IGWS Newsletter Vol. 30

  • Report on Lecture Series : “Performing Gender ― in clothes, music and speech”
    1. “Is This the Age of "Kawaii Men?”
    2. “Rock Music and Gender ? Regarding Gender Deviation”
    3. “Big Siser Characters and Their Words ― Gender and Sexuality on J-TV”
  • Students’ feedback on the 22nd IGWS Seminar
  • A Child Care Support System and Work ― An essay written by Iida Takako, Aichi Shukutoku University alumna
  • Child Care and Paternity / Maternity(Professor Yasuhiko Nakano, Department of Education, Aichi Shukutoku University )
  • Report on the 23rd Regular Seminar : Lecture by Linda Ohama
  • Making the gender equality promotion board for Nisshin City / A report on the meeting of gender studies
  • Gender & Women’s Studies: Open lectures (2010)

Report on Lecture Series:“Performing Gender ― in clothes, music and speech”

1.“Is This the Age of "Kawaii Men?"
(Speaker: Ms. Reiko Koga. Professor at Bunka Women’s University, Department of Fashion Sociology in Faculty of Fashion Science)

 The word “kawaii”, or cute, has its origin in girls culture before World War II. Now it is used by women toward men, as well as by men toward men themselves, becoming a universal word not only in Japan but also in other countries. Ms. Koga analyzed the word "kawaii" in detail and explained its historical and cultural aspects including the concept of “kawaii” and the expression of “kawaii men”, or cute men as she showed magazines and photographs which projected those time. "Kawaii men's fashion" dates back to the Beatles’ fashion in the 1960s, and influenced first the fashion of Japanese pop music groups and then the fashion of the Japanese magazine “Popeye” readers in the 80s. Their fashion led to the unisex fashion of “feminine boys” in the 90s. Ms. Koga points out that, as ideal men, the old image of plain and sturdy men disappeared, and the image of stylish men who have a sophisticated sense of beauty was established.

2.“Rock Music and the Gender ? Regarding Gender Deviation”
(Speaker: Ms. Takako Inoue. Professor at Daito Bunka University, Department of International Relations)

 From a sex symbol aspect, Ms. Inoue analyzed rock music which is often said to have anti-establishment characteristics. Showing audio-visual materials, she explained the transitions of Western rock music. At first Inoue introduced Judas Priest, a heavy-metal rock group, who showed off their masculinity. Next she referred to David Boy, who attracted his fans with his dramatic performances with his unique makeup, as well as his eccentric costumes. She then she presented Motley Crue, adding her view that the rock performances might sometimes be abundant with sexuality, and at other times be completely eliminated of sexuality. Ms. Inoue also referred to the Japanese rock scene, indicating the differences from Western rock. In Japan, rock singers’ make-up represents the emphasized masculine beauty and has nothing to do with femininity. Western female rock music strongly related to feminism. On the other hand, Japanese female rock singers remain in the standard of "ordinary girls," which affirms the conventional gender role and clearly indicates the strong Japanese patriarchy system.

3.“The Words of O-nee Characters (Big Sister Characters )― their Words and Gender Sexuality in J-TV”
(Speaker: Clare Maree. Associate Professor at Tsuda University, Department of Arts and Science)

 The Australian speaker Clare Mari focused on gay characters and their words in Japanese variety shows analyzing them from the view point of gender and sexuality. “O-nee Characters”, or homosexuals dressed like women, are also required to become experts in beauty consulting, flower arrangement and dance choreography. The feminine way of their speech can be traced back to the 1970s and 1980s when Okama, appeared and began talking in their unique ways. In the 1990s, a gay boom arrived, and their speech led to O-nee Characters’ words. Ms. Maree pointed out that their speech seemed to be a copy of feminine speech, but is actually completely different in such a way that homosexuals questioned the heterosexual standard and criticized the feminine words. These criticized O-nee words subsequently became embedded as the words of “feminine gays.’ The variety show called “O-nee-mans” presents many aspects of such complex sexualities. Ms. Maree indicates when people hear them speak their parodic words, those watching might try to fortify and show the standard of their heterosexuality all the more.

GCC graduate course / IGWS Institute cosponsored lecture by Ms. Linda Ohama ? Importance of Pursuing One’s Roots

(Speaker: Ms. Linda Ohama. Documentary movie director)

  As Ms Ohama showed her latest documentary film " The Roots ? ISIZUE ?", she told us why she had produced this film. The film depicts the ten days when the fourth and the fifth generation Japanese-Canadian girls and boys visited Japan and practiced the Japanese traditional drums. After the Japanese people welcomed visitors from these different culture, they came to reconsider their own Japanese culture. They stated giving their consideration to the race problems of Japanese-Canadians who had immigrated to Canada after World War II. Ms. Ohama mentioned the importance of passing on our own culture to the next generation in order to firmly maintain our roots.

Making the Gender Equality Promotion Board for Nisshin City

 The Institute of Gender and Women's Studies was commissioned to make an information board about "the gender equality and equal participation in planning" by Nisshin city’s Civic Collaboration Department. The period is from April 1st, 2010 to February 28th, 2011. The information board is installed on the first floor in "Nigiwai Kouryu Building" in the city hall yard. The board holds the introduction articles about gender equality enlightenment, as well as other related books. There are five annual themes and the contents of the board will change every two months.

● Themes of the month ●
 June:Gender Equality August:Child Care Leave Act October: Work-Life-Balance
 December:Domestic Violence February, 2011: Women and Nursing Care

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