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Thread: Women-only cars on commuter trains (Japan)

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Women-only cars on commuter trains (Japan)

    I don't know what to say about this. The whole situation is so alien -- packed commuter trains (the amtrak passenger train here does not get that packed) and the degree of shame that the women feel if some man misbehaves himself. Although it seems planning related, I am reluctant to post it outside the FAC...and a little ambivalent about posting it all. Although I have a great interest in "women's issues" and such, I really loathe the degree of conflict usually found in any attempt to discuss such things in a mixed setting (and equally loathe the amount of man-bashing often found in "women only" discussions of such topics -- actually, I think I dislike that more).

    So, can we try to have a civilized discussion?
    In early May, seven private railways and two subway operators in the Tokyo area decided to introduce women-only cars in order to cut down on the number of groping incidents on crowded trains.
    A police spokesman said groping has been a problem for many years, but that the number of arrests have gone up because these days most young women carry cell phones capable of sending e-mail and taking pictures, and they're using them to report offenses.

    Cars just for women are usually at the front or end of trains, marked with pink plastic seals on their windows and pink signs on the platforms where the cars stop. Women all over the Tokyo suburbs dash to board them.

    Some men, however, are protesting.
    Article

  2. #2
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Interesting thread, but I'm afraid I better not touch upon it.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dobopoq
    Interesting thread, but I'm afraid I better not touch upon it.
    Oh? Posting to announce you aren't posting in the thread...hmmmmm...

  4. #4
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Michele Zone
    Oh? Posting to announce you aren't posting in the thread...hmmmmm...
    Well, as long as a mod doesn't turn it into a female only thread.

    IMO, Japan is one of the safest places in the world for a woman to live. But I'm sure even by Manhattan standards, Japanese subways can be quite sardinial. So, I can't claim to know what it's like to ride one. I do think it's unfortunate that they segregate the genders. This may reduce the occaisional grope, but as a side effect it is likely to increase sexual tension, because each sex becomes more isolated from the opposite sex. The males who are most likely to grope (IMO) are usually those who work in sex segregated work doing hard physical labor around other males all day. Isolating them even more from women may provoke them to assault or rape a woman as opposed to harass or fondle her.

    I think they should rig a gadget in each car that can be activated to alert authorities to respond specifically to infractions of a groper. America is the most litigious society in the world and the issue of sexual harassment is no exception to the phenomenon. Perhaps having the women only car is a way to prevent the costly he said/she said trials of America. Here, women are the "Untouchables" of a sort, because any woman can get any man arrested by merely accusing him of assault. In modern America, men have more reason to fear women, than women have to fear men.

    el Guapo's recent thread on the media obsession with beautiful young women (particularly white) who go missing is related to this. The frenzy with which the media and all the protectivist male security forces pursue any would be attacker, creates an imbalanced view of reality which ignores violence against men, and singles out violence against women as being of a higher category of law violation. But this sort of behavior only encourages females to feel more helpless and act more feminine and passive, and males to act more paternalistic, macho and chauvinist. The solution lies in a more androgynous or gender-neutral gender identity for each sex. Once we hear more stories about women groping men, then we'll know women have woken from their passivity to become more liberated, and men have dropped their facade of machismo, having learned to exert sexual power in more subtle ways through attraction. I'm not suggesting femininity or machismo are inherently bad, but that people need to develop a more bi-genderal mode of emotional expression. Anger can be righteous, and assertiveness can be well-intentioned. Likewise, emotional effusiveness is a necessary valve for mental health, and receptivity is the starting point of all perception.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

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    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Did you, um, read the article? I ask because one issue is that Asian women tend to feel extremely shamed and are often unwilling to openly protest and, instead, choose to just "suffer in silence". So I have a hard time imagining that a means to "alert" folks to her shame would be very useful, sigh. Also, the cars are only segregated during rush hour.

