gender and politics

July 18, 2019

参院選きたる。 

 

みなさん、はじめまして。すずとです。今日僕が取り上げようと思うテーマは「性別と政治」についてです。

Hello, everyone. I’m Suzuto. I hope you will enjoy my article about gender and politics.

 

最近見たLGBTQ+をテーマにした『おっさんずラブ』『Call Me by Your Name』 『Boy Erased』などのような作品も、『ドクターX』『女神の見えざる手』みたいに強い女性の主人公がいるものが増えている。そして、あの『プリキュア』にも男性が加わるということもあり、メディアや社会は多様的な性別を受け入れようとしている気がするんだ~。みんなはどのように感じるかな?もちろん、まだまだそういう活動が広がっていってほしいと思っているよ。

 

There have recently been a lot of anime or dramas that deal with the theme of LGBTQ+ or Women’s rights in Japan and in the world in general. Pretty Cure is a super famous Japanese anime for girls in which middle school girls use magic to fight against monsters. However, recently a junior high school boy became a member of the protagonist team. I also watched “Ossan’s Love”, “Call Me by Your Name” and ”Boy Erased” recently, and I read a book called “Brokeback Mountain” which all had LGBTQ+ themes. I think a lot of works about gender equality are being made in the world nowadays, and society is trying its hardest to think about these kinds of issues.

 

僕自身も女性の権利をすごく重視するようにしている。もちろんLGBTQ+にも賛成だし、好きな人が好きな人と一緒に過ごせる、人生を楽しむ環境を作るのは当たり前のように思う。一部の人は、それは異性愛者の男性には関係がないだろ?と思うかもしれないけど、いろいろなジェンダーのアイデンティティの人が認められれば、男性自身のアイデンティティの幅も広がる。さらに、女性の権利を主張することが僕らのアイデンティティの多様性に重要な関係があると僕は思うんだ。この僕の考え方に影響を与えた出来事が2つある。

 

I take women’s rights seriously, and I also support the LGBTQ+ community. I don’t think heterosexuality is the only form of love in this world, and it should be normal for all of us to support them because each form of love is different, and every form of love is beautiful. Sometimes heterosexual men say that they don’t have anything to do with gender equality or LGBTQ+ rights. However, as a heterosexual man, I think that LGBTQ+ and women’s rights are related to our rights too as well as the diversity of our identities. There are two reasons why I insist on this.

 

 

1つ目の理由は、自営業をしている祖母なんだ。僕は母子家庭という環境で育ったから、祖父母の家でよく母を待っていたんだ。いつも思っていたのは、祖母が休みなく働いていること。朝は仕事のために5時に起きて、洗濯をしたり、洗い物をしたり、部屋の掃除をしたり、とにかく忙しいんだ。その間、祖父はパチンコに出かけたり、友人と遊びに行ったりしているんだけど。そして、夜は祖父と祖母が2人で飲食店を夜遅くまでやっているんだ。そんな祖母を僕は小さいながらにたくさん手伝ったし、今でも遊びに行ったら、できる限りのことは最大限にやっている。でも、なにをしても解決しないんだ。だって、祖母はそのことが普通だと思っているからだ。そして、それを祖父も普通だと思っているんだ。だから僕も祖母の辛さを祖父のせいにはできない。だってこれって、世代間の違いだと思うんだ。母や叔父は、もちろんその状況を見ておかしいと思っている。うん。僕の世代の人たちも見たら、きっとおかしいと思うよ。だって、同じ仕事をしているのに、なんで家事は女の仕事なの?

 

The first reason is about my grandmother’s rights. My grandmother and grandfather run their own shop. My mother raised me by herself, so I often stayed at my grandparents’ house. They were busy, so I would wait until my mother finished work. Since I was a child, I have been really sad to see my grandmother’s working conditions and wanted to help her out because of how busy she was. My grandfather was busy too, but he went out with his friends and had time to spend on his hobbies. She, in turn, did laundry or cleaned their house or washed their dishes when he would go out. I have tried to support and help my grandmother as much as I could since I was a child. However, there is no way to solve this problem, because she thinks that women should work in their house and it is normal for her to do that without his help. My grandpa thinks that it is normal too. I can’t blame them because that’s how their generation grew up thinking. Of course, my mom and uncle think that this is a kind of gender discrimination. People from our generation think more critically about gender, and probably wonder why women have to be the ones to do housework.

