Tuesday, August 01, 2006

'Women only' signs make Japan's men fume

Wed 19 Jul 2006
'Women only' signs make Japan's men fume

AT THE time, most people agreed it seemed a good idea: carriages on Japanese commuter trains set aside specifically for females would dramatically reduce the number of women being molested by the chikan who get their kicks by having a sly fondle among the tightly packed bodies. And it worked.

The idea was so effective that it was quickly adopted by numerous train companies across the country, with pink signs adorning certain carriages warning men to keep their distance.
What is less welcome, however, is the sudden embracing of an entire male-free environment by whole sectors of the Japanese service industry.

It has become so common to see "no males" signs outside stores, restaurants, hotels, spas and even entertainment outlets that the victims of this policy are beginning to grumble that they are becoming second-class citizens.

"I completely supported the whole thing with women-only train carriages, even though it made my commute more difficult because there always seemed to be room in those carriages while us men were squeezed together tighter than ever," one Tokyo businessman said.

"But now it's just getting silly. I couldn't even get into my gym at my regular time last week because they have introduced a 'women-only' hour in the early evening."

Responding to a survey in the weekly news magazine Aera, 55 per cent of men said matters have gone too far. Perhaps surprisingly, 40 per cent of women agreed, saying the complete exclusion of men amounts to sex discrimination.

Men turning up at restaurants are being turned away because the women-only lunch special is on the menu, while convenience stores, cinemas and even pachinko parlours - the pinball gambling game that is the staple for the weary workers - are out of bounds for the boys, either permanently or for parts of the day.

"All these other establishments are simply jumping on the women-only bandwagon because they see an economic opportunity in it," says Toshiko Marks, a professor of multicultural understanding at Shumei University.

"It's well-known that single women today have a lot of money, so companies are exploiting that. Men are definitely starting to complain."


Blogger Bob said...

Whites only, women only, no Jews, its all the same bigoted crap.

9/27/2006 06:50:00 AM  

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