Japan ‘glasses ban’ for ladies at work sparks backlash

Japanese woman wearing glassesPicture copyright
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Sporting glasses at work has develop into an emotive subject in Japan following stories that some companies have informed feminine workers to take away them.


A number of native information shops mentioned some firms had “banned” eyewear for feminine workers for numerous causes.

Amongst them, some retail chains reportedly mentioned glasses-wearing store assistants gave a “chilly impression”.


That has sparked heated dialogue on Japanese social media over gown practices and ladies within the office.

The Nippon TV community and Enterprise Insider had been among the many shops to report on the difficulty, which checked out how companies in several industries prohibit ladies from sporting glasses.

They included security causes for airline employees, or being unable to see make-up correctly for ladies working within the magnificence sector.

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It was not clear whether or not the so-called “bans” had been primarily based on firm insurance policies, or somewhat mirrored what was socially accepted apply in these workplaces.

However the subject has led to heated debates on social media.

The hashtag “glasses are forbidden” has been in style in Japan and the subject continued to draw tweets on Friday.

Kumiko Nemoto, professor of sociology at Kyoto College of International Research, mentioned folks in Japan had been reacting to the “outdated” insurance policies.

She mentioned: “The the reason why ladies are usually not purported to put on glasses… actually do not make sense. It is all about gender. It is fairly discriminatory.”

She added that the stories mirrored “outdated, conventional Japanese” considering.

“It is not about how ladies do their work. The corporate… values the ladies’s look as being female and that is reverse to somebody who wears glasses,” Prof Nemoto mentioned.

The dialogue has echoes of a current office controversy in Japan over excessive heels.

Actor and author Yumi Ishikawa launched a petition calling for Japan to finish gown codes after being made to put on excessive heels whereas working at a funeral parlour.

The motion attracted a stream of help and a robust social media following.

Supporters tweeted the petition alongside the hashtag #KuToo in solidarity together with her trigger, mirroring the #MeToo motion towards sexual abuse.

The slogan performs on the Japanese phrases for footwear “kutsu” and ache “kutsuu”.

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Picture caption

Yumi Ishikawa submitted her petition to the Japanese authorities in June

Campaigners say that sporting excessive heels is seen as compulsory when making use of for jobs.

Supporters had been additional aggravated after a Japanese minister mentioned it’s “obligatory” for firms to implement gown codes that mandated excessive heels.

Prof Nemoto mentioned there continues to be dialogue by ladies in Japan “criticising the excessive heel” insurance policies.

“Ladies are evaluated totally on their look,” she mentioned. “That is the message that these insurance policies are sending, a minimum of.”

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