 

 

そしてもう一つの理由は、僕が幼稚園に通っていた頃、『カードキャプターさくら』が流行っていて、僕は大好きだった。さくらは小学4年生の女の子で、ひょんなことからさくらが手にした本からたくさんのカードが町中に広がってしまう。さくらはその失敗を償うため、そのカードを集めるために、ステッキで魔法を使ってモンスターと戦うんだ。そのシーンがとにかくカッコよいのだよ。今見返しても、かっこいいと思う。当時は、何度もさくらの真似をしていたな~。さくらが使うステッキが欲しかったのも懐かしい。

 

The other reason is that when I was in kindergarten, the anime Cardcaptor Sakura was very popular. To quote Wikipedia, “Cardcaptor Sakura takes place in the fictional Japanese city of Tomoeda which is somewhere near Tokyo. Ten-year-old Sakura Kinomoto accidentally releases a set of magical cards. Each card has its own unique ability and can assume an alternate form when activated.” During the show, “[Sakura] battles [the cards’] magical personification and defeats it by sealing it away.” (Wikipedia) The scene in which Sakura battles against monsters with her magic wand made me so impressed. I just watched it again and I think it is still cool!! It’s so nostalgic. I remember really wanting her magic wand.

 

でも幼稚園生ながらに空気を読んで我慢して、よく好きでもない、なんとかレンジャーを見て、列車のおもちゃで遊んでいたのを覚えているよ。今でもなぜ素直になれなかったのかな~と思う。僕の母は僕がさくらを好きなのを知っていたし、セーラームーンやおジャ魔女どれみのビデオなんかもよく一緒に見ていたんだ。

 

However, even as a boy still in kindergarten, I knew it was not socially acceptable for me to like this girly anime, and so I was careful not to show that I liked girls’ anime and instead watched a boys’ anime called something like something-something rangers and played with toy trains even though I didn’t like it that much. I still don’t know why I could not be honest with my friends and family. My mom knew that I liked girls’ anime such as Cardcaptor Sakura, Sailor Moon, and Ojamajo Doremi more than boys’ anime because we watched them together.

 

 

現在の子供達が生きている世界は、少しずつ男の子でも「さくら」になることができて、女の子でも「なんとかレンジャー」のレッドになれる世界になってきている。いやまだ、女性の赤レンジャー主役は出てきていないね。でも、そんな世界になってほしいと、僕は子供のときの思い出を噛み締めながら思う。今、社会における男女の立場は、性役割によって操作されている。性役割を考え直すことで、女性を一人の人間として見ることができるし、男性も自分らしくなれることができると思う。

だからね、こんな不平等な世界を変えたい。女性も男性も性別関係なく笑える世界にしたい。この僕の考え方を行動に移すのも大事だと思って、僕は4年以上付き合っている彼女とは、家事を半分に分けて行っている。でも、これは個人だけで解決できる問題ではないし、みんなで考えなければならない問題だと思うんだ。

 

The world is slowly changing and changing in favor of gender equality. It is slowly becoming a world where boys can like or act like Sakura, and girls can be the red something-something ranger. Well, actually we don’t have a red ranger who is a woman yet, but I’m sure we will have one, and we should create a world in which this can happen. I don’t want my children to suffer because of gender roles. I think that now we should reconsider gender equality deeply. If we do so, we can start to see women as fully-fledged people, and even men can be freer to express themselves in the way they want. So let’s take action ourselves against inequality. It is important for us to do more than just talk about it and actually take action. For example, my girlfriend of 4 years and I have a system where we split housework equally so that it's fair on both of us and avoid falling into gender roles/expectations. However, gender inequality is too big of an issue to solve on a personal level. This issue needs society to change and this is really impacted by the government, so we, the citizens should care more about politics.

