Sunday, January 28, 2007

Dog bites man

And in other headline news today, some crusty 71-year-old oyaji in the Japanese Government refers to women in a derogatory manner:

"The number of women aged between 15 and 50 is fixed. Because the number of birth-giving machines and devices is fixed, all we can ask for is for them to do their best per head."

He's only the Health Minister, so that's ok. I'm sure his constructive intervention will help to solve Japan's demographic problems (the population is projected to crash by 30% in the next 50 years).

Straw poll time: is calling women "birth giving machines" less or more insulting than exhorting them to "whelp like bitches"? I wouldn't like to cause offence around the office. Or, indeed, at home :-)


LuboŇ° Motl said...

You should understand that you live in a country where women have been servers for a few millenia while your birthplace is a country plagued by political correctness for several decades.

The description of women is just a little bit cold one, but from a health minister, I think it is a fair technical analysis that is OK from a technocrat in the healthcare field. Is the minister male or female?

It is analogous to Stephen Colbert who called bears "godless killing machines".

James Annan said...

Is the minister male or female?

Thanks for the laugh!

Doug said...

Straw poll time: is calling women "birth giving machines" less or more insulting than exhorting them to "whelp like bitches"?

Actually, hearing that from a politician (Japan or otherwise) reminds me of a certain US senator who explained to his associates that he Internet was made out of tubes, and that those tubes get stuck sometimes.


Anyways, stumbled upon your blog via Google, and found it pretty amusing. I am trying to get transfered to work in Japan myself (like you, I am jaded about my home country, and my wife misses Japan sometimes). So, I'd be curious to get your thoughts.

I've visited there before for weeks at a time, actually got a degree in college on Japan Studies, but have never actually lived there. I suspect it's different than just visiting. ;)

Anyways, take care. Sorry about the no-tenure issue. Lame.

James Annan said...

Oh, Japan is great for living and working (in my experience). However it's still very difficult to stay here long-term, for both social and professional reasons. Actually JAMSTEC is a bit unusual in that tenure is now just as impossible for the Japanese as it has generally been for all foreigners :-)

If you can come for a few years without risking your career then I'd highly recommend it.