The Mayor Of Osaka Said Women Shouldn't Go Shopping
According to Ichiro Matsui, the mayor of Osaka, this is a time when the menfolk should shop for the household. Why? In his own words, spoken at a coronavirus press conference: "Women take a longer time grocery shopping because they browse through different products and weigh out which option is best." Unlike men, who "quickly grab what they're told to buy so they won't linger at the supermarket -- that avoids close contact with others."
NeONBRAND/UnsplashApparently, women can't resist this.
When a reporter called him out, he just said that that's true in his family, even though it might sound out of touch. Of course, he later got dragged later on social media -- for example, famous journalist Shoko Egawa said that "people who know nothing about daily life shouldn't make comments," and regular users called his comments "full of prejudice against women" and "disrespectful to women and men." Which you'd think wouldn't even need saying in one of the world's most advanced countries, but 2020 has found yet another way to disappoint us.
Unfortunately, views like his aren't too uncommon, Japan is still a very patriarchal society where women are routinely expected to take care of kids and do household chores on top of working full-time. To give you a sense of how bad it is, the World Economic Forum's gender gap index ranked it 121 out of 153 countries.
In an environment like that, it's probably not too out-of-left-field to hear a major politician make misogynistic statements with the weak defense of "I know this might sound out of touch." Being part of a society that patriarchal might make you think that those beliefs are a little quaint, at most, and make you ignore the impact of repeating them from a position of power. And that's one reason to be glad that, at least, a reporter called him out on it right away. It may not be much, but it's one puncture in a really noxious bubble.
A Canadian Energy Official Said It's Great That People Can't Protest Pipelines
In a podcast interview in May about building a pipeline between Edmonton and Vancouver, Sonya Savage, the energy minister of Alberta, Canada, said that now was an ideal time for it. Why? because the lockdown limited protests to 15 people. "Let's get it built," she said, making her interviewer laugh, as you might expect a normal human being to do. She didn't laugh back, not even with a maniacal cackle. Instead, just to drive her point home, she emphasized that "ordinary Canadians" wouldn't put up with protests that could prevent job creation at this point anyway.
Ali Jabber/ShutterstockShe must have been very surprised shortly afterwards.