    As for your last paragraph, I have discussed the idea with a friend that gender identity is more of a social construct than is often realized. By that I mean that what is perceived as "masculine" or "feminine" varies from culture to culture and seems fairly imposed. Children are typically more "gender neutral" and fail to fit as neatly into "appropriate gender roles". The problem with your hypothesis is that children themselves seem to go through a typical stage where they reject the company of the opposite sex prior to puberty and seek out same-sex friends. It seems to heighten the excitement of dating when they reach puberty and turn their interest to courtship. So, as much as folks complain about "not understanding" members of the opposite sex, it may be important for most folks to not know "too much" in order to remain sexually interested. I have read plenty of articles that talk about, for example, men who have women friends and "former friends" who ceased to be friends the minute they slept together. There are endless movies where the plot involves some woman who makes a great "pal" for some guy and he completely fails to notice her as a potential romantic interest (or sometimes she doesn't notice him). In the other direction, there is tons of supporting evidence that covering up heightens sexual tension in a culture more than, um, letting it all hang out.

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    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Did you, um, read the article? I ask because one issue is that Asian women tend to feel extremely shamed and are often unwilling to openly protest and, instead, choose to just "suffer in silence". So I have a hard time imagining that a means to "alert" folks to her shame would be very useful, sigh. Also, the cars are only segregated during rush hour.
    Yeah, I read it. Perhaps you're right that Japanese women would rather suffer in silence. If shame is such a huge issue, then that implies Japanese woman are not sexually liberated. My friend who's visiting Japan right now, says women are obsessed with acting cute and childlike, even if they're middle aged. Some Oriental cultures seem to have more strict gender norms than the U.S. Infanticide of female babies, particularly in China, is a well documented problem. Maybe Japanese women need some slutty pop star like Madonna to make it more acceptable for women to express their sexuality, and their distaste for losers and skanky guys that goes along with being a liberated woman who goes after what she wants and lets others know where they stand with her. [Not that I really know much about Japanese culture.]

    Japanese, Taiwanese, Chinese Cyburbians: please feel free to shed some light on this issue.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  7. #7
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Michele Zone
    Some men, however, are protesting.
    I don't blame them. The presence of women-only seats out fo the fear of groping just reinforces the "guilty until proven innocent" verdict many men find themselves facing every day. It reminds me of the "all men are potential rapists - be careful!" posters that often crop up on college campuses.

    I wonder how often these seats go empty while the rest of the train is packed. The "women with children" parking spaces at my local supermarket also seem to go empty all the time, too.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Maybe Japanese women need some slutty pop star like Madonna...
    Sigh. I think the term you are looking for is "sexually liberated role model, like Madonna". I doubt this will go over well at all, but the way you talk about wanting women "liberated" sounds to me like the fantasy many men have: "I wish you babes were more Free to ..say Yes to my sexual desires." I will stop there because I honestly don't want this thread to turn into a flame-fest. And I honestly hope you will try to understand my point and not just take it as "that bitchy, man-hating woman who is overreacting...(etc)".
    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    Quote Originally posted by Michele Zone
    Some men, however, are protesting.
    I don't blame them.
    I have sympathy for that side of it, which is why I included that line of the article in my first post.

    The presence of women-only seats out fo the fear of groping just reinforces the "guilty until proven innocent" verdict many men find themselves facing every day. It reminds me of the "all men are potential rapists - be careful!" posters that often crop up on college campuses.
    These are complicated issues and I dislike this type of solution but, unfortunately, I don't know what might work better. I posted the article in hopes that it is "alien" enough to be a point of more objective discussion -- in hopes that men and women can each air their point of view without this being so emotional and personal as to automatically start a fight. From the point of view of women, most men are bigger and stronger -- and even if they aren't bigger, they are highly likely to be stronger. I am slightly taller than my husband and outweigh him -- and did when I was a bag-of-bones 17 year old because he was a shorter bag-of-bones 17 year old. Until I became so very ill, I was fairly athletic and I am fairly strong ... for a woman. But if there were ever a physical confrontation between us, I would lose: He is substantially stronger than I am, in part because male physiology favors muscle mass, the male heart is about 10% bigger, etc -- in short, my body is skewed by the imperatives of baby-making and simply being female puts me at an athletic disadvantage. Throw in the phenomenon I refer to as "you can't think straight when all the blood has rushed to your OTHER head" and men can be quite intimidating in very vulnerable moments. (How is that for "delicate" phrasing? )

