Monday, March 21, 2011

Day Eight

I haven't left my house today and pretty much stayed in my pajama's. So I thought it is the perfect opportunity to delve into  a motif I have encountered throughout this experiment which has got me itching to delve into further: the gender roles in Japan. 
Throughout my visual research and constant trawling of Japanese lifestyle sites and blogs such as I have been affronted with the androgynous nature of the clothes. The line between masculine and feminine is incredibly blurred by western standards. This also could be attributed to general body type the masses of women have that is slim, straight up and down and generally flatter chested.  Obviously this is a huge generalization. Though this is such a huge contrast to their actual gender roles which traditionally could not be further apart.

“I don’t interfere with my husband’s business, not with my mouth, hands or legs "

-Kumiko Hashimoto the wife of former Japanese Prime Minister Ryutario Hashimoto

This hi-lights the major inequality and gender bias still existent in modern Japan. Women and men exist in two realms, the man in the role of the breadwinner and the woman in the role of care-taker. This  Stereotypical bias still permeating throughout the world although considerably more left behind in western society. Men in the workforce dominate in corporate hierarchy. Thus men have increased career opportunities, whereas women are marginalized and considered as temporary labour that is expected to resign once married or having children. ( Shan-Loong,2000)(9)

However this is being com batted by a large number of women choosing not to marry and thus give up their independence. But rather pursue their careers. ( Shan-Loong, 2000) 
This shift can also be seen by the youth in their fashion. As the youth or the masses of Japan do not dress in traditional dress (the kimono) but have rather adopted western clothing styles with a uniquely Japanese flair. Sometimes you have to look twice to distinguish a definite gender.

This contrast between the social realm and the realm of fashion in terms of gender and gender roles is interesting. 

For example:

Did you find yourself double checking,zooming in? Is this our western perception distorting our vision or is their distinction between male and female dress actually blurred?

I'll leave that for you to answer yourself.


1 comment:

  1. dear bella.....this blog makes me wanna have an asian girlfriend.....if you know of any asian girls interested in free hair products and skinny unhygenic white boys from africa....let a bro know...x