Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by distressed_romeo, Jul 25, 2006.
Please tell me that they dont teach you that in school ?
OK, twenty replies have gone by without someone stepping up and being the thread sleezeball. So, I'm just going to have to be the one to do it...
When I read "women only trains and restaraunts", I instantly thought of hundreds of hot lesbians having at each other. I guess my way of thinking is exactly the reason they need someplace else to go.
This DOES happen, but it's not nearly as common as newspapers make it out to be. I've lived in Japan for over 2 years (been in Japan off and on for about 5 years) and I've only seen people reading "porn" on trains about 2-3 times. And, those "porn" magazines are not porn magazines in the American or European sense of the term. For one thing, in Japanese porn, you cannot show genetalia (no penis, vagina, or anus showable. Therefore, extreme mosaics). For another thing, the magazines these guys read on trains are more "shuukanshi" than "porn." They generally are 60-80% articles, oftentimes dealing with politics, business, or news with some sleazy articles thrown in and some topless women in there. Depending on the extremity of the magazine, there are magazines that have more extreme stuff going on like S&M, oral sex (but you can't really see anything), etc. However, I have never seen any magazines like that in trains. The worst I ever saw was when a guy was blatantly trying to be rude (not just to women) and he had one of the sleazier "shuukanshi." But, really, that's very very tame compared to porn magazines in the US. That said, I find it offensive when I'm sitting next to a guy who is reading a porno. About 3 months ago, I was standing next to a guy who was reading a sleazy newspaper and there was a half-page spread of a topless woman (the only thing she was wearing were panties) acting very erotic.
Like I said, my biggest problem with Japan has always been the treatment of women. I didn't say that I don't think they should change. I probably think they should change more than anyone else on this board. But I know that they aren't going to change in the near future.
One thing I've noticed is that every single newspaper article or internet article I've read based in an English speaking country regarding Japan has been blown way way way out of proportion.
I remember a newspaper article that really bothering me that I read when I was 18. I went to my girlfriend (who was Japanese) immediately after I read it and I was like "This is horrible." and she said "What...? That's not true. If Japan were really like that, it'd be chaotic. I'd be really screwed up." And, I felt relieved. Shortly after, when I went to Japan, I found that the article had NOT ONLY blown stuff out of purportion, the majority of the article was just plain made up. I don't know how people get away with this. I have this image of people writing newspaper articles in the US, Canada, UK, etc. just thinking "Hell, none of readers know anything about Japan anyway. And it's not like they can find out whether it's true or not. Writing something sensational like this will get us more readers."
I think the article you read, distressedromeo, was blown completely out of proportion and full of false information. I find that there is a lot of misinformation regarding Asia in the West.
When I was 13, I remember looking up "Japanese Language" in the Encyclopedia Britannica and one thing it said was "In Japanese, there are no words for 'yes' or 'no', dialogues given in a format of 'do you have some money?' 'I have some money.'" When I first read that, I thought "That doesn't sound right." I started studying Japanese when I was 14 and found within the first few days of study 2 words for "yes" and 2 words for "no." As of now, after about 10 years of studying Japanese, I know about 25 words for "yes" and about 15 words for "no." That's a fuck of a lot more than English. Where did that idiot who wrote that encyclopedia article get his information? His butt?
^from the porn magazines, obviously
It's where the encyclopedia guy got his info...ok that was a failed joke
I thought that's what you meant, but it didn't really make sense, so I had to make sure.
Definitely a failed joke.
I got the joke...
And what was that article that you showed your girlfriend about anyway?
Not worth mentioning since it was 100% lies. I read that over 5 years ago before I had majored in "Japanese studies", went to college in Japan, or worked in a Japanese company. In order words, there was no way I could have known whether it was true or not, which is probably what a lot of these newspapers and magazines are counting on when they write these articles. Now I am very familiar with Japanese history, culture, religion, society, art, language, international relations, politics, music, cinema, literature, etc. and I know that things stated in that article were of either pure ignorance or just blatant disregard for reality.
The female-only areas thing is true, but I think that article probably blew it way out of proportion and misrepresented it. There is also the thing where newspapers project Western values on a country with completely different values. For example, there are alcohol vending machines all over Japan and, even though you can legally drink at 20, no one ever checks ID and you could technically buy alcohol in a convenience store at 16 or 17 years old without anyone asking for ID. To many Americans, from their set of values, this is shocking and horrific. To Japanese, this is nothing. 150 years ago, 12 year olds could drink alcohol without a bat of the eye. In many people's eyes, it's a lot stricter now. Many Americans see alcohol in a bad light. Even those who drink alcohol, oftentimes consider it "bad" (in a good way. Like "I'm a badass" or "hey, look what I'm drinking"). But, in Japan, there is a famous expression that translates something like "Alcohol is a medicine that extends your life" and a lot of ideas concerning it being good for your health. I explained to a Japanese professor in college that scientifically speaking, alcohol is technically a "poison. A weak poison, but still a poison." She was very surprised and, at first didn't believe me. I used "alcohol poisoning" as an example and soon had her completely convinced. That didn't change her view on drinking or anything, though. It was more like "I didn't know that" and nothing more.
I think sometimes Western newspapers see something in another culture and interpret it as a serious problem from their set of values when the actual culture doesn't see it as a big deal at all - or does not even notice the issue exists at all.
Naren (and thank you for offering your perspective), given the problems between the genders in Japanese society, what is dating like in Japan? As a Westerner, I see thing, I hear things, I know what reported has a "slant" to it, but having never been to Japan (or out of the country for that matter), what, in your opinion, is the reality.
Sadly, the only thing I know about Japanese is what I've gleamed from a few Japanese friends (all adopted), the news, anime, and hentai, and I can't believe that the media I've seen paints an accurate picture.