    I wonder how often these seats go empty while the rest of the train is packed. The "women with children" parking spaces at my local supermarket also seem to go empty all the time, too.
    I don't know if I qualify for a handicapped sticker or not for my car because I have not sought one. I have friends who do have handicapped stickers and sometimes they couldn't possibly run all their errands if they had to walk from a farther parking space. Yet, on a military base, there is typically a substantial number of reserved spaces that are usually empty (for "officer of the month" type stuff -- I don't bother to read the signs anymore, so that might not even be an accurate example). I can't help but wonder sometimes if life wouldn't be better for everyone if we just didn't reserve any spaces. There would be more "prime" spaces in circulation and wouldn't that make it easier for someone like me to get a prime parking space on the days when I really don't have the energy to walk that far? Sigh. I would like to see a study or something. I don't know how to handle stuff like this.

    The article does say that the women "ride in style while the men are packed in like sardines" (or words to that effect) and the flip side is that young boys can accompany their moms into the women-only cars but teens cannot. So some of the moms are not happy either. (That wouldn't work for me either, with two teenaged sons who each have some issues.)

    I don't know if this will make sense, but it reminds me of an article I read about how some cultures do not feed women as well and the cost to the entire culture is that an undernourished and unhealthy woman produces smaller, less healthy babies of BOTH genders (duh!). The whole us-vs-them thing really bothers me: we just shoot ourselves in the foot with it. sigh.

    Maybe the hippies had it right: make love, not war.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Maybe Japanese women need some slutty pop star like Madonna...
    Sigh. I think the term you are looking for is "sexually liberated role model, like Madonna". I doubt this will go over well at all, but the way you talk about wanting women "liberated" sounds to me like the fantasy many men have: "I wish you babes were more Free to ..say Yes to my sexual desires." I will stop there because I honestly don't want this thread to turn into a flame-fest. And I honestly hope you will try to understand my point and not just take it as "that bitchy, man-hating woman who is overreacting...(etc)".
    I meant the word "slutty" in the sense that Madonna has sex with lots of men because "she" enjoys it. She doesn't do it for a man's enjoyment. She exemplifies a woman who rebels against the expectation that women be chaste. So yes, this equates to "sexually liberated".

    Women's equality has increased in proportion to the level of openness our society has about sex. Though every bit as technologically advanced as America - and then some, Japan probably has some catching up to do with America in the area of women's equality with men, and the corresponding level of acceptance for them to express and act upon their sexual desires.

    Maybe the hippies had it right: make love, not war.
    Amen
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dobopoq
    I meant the word "slutty" in the sense that Madonna has sex with lots of men because "she" enjoys it.
    Small detail that many people do not seem to understand: a "whore" (prostitute, etc) is someone who meets the needs of others and is disrespected for doing so. A woman who has sex with men for her enjoyment is the antithesis of that. I am not sure we have a word for such a woman, so we substitute the words we use for prostitutes because it is the only concept/language we have for women who "get around". (yeah, I discussed this concept at length with someone who had two psych. degrees and some religious type degree etc. -- yeeears ago)

    I appreciate you clarifying. I would love to drone on, but, honestly, I am too freakin' tired. (Moving is Hell. )

  11. #11
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Michele Zone
    Small detail that many people do not seem to understand: a "whore" (prostitute, etc) is someone who meets the needs of others and is disrespected for doing so. A woman who has sex with men for her enjoyment is the antithesis of that. I am not sure we have a word for such woman, so we substitute the words we use for prostitutes because it is the only concept/language we have for a women who "get around". (yeah, I discussed this concept at length with someone who had two psych. degrees and some religious type degree etc. -- yeeears ago)

