Japan: Funky rules prohibit women from wearing eyewear in their jobs – business


"Not feminine", "not traditional enough" with such hair-raising reasons prohibit employers in Japan women in the job to wear glasses.

After local media reported about it in the past week, Twitter's hot news started a heated debate.

Under the English hashtag #glassesareforbidden (German for "glasses are prohibited") and the Japanese counterpart women describe their experiences and vent their anger on the sexist rule. Because: For men, the glasses ban does not apply!

There, the women report on the absurd reasons of the bosses:

▶ ︎ Glasses do not fit the traditional kimono worn by waitresses in restaurants.
▶ ︎ A pair of glasses covers the make-up of employees in drugstores and perfumeries.

▶ ︎ Glasses would cause a "cold look" for receptionists.

▶ Brille Glasses with flight attendants is a security risk.

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Often, these rules are not explicitly in the contract, but socially is expected by the women to present themselves in a certain way. The young Japanese women do not just want to accept that.

▶ ︎ On Twitter, a user posts selfies with kimonos and glasses and asks: "Who has decided that glasses do not fit with Japanese clothes?"

▶ ︎ Another user writes about her picture: "Make-up with glasses is fun."
Kumiko Nemoto, professor of sociology in Kyoto, said "BBC" "The reasons why these women should not wear glasses really make no sense. It's all about sex. It's pretty discriminatory. "

The statements reflect an old way of thinking. In this way of thinking, however, it is contradictory that a woman can look feminine at the same time while wearing glasses.

And that, although so many people are dependent on glasses! The professional association of ophthalmologists of Germany e.V. indicates that over 63 percent of Germans over the age of 16 wear glasses in Germany. 93 percent of the over-60s need visual aids. In Japan, things look similar: as many as 78 percent said they needed visual aids in 2017. After all, almost 34 percent said they always rely on glasses.

Support from all over the world

Meanwhile, women from all over the