Being a bloke living in Japan and having a wife on the JET Program, I feel it almost as my duty to share this post. If anybody reads my blog and is interested in teaching in Japan (most likely finding my blog through looking for ex-pats in Japan or other Japanese related blogs), please take heed and read this article. Sexual harassment is not OK; it’s not part of expected “office culture;” and it’s not your burden to endure this type of abuse.
Japan can be an amazing place filled with exceptional people and once-in-a-lifetime experiences, but it is a country like any other. There is racism. There is sexism and misogyny. This is sexual harassment. Most importantly, it is not your duty to stomach it. It’s important to have realistic expectations about the land we love, and it isn’t all rainbows and unicorn farts here. 🙂
In my previous post (part 1) I discussed the history of sexual harassment law in Japan, and the struggles women continue to face today. But in truth, this series was inspired by a report in The Japan Times about foreign workers in English-language schools.
The article collects information from women who work in private lessons for the Japanese English-education firm GABA. Teachers reported incidents of clients exposing themselves, making lewd remarks, spending 40 minutes staring at a teacher’s breasts during a lesson, and stalking. One client “leant over and looked me straight in the eyes and said, ‘I want to drink your breast milk.’”
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