    I appreciate you clarifying. I would love to drone on, but, honestly, I am too freakin' tired. (Moving is Hell. )
    I agree. Language needs to evolve, and thankfully, it eventually does. I use the word slutty for men and women. And I don't generally intend it to have a negative meaning. I can understand why women are touchy about it though. To me, slutty just implies that you enjoy sharing the pleasures of the flesh with the wonderful variety of people that there are in the world. Unfortunetely, STD's and unwanted pregnancies force most of us to be less slutty than we might otherwise like to be.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by dobopoq
    I use the word slutty for men and women. And I don't generally intend it to have a negative meaning.
    You might reconsider using that word in that manner in public online forums. It is just too hard to guess how you mean it.

    And, for me, it is not simply that word in particular which prompted my remarks. But I REALLY don't want this to a) get too personal or b) turn into a 'battle of the sexes' type thread. (So if you just MUST know, please PM me. )

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    jimi_d's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Michele Zone
    The article does say that the women "ride in style while the men are packed in like sardines" (or words to that effect) and the flip side is that young boys can accompany their moms into the women-only cars but teens cannot. So some of the moms are not happy either. (That wouldn't work for me either, with two teenaged sons who each have some issues.)
    There needs to be the equal and opposite: men only cars - formerly known as the smoking car, before the PC-brigade banned them. These would be free of women and their obnoxious children and would provide somewhere where I can have my coffee and read my newspaper in peace!

  14. #14
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    The "women with children" parking spaces at my local supermarket also seem to go empty all the time, too.
    Off-topic:
    Not to drag this thread completely offtopic, but I shamelessly use these spots when I'm out grocery shopping with the kids and w/o Mrs. B. Someone who carts around a 5 yr old, 2 yr old, and 4 month old deserves a spot close to the door.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Couple of thoughts

    Japanese women need to stop being objectified by these losers who probably spend most of their days riding trains groping butts oor in their parents house playing video games. Maybe some martial arts training would help empower these women?

    Japanese men caught doing this should have the Wang taken away (and I don't mean computer to those old enough to remember those).

    I agree that these social norms are quite bizarre and how they came about is anyone's guess. This is certainly something that needs to be eradicated from their culture, but how to do that who knows?

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jimi_d
    There needs to be the equal and opposite: men only cars - formerly known as the smoking car, before the PC-brigade banned them. These would be free of women and their obnoxious children and would provide somewhere where I can have my coffee and read my newspaper in peace!
    That doesn't solve "my" complaint: where does a mom and her two teenaged sons sit?
    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner
    Maybe some martial arts training would help empower these women?
    An Asian college professor of mine told me that most boys there learned martial arts -- which meant that there was always someone better than you, so it wasn't an "edge" the way it is to know martial arts in America. Besides, that only heightens conflict, not lessens it. In the article, some men complained of fears of being falsely accused if they brush up against a woman in a crowded car. I don't think it helps the situation for women to start crushing men's nuts when some of those men are genuinely innocent and just victims of the sardine-like circumstances.

    A woman I know told me that when she was on a business trip out of town many years ago, a colleague of hers had a few too many drinks while they were out. When he dropped her at her hotel room (I assume he was staying just down the hall and they probably shared a rental car), he tried to give her a squeeze and a kiss. She deftly avoided it and told him "You don't really mean that. It's just the liquor talking." The man was married and was apparently very grateful and/or respected her immensely that she neither gave him the chance to screw up his marriage nor villified him for being an imperfect human being. He became one of her staunchest supporters at work and always "had her back" in a pinch.

    Men are human. They mess up. Even men who do bad things are not necessarily bad people. I do not think it helps the situation to encourage women to learn how to express their offense, hurt feelings, and paranoia by turning around and physically assaulting a man who might be just brushing up against her in a crowded car. Two wrongs don't generally make a right and a policy of promoting violence against men isn't going to make the world a safer place for women.