 

 

この間、Youtubeの「党首討論」を見て驚いたんだ。自由民主党の安倍首相だけが「選択的夫婦別姓に反対」なこと。首相以外のすべての6人の党首は夫婦別姓に賛成なのに。

さらに、「LGBTに法的な権利を与えることにも」安倍首相と公明党の山口代表が反対だったの。この間のViViでの宣伝は、なんだったんだろう。自由民主党が党として女性のモデルにNEW GENERATIONってTシャツを着せて、「権利平等」を訴えていたのに、「夫婦別姓」「LGBTQ+の権利」に関する質問をされたら違う答えを出す政治家がいるのを見て、すごく裏切られた気分になった。

 

The other day, when I watched the debate among the party leaders, I was so surprised. I was surprised that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is also the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party was against the policy which would allow the husband and wife to use different surnames (Selective Marital Name Policy). The other six-party leaders agreed with the policy.

In addition, the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito party are a coalition government, and their respective leaders Abe and Natsuo Yamaguchi were are against making laws for LGBT rights. However, a little while ago, the Liberal Democratic Party had advertised that they support equal rights in a popular Japanese fashion magazine called Vivi. In the ad, girls wore T-shirts with the words “NEW GENERATION” printed on them. I felt kind of betrayed because they advertised equal rights in the ad, but in reality, they are against Selective Marital Name and LGBTQ+ rights.

 

そしていろいろ調べてみたら、安倍政権の官僚の約8割が所属する「日本会議」っていうものにたどりついたんだ。日本会議がなんなのかを定義するのはすごく難しいけど、性役割を「良妻賢母」という昔の日本の価値観に戻そうとしている団体なんだ。前述の祖母の話に戻るけど、祖母は祖父より働いているのも、女性は家の中の労働をすべてこなさなければならないという、昔の考え方の名残だ。日本会議が戻したい社会は、そういう社会なんだ。

 

Then, I started to investigate why Prime Minister Abe is against these rights, and I came across a group called “Nippon Kaigi” which about 80% of officials in the Abe administration are a member of. It is really hard to define what it is, but this organization wants the country to go back to traditional Japanese gender roles. Earlier, I talked about my grandmother, and how she has to do all the housework by herself. This is the remains of these traditional values before the constitution. This is the kind of society Nippon Kaigi wants. They want to make a world without progressive Women’s rights and LGBTQ+ rights.

 

 

しかし、共働き世帯は1995年の約900万世帯から2018年には1219万世帯とずっと増え続けている。逆に専業主婦世帯は1995年の約950万世帯から2018年には600万世帯まで減っているの。なのに、まだ女性が家事をすることを勧めているの?女性が男性と同じように働いているのに、なぜ?

 

However, double-income households are increasing from about 9 million in 1995 to 1219 million in 2018. On the other hand, full-time homemakers are decreasing from approximately 950 million in 1995 to 600 million in 2018. With these statistics, why are people still expecting housework to be only women’s work? Why do women have to be the ones responsible for housework even if they are working as much as men?

 

最後に、7月21日に参議院選挙の投票があります。まずは、大切な1票で自分の意志を示すべきだと思う。私自身は、LGBTQ+や女性の権利を考えて、投票したいと思う。そして、この記事を読んで、それに賛同してくれる人がいたらいいな。

 

Lastly, July 21st is election day. This time, it is for the House of Councillors. In my opinion, everyone should show their opinion by voting. As for me, I am voting considering LGBTQ+ and women’s rights. I hope this article will encourage you to vote.

 

Reference:

The New York Times - "Tea Party Politics in Japan"

ABC News - "Nippon Kaigi: The ultra-nationalistic group trying to restore the might of the Japanese Empire"

独立行政法人 労働政策研究・研修機構 - 『図12 専業主婦世帯と共働き世帯

 

Images by Hikari and Luke

Edited by Kiara and Hikari

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