The full text of this article has been deleted at the writer's request. The following is the same as the article that appears in the sixth issue of the CGS Newsletter.】

The CGS guest speaker in March, lesbian pastor Rev. Yuri Horie, has been engaged in issues of homosexuality, both within and outside the church. She warned that the church could indeed create hotbeds of homophobia. One factor that forms homophobia is the mind-set that reduces one’s coming-out, a manifestation of one’s identity, to merely ‘a confession of sexual conduct.’

Associate Professor, Ritsumeikan University

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Yukihiro MURASE, Representative, The Council for Education and Study on Human Sexuality

All of a sudden, a councilor brings a citizen’s protest against a paticular incident of ‘outrageous sex education’ into the national parliament or a local government assembly. Then, he or she draws a reply such as ‘undesirable’ from the chair. At the same time, some newspaper posts an article presenting the case as ‘terrible’ without verifying the facts. The Board of Education swiftly moves to keep the issue under its control. Such 'co-ordinated’ attacks on sex education began in 2002 and have continued until the present day.
Repeating words such as ‘radical’ or ‘excessive’ imprints only a sense of crisis in the public consciousness, but there is no discussion regarding just what it is that is so radical or excessive – about the use of a doll with reproductive organs as a teaching aid or teaching children names such as penis or vagina, for example. Terms like penis and vagina have disappeared from elementary school textbooks, and ‘sexual intercourse’ has been replaced by ‘sexual contact’ in middle schools. So just what is children’s sexual reality? Teenagers are especially subject to various sexual problems such as sexual harassment via cell phones or the internet, the spread of Chlamydia and other venereal infections, and unexpected pregnancies. They are caused not only by adults but also the ignorance of teenagers themselves. That is why accurate ‘life and health education’ from a young age and ‘human rights and coexistence education’ after early adolescence are required.
However, proponents of the backlash movement insist that this situation has been brought about by radical sexual education, and children should therefore be taught ‘continence’, rather than given empowerment. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology seems to be complying with this opinion –this is fundamentally similar to the reactionary sexual morality education of the Bush administration.
Sex is the deepest and most fixated theme in people’s consciousness. Nevertheless, against the international background of the late twentieth century, sex and gender education has started to challenge this deep-rooted consciousness. Today’s bashing is an arises from those who feel threatened by these changes and try to prevent it by inciting people’s anxiety and fear.
We do not have any official powers or authority. However, we are unwavering in our determination to fight for an education system which places value on life, sex, and human rights for the happiness of children and humanity. We wish to work towards achieving this difficult but rewarding goal through active engagement and debate with not only those in the field of education but also medicine and welfare, as well as parents, guardians and citizens.

Newsletter006: Monthly Archives