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    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    It's not fun to be groped unsolicited by someone you don't know... especially on public transit where you feel like you can't get away from the situation. Maybe another program they can try is shipping all the female commuters to Italy for two weeks to ride around Rome on a bus. Two weeks there and they'll be desensitized to the serious groping that occurs.

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    Cyburbian AubieTurtle's avatar
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    The Japanese have picked up so many cultural items from the US: baseball, Christmas (well, the commerical version of it), diamond wedding rings, etc. It is interesting to see what changes and what does not.

    Maybe they only get reruns of "Donna Reed" and "Leave it to Beaver". Feed them a diet of "Married with Children", "Murphy Brown" and heck even "Battlestar Galatica" and see what happens.
    As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. - H.L. Mencken

  19. #19
    Well, Michele, I see now why you were hesitant to post this thread.

    I am somewhat perplexed by the responses. How many people on this forum have been standing in a crowded transit car, holding onto the overhead bar and had a hand come up between your legs and grab your balls? Did you feel safe? If you answered yes, then please disregard the rest of this response.

    The two most important things in encouraging transit ridership are safety (both real and perceived) and convenience. These far outweigh cost. My thought is that if women were feeling unsafe in public trains in Tokyo, they could very well have been choosing to travel by other means at a much greater cost. The "women only" car could be a response.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Follow the $$
    My thought is that if women were feeling unsafe in public trains in Tokyo, they could very well have been choosing to travel by other means at a much greater cost. The "women only" car could be a response.
    As I understand it, Japan is much more heavily dependent upon public transit than many places and it wouldn't be practical to do something else for most folks -- um, not just impractical for individuals but impractical for the country as a whole to deal with congestion on the street, etc. But that is just "my understanding" and I don't have figures (costs, traffic congestion, etc) of any type to back it up.

    As for the general attitude expressed by some folks in this thread of "harshly punish the individual males (when caught)": Eastern cultures are more group oriented and interpret the actions of individuals more in terms of the group and in terms of the situation promoting X behavior than Western cultures do. I.E. it is a Western attitude that these "gropers" are a bunch of individuals with personal problems. Eastern cultures are much more likely to see it as "situational" -- ie for all we know, these "gropers" are normally well-behaved individuals and there is something about the situation on the trains which promotes their bad behavior. (And I think there is some truth to that idea. Afterall, the complaint is not "Japanese men grope women on the elevators, in the hallways, walking down the street, in business meetings....etc" The complaint is specific to public transit.)

    I have sympathy for this viewpoint and I think that from a planning perspective it is generally a more useful mental model than the Western tendency to "blame the individual and hold the individual accountable". If you can change something about the larger group dynamics, it may be possible to dramatically reduce or even eliminate the problem without villifying anyone. Eastern cultures worry a GREAT DEAL about "saving face". They are sensitive to the fact that if you are publically identified as a Sinner, it can haunt you for the rest of your life and simply the act of publically ID'ing someone in this manner can negatively shape their character and behavior. Eastern cultures also tend to be less confrontational than Western cultures and may stop speaking to you rather than argue (I know this first hand, ). It isn't just the women: the entire culture is like that. So I am not surprised that the women feel trapped and unable to do anything to combat the problem. Nor am I surprised at the culture's choice to combat this by trying to change something about the group dynamic situationally.

  21. #21
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Before I lived in Japan someone told me that they had a very sexist culture and a very racist culture. After moving there, I found there was some truth to both claims, but both are oversimplifications.

    If one were to look at crime reports they'd have to think 'wow, Japan sure is a safe place for women to live - virtually no rape, no spousal abuse, virtually no reports of sexual harassment', but would be wrong. It's just not reported. And boy is it not reported. When I try to describe Japanese culture to Americans, I frequently find that many have heard about the Japanese having a 'culture of shame', but what I find difficult to impart is just how essential a component this is to their society. Guilt is imposed from both within and without and is seen as being a desirable thing - there will be a future (spiritual) reward for present suffering, therefore suffering can be a good thing, reporting spousal abuse or sexual harassment would be removing an opportunity to suffer and therefore ultimately a bad thing. In many respects the Japanese are the world's greatest masochists.

