Gender and Sexuality in Japan
Gender and sexuality in Japan is perceived in different ways by different groups of people. The journalists, school going people and those campaigning among others have their own views about this. However, gender and sexuality goes hand in hand with power and relates to sex but this has greatly changed according to the modernization of the scientific styles, attitudes or perhaps sexual practices (Ardener and Shaw, 2005). According to Japan history of gender and sexuality, gender was an important theme that used to describe and distinguish women’s role in the society. However, gender was a major reason to cause division among the Japanese culture. This division defined and influenced a person’s lifestyle and the decisions to make in the society (West, 2005). On the other hand, the increased new category of the gender issues complicates the whole meaning of sexuality. Sexuality in Japan is the most important joint which assist people to build and decide their standard of living.
The Japanese people have placed their center of attention towards the shifting of the whole existing concept of gender and sexuality. Their focus is to clarify the diversity that divides in different categories of genders and sex such as “Japanese gender, transgender and sexuality” (Dasgupta & McLelland, 2005, p. 2). The Japanese people who are more concerned about gender and sexuality recover and celebrate their divergence through political awareness. This contributes to the domination of gender and sexual ambivalent where which has been embraced in Japan claiming to be a sense of success and well being.
The religion of the traditional Japan was not allowing the society to engage in same sex marriage. The people practicing it were doing it in secret without involving the religious leaders and the elders. Same sex marriage was an abomination in the Japanese culture and the law and religious leaders did not support the system. However, the changed gender and sexuality culture in Japan allowed th activity to be supported both by religion and the law. Marriage between Male and male is allowed in Japan as well as female and female marriage. It is no longer a taboo but a legal and accepted practice in the modernized Japan (Ardener and Shaw, 2005).
Gender performance has changed in the Japan from the traditional roles to the modern roles. For instance, the Japanese women’s roles were to take care of children and doing the domestic chores and career was not important to them because they were undermined. Women were also not meant to make opinions about major events in the society. Men in the traditional Japan society were subjected to play very little domestic roles compared to women. The work of a man in the family was to be a bread winner. Women were not allowed to have conversations with men for instance a husband was the decision maker. The recent changes have really altered the whole concept of gender performance. The modern Japanese women are free to pursue their career to their desired level because of Japan’s economic scales which are in the favor of women. Therefore, many women are forced to work in order to help in taking care of the family’s expenses as a result of recession (West, 2005). In this case, the attitudes of Japanese people drifted from negative to positive therefore being a major step towards of gender equality. Men and women are free to communicate and raise issue in the society.
In the traditional Japan, there was a high rate of sexual discrimination whose main supporter was sexual division of labor. This was conducted in a way that the women were not allowed to do the white and pink collar jobs. They were sold for sex work in different cities and by men and in return their family received small amount off money. The change was brought where the women began to work hard to benefit the economy. Japanese women began different beneficial activities such as working in farms, factories and home activities which enabled them to get means of income. They also participated in labor strikes and the feminists were asking for equal rights both single and married women worked together.
Trans-sexual citizenship was not allowed in the Japanese law. For instance, a medical practitioner was penalized for conducting an operation of removing male organs from three men. But with time the law was amended and it’s no longer working because the law was interpreted and giving the medical practitioners the mandate to continue the operations (Goodman, 2002). This opportunity has opened the chances for sex change operation in Japan without penalizing the doctors. Therefore, the Japanese people who wish to perform the operation are free to do so openly “without the psychological back-up to deal with the stress of their situation” (Goodman, 2002, p. 217).
Sexuality was not a topic to be discussed in public in traditional Japan. Moreover, the topic was silence in the case that there were no materials openly sold which talked about sexuality. Marriage was not also discussed in the open as it was regarded as lack of decent sexual behavior (Ardener and Shaw, 2005). The civilization of the Japan society and scholars came up and began a research on gender and sexuality which resulted to the publicizing of the materials that contained topics about sexuality. Forums about sexuality were organized as it came to the light and no one in Japan whispers about the subject.
In conclusion, gender and sexuality change in Japan has contributed to both positive and negative impacts. The whole community of Japan has different views about the queer cultural diversities bringing a lot of controversy among the people regarding gender and sexual behavior. The issue of transgender permitted by the law has a negative impact to Japan community. This is because it encourages discrimination especially the single and unmarried society to suffer from gender identity disorder. An important change that was made by Japan which has positive attitude is gender equality which helps to boost the economy of Japan.
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