IGWS Newsletter Vol. 50

  • Students' Project (The Section of "Stereo Remove")
    Students team introduction / Research Center and Library introduction / Sym-posium
  • Special Essays on the COVID-19
    "I survived this way at that time: the 2020 COVID-19 state of emergency."
    "Job hunting and hope for a flexible society from a female perspective"
    "Proceed in my way."
    "My Home of COVID-19 related confusion"
    "To Protect Children's Life and Growth"
  • Report of the 39th IGWS Seminar: A Message from the New Director
  • Essay: "Lesbian, LGBT, Sexual Minority, and Gender"
  • Activities: Introduction to a student's club, Coalook

About the students' planning page

This year, which was plagued by the C0VID-19 crisis, we recruited students and involved them in newsletter editing and design as a new attempt to support their independent learning on gender. Eight members held face-to-face and online editing meetings, developed catchphrases for the institute, created characters, edited newsletters, and leaflets, and demonstrated their strengths in a wide variety of ways. We also made a file designed by the students.

Special Essays on the COVID-19: My Home during the COVID-19 related con-fusion
Mr. Tomoki Yasue in the ASU’s General Affairs Office Secretary contributed an essay.

We are six in the family, my wife, and four children, and me. Our eldest son is in the first year of high school, the second son is in the second year of junior high school, the elder daughter is in the third grade of elementary school, and the younger daughter is in a senior nursery school. Our second son in junior high school had been absent from school since the last summer vacation's end. Our younger daughter in nursery school was born with Down's syndrome having intellectual disabilities of a third grader according to the nursing handbook.
I often had to work from home after the government declared a state of emergency last spring. I remember having difficulty deciding where and how to secure a work environment with the whole family always at home, with no study or an uninterrupted workspace.
My wife and I were anxious that the children would not want to go back to school after the government lifted the state of emergency and that their studies would be more delayed than their classmates.’ However, the second son was fortunate that the whole society was temporarily shut down due to the COVID-19 calamity, and he could gradually start schooling after the holidays.
I believe the holiday period during the COVID-19 was not too bad for my family, which is used to being independent of each other because they were made to spend time together rather forcibly, even though they were not always harmonious together. Above all, I am grateful that the whole family could spend their daily lives in safety.

Special Essays on the COVID-19: To Protect Children's Life and Growth
Ms. Setsuko Omiya, The Head of the Nursery Room at ASU, contributed an essay.

This year has been like searching for an answer to "physical distancing," even in the field of childcare. The COVID-19 outbreak forced drastic changes in our lives. The government quickly ordered a temporary shut-down of the country at the end of February to protect children. The government took measures to close all the schools, from elementary schools to universities.
However, the nursery schools were designated by the Child Welfare Act as facilities that had to stay open. We struggled to find the necessary hygiene products to carry out "normal childcare" while taking preventive measures against the infection.
Childcare is only possible when children and adults are closely involved in care. We discussed avoiding the spread of the infection while maintaining this relationship by using the “Three Cs (Closed spaces, Crowds, Close-contact) through childcare based on awareness, ideas, and in-formation shared among staff members. Then, we recommended preventive measures to counter the infection.
Future "childcare in the age of the New Normal" would need to consider Childcare methods for a small number of children, age-specific standards for children, and aftercare for children's minds and bodies. The lessons and challenges of nursery rooms have come to the forefront in valuing the feelings of parents and children at home and responding to them with flexible ideas.

Report of the 39th IGWS Seminar: "A male copywriter takes childcare leave: the days of post-childcare leave."

On October 28, 2020, we invited Mr. Ryohei Ugaeri, a copywriter at Dentsu Inc., as a lecturer, and he delivered an online lecture. This was the first attempt at online lecture at the university, and we conducted it such that a person could choose to watch the program at a satellite venue or online from home. About 100 people participated on that day, and it was a great success.
Mr. Ugaeri, based on his experience of taking childcare leave for half a year, stated that it is significant for both husbands and wives to take childcare leave from the perspective that the childcare leave system is a "means" of pursuing the well-being of the family. He also spoke about changes in work and life after he took child care lesve.

Greetings from the new director of IGWS
Yoko Sakata, Director of the Institute for Gender and Women's Studies, Professor of the Faculty of Psychology,

It was the time when COVID 19 was spreading uncontrollably. On July 1, 2020, I was suddenly appointed as the Institute for Gender and Women's Studies director, despite a tremendously busy schedule. Firstly, I had to take over the director’s duties by leaving the COVID-19 stigma from a gender perspective to posterity, and secondly, by maintaining students' learning. Both these are included in this newsletter. This was the first time I engaged in creative activities with students and teachers beyond the faculty. I found it gratifying to observe how exciting ideas could be developed when diverse professionals come together. I hope that you will look forward to more from the Gender and Women's Studies Institute in the future.

Essays: Lesbians, LGBT, Sexual Minorities, and Gender
This essay was contributed by Professor Mitoko Hirabayashi, Professor of the Faculty of Letters.

In mid-February, when the spread of the COVID-19 began to be noticeable in Japan, I commenced editing the book Between Women: The Future of Lesbian Literature (written and edited by Hirabayashi, published by Sairyusha, March 2020). The publisher's editor asked me several questions and requested me to revise the text in the short five weeks before submission. Then, I realized the difficulty of the concept of gender and sexuality.
Between Women begins with the definitions of "a lesbian" and "lesbian literature." The "troublesome problems of the definition " mentioned there, in fact, can be found in every category. Naming and categorization are certainly the first steps to understanding; however, it is also the first step in creating discrimination. This contradiction triggered a whole rethinking of gender and sexuality.

To read the Japanese original newsletter, click here and download a PDF file.

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