First of all, anime is not a place to look for info on real culture. Anime is meant to immitate a false reality and oftentimes the futuristic sci-fi world in some animations is meant to mirror a futuristic US culture. Because, Japanese are writing it, Japanese culture is a big part of it. But, because of that: it's like a mixture of American culture, Japanese culture, made up fictional culture, and more stuff. Anime is one of the last places to look for reality. Do you watch "Mickey Mouse" or "Looney Toons" to find out about how dating in the US is?
I don't even need to mention "hentai." That's like watching American rape porn and S&M videos to see what dating is like in the US. I mean, there might be twisted guys who watch extreme Japanese porn and think "Oh, Japanese girls must be like this." or "Japanese guys must be like this." But, you could do the exact same thing for any country and you'd be wrong every time.
The news also is not a place to look for info on culture.
I have dated 4 Japanese girls by now. The first one I dated spoke English and I dated her in the US. The other 3 didn't speak any English and we communicated in Japanese. I think I get along better in general with Japanese girls than with American girls. Of course, I knew an American who dated 2 Japanese girls and said "I'll never date one again" because he couldn't get along with them at all. Everyone is different.
My perspective on modern young Japanese dating would take too long to discuss. I'll just say that the US is not the right way and Japan is not the wrong way. I have known American guys who treated their girlfriends like shit and I've known Japanese guys who were very sensitive and caring towards their girlfriends. My opinion of the "treatment of women" in Japan is not an all-encompassing thing. It's something I see prevalent in the media (TV, movies, books, magazines, etc.) and in certain people's opinions. I also see a lot of Americans who have very bad views of women.
I liked living in Japan but that was in the 80s, I imagine things have changed but would never imagine this. Wow.
^I can say that the restaurant bit isn't true. There are no "women-only" restaurants or women-only sections for restaurants. For trains, it is true. And there have been women-only train cars since 1995 or 1994. Not exactly sure when it started, but roughly 10 years ago.
Besides, although I say that the treatment of women is not good in Japan, it's not like people walk up to a girl on the street and grab her boobs or pinch some girl's butt when she goes to get water in a restaurant. I think "women-only" train cars is a good idea for the super crowded train lines that are notorious for "mashers." But, I cannot see the reasoning for women-only restaurants (which don't exist) or anything similar to that. Do they think a guy is just gonna walk up to a girl in a restaurant and start licking her nipples or talking about explicit sexual acts? That's 10x more likely to happen in the US.
*cough* sharking *cough*
...and thus why tube-tops are always a bad idea.
All I can say is that Eric (Naren) is walking encyclopedia of all things Japanese. We used to talk for hours about it, and I've always considered myself somewhat educated about Japan. He makes me look like a chump (and tells the funniest fucking stories about it, too. ).
Just to further validate what he says as generally, to my knowledge, very, very accurate. Not that he needs it.
If that was normal, I'd say you have a point. That's just like a lot of the videos I see on the web that take place in the US that I've never seen in real life and no one I know has ever seen.
I don't change my point at all. You start pointing out very rare irregular things that the average person has never personally seen in your life and you can make just about any point you want.
Those sexual predators are horrible... I mean, have you ever seen a child getting molested on the street? That stuff happens in the US. Is it common? No. Have you ever seen someone raped in person? No, but it happens.
I have four things to say.
Thankyou for your educated viewpoint Naren, you're t3h expert.
Aren't "women-only areas" simply an opiate solution like female-only scholarships in tertiary education? Simply countering a problem by generating a problem or demographic restriction with a different effect?
Is there something going on to solve the actual problem?
If I was seen by women reading porn on public transport they would identify me as a complete and utter loser. Possibly correctly. There's no way THEY would be intimidated. I would be scared reading something as mild as FHM or Ralph (nothing more extreme than bikini or lingerie clad ladies and sports/booze articles) on the train. Those 17-25yo girls have such terribly scary grasp of how to shame me. I would've thought the same would be the case in most developed countries.
Well, I never said that women feel intimidated by it. I think distressedromeo said that. If someone on the train is reading porno, the women around him feel offended and maybe disgusted (but not intimidated). Many men feel that way as well. This isn't some world where all the men are evil and all the women are innocent. That would be a ridiculous way to take it.
As for if there is anything to solve the actual problem, YES. There have been anti-groping campaigns where I see these posters in trains that say "I say NO to mashers" (I think "masher" is the most accurate term for the Japanese word "chikan") or "I don't tolerate inappropriate touching" and have a picture of an angry woman in her mid-20s and a kind of sinister dark looking man. There are other variations on this, such as one with an angry police man standing between an angry woman and a sinister looking man. If you get caught doing this, you get taken to the police station, yelled at, and I guess they determine what to do with you after that. These guys are treated like they had done an attempted rape.
All of these actions are illegal. I believe it is also illegal to look at porn in a public place. It's just that many people don't report this stuff. One of the main point of these campaigns is to get people who were groped to report to the station authorities. Or, if in a crowded train, to scream "Stop! Pervert!" to draw attention from other people. Most Japanese despise these mashers/molesters and, in an obvious situation, would gang up on the person doing it.
As for Lankles first question, I think that the women-only train cars are more for peace-of-mind for certain women. A place they can go where there are no mashers (because there are no men. The female mashers would go to the regular trains). Women who had been groped or who were afraid of being groped probably asked for these women-only train cars around 1993-1995 and the authorities responded by giving them women-only train cars on lines that had larger numbers of molestation.
And, yeah, the people who read porn on trains don't care that the people around them think they are complete and utter losers. They also don't care that it's illegal. But, if one of the board members came to Tokyo for 1 week, I doubt they would see anyone reading porn on the trains within that period.
Yeah, my references to intimidation and such were directed at what others said. You've explained it to me so thanks.