    Another generalization we hear sometimes is that their society is more heavily dependent than most on conformity. It's true that without conformity there could be no culture, but the Japanese have taken this ball and run with it. There is enormous pressure to fit into the dominant culture and the dominant culture has rules of prescribed behavior on every facet of human activity. Japan is also home to a very homogenous culture. There are not alot of racial/cultural minorities present. They freely borrow technology, words, and even concepts from foreign cultures but all must be integrated and contextualized within their own uniquely Japanese view. Shame is also the primary vehicle through which this homogeneity (sp?) is enforced.

    I am not optimistic for the prospects of the Japanese reducing or eliminating groping on public transportation anytime soon. There are many powerful cultural forces working in opposition. Putting women in a separate car may actually undercut the efforts to eliminate the view that groping women is socially acceptable behavior. What it does is reinforce the perception that women have a 'special' status. They are not like men, they are weaker and therefore require the protection of men. Men in positions of authority have deemed it appropriate to 'take pity' on women and provide 'refuges' from men instead of trying to alter the values which promote/perpetuate the idea that groping is OK. As long as women are viewed as being property and as being inferior and subservient to men, and as long as women feel that it is proper for them to suffer with their shame there is little hope of things changing on this front in the forseeable future.
    Last edited by Maister; 13 Jun 2005 at 10:47 AM.
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  22. #22
    Cyburbian geobandito's avatar
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    I don't have an intellectual response on the topic, but my contribution - Mexico City's subway also has certain cars designated for women and children during peak hours, although when I was there it didn't always seem to be enforced. I was only in the city for a week and rode on some very crowded cars peak and non-peak and didn't see (or feel) any kind of groping problem. In fact, people were incredibly reserved and polite given the crowdedness and the occasional unexplained dwelling in the station for ten or more minutes. However, we were always happy to hit the subway when they were enforcing the women-only rule because those cars were a little less crowded.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    If one were to look at crime reports they'd have to think 'wow, Japan sure is a safe place for women to live - virtually no rape, no spousal abuse, virtually no reports of sexual harassment', but would be wrong. It's just not reported. And boy is it not reported. When I try to describe Japanese culture to Americans, I frequently find that many have heard about the Japanese having a 'culture of shame', but what I find difficult to impart is just how essential a component this is to their society. Guilt is imposed from both within and without and is seen as being a desirable thing - there will be a future (spiritual) reward for present suffering, therefore suffering can be a good thing, reporting spousal abuse or sexual harassment would be removing an opportunity to suffer and therefore ultimately a bad thing. In many respects the Japanese are the world's greatest masochists.
    I suspect this is related to the fact that they live on islands and have LONG had a large population on a small land mass -- making waves could sink them all, so to speak. When you look at history, shame-based imperatives and strong taboos evolve to avoid some really bad consequences for the culture as a whole. As soon as we had reliable birth control and welfare, etc. sexual morals in this country began to loosen up dramatically...then AIDS came along and our antibiotics, birth control pills, etc. just aren't sufficient. I heard an older rock star (real famous, but I am so bad with names --- Crosby? of Crosby, Stills, and Nash) say that he came of age after antibiotics and birth control were introduced and before AIDS and that is why he had such a wild sex life. This was his explanation for how he had contracted Hep B somewhere along the way and, therefore, now needed a liver transplant because he was dying. I guess it was sort of defensive -- like, "No, I am NOT an alcoholic. That isn't why my liver needs replacing. I was a Free Love type Hippie and saw all the action I wanted. Stop accusing me of immoral and low status behavior." Gee, so much for antibiotics being the be all and end all Answer to STD's.

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