Anger builds in Japanese factories

Michele Barnum , News Writer

Gender inequality remains a prevailing issue throughout the world. News began to spread on November 8 about women revolting against a workplace eyeglasses ban in Japan. Several companies, including department stores and retailers, have banned women from wearing eyeglasses in the workplace, as it gives the woman a cold demeanor and an overall less beautiful look. 

Women began pointing out double standards within the workplace, stating how men are allowed to wear glasses. Companies have tried to state that wearing eyeglasses can lead to accidents, however, many have disputed this because they state they need glasses to see, according to the BBC. 

“The reasons why women are not supposed to wear glasses really don’t make sense,” professor of sociology at Kyoto University of Foreign Studies Kumiko Nemoto said. “It’s all about gender. It’s pretty discriminatory. It reflects the old, traditional Japan.”

Japanese women are not only upset about the glasses ban but over the strict workplace dress code they are forced to follow. This includes always wearing high heels when in the workplace. Several Japanese activists have started a #KuToo petition in order to change some of the old Japanese workplace rules. #KuToo is a play on the #MeToo movement and the Japanese words for shoe, kutsu, and pain, kutsū. This campaign was started by actor and writer Yumi Ishikawa. 

Controversy arises in Japan as a new law passes banning eye glass wear in factories. BIng Images.

“If wearing glasses is a real problem at work it should be banned for everyone, men and women,” activist Ishikawa said. “This problem with glasses is the exact same as high heels. It’s only a rule for female workers.”

The Japanese government responded to this issue of wearing high heels in the workplace with disregard, and saw no issue with making women wear them. Though there were hopes of a petition for the glasses ban, the Japanese government is making no plans to change the rules anytime soon.