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Japanese Feminist DebatesA Century of Contention on Sex, Love, and Labor$
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Ayako Kano

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780824855802

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824855802.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use.date: 29 November 2020

Backlash and Backpedaling

Backlash and Backpedaling

Debates on State Feminism

Chapter:
(p.140) Chapter 5 Backlash and Backpedaling
Source:
Japanese Feminist Debates
Author(s):

Ayako Kano

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824855802.003.0005

Chapter 5 investigates the most recent controversy surrounding the Japanese government’s policy for a “gender equal society”—more accurately translated as “male-female joint planning” or cooperative participation society––and activist advocacy of “gender free” education. It focuses in particular on how the conservative backlash against these initiatives reveals profound divergence of opinion in contemporary Japanese society regarding questions such as gender difference, discrimination, and the sexual division of labor between women and men. The chapter investigates this controversy over recent Japanese gender policy and its imbrication with the history of feminism in Japan, by examining the language of policy and the process of its formulation, including femocrats like Ōsawa Mari, the nationalist backlash, the complicated and wide-ranging responses from feminists, and what can be described as government backpedaling since 2005. These include the focus on men and fatherhood, as well as the nationalist womenomics policy of Abe Shinzō.

Keywords:   Japan, feminism, women, policy, backlash, conservative, femocrat, “gender free”, Womenomics, “gender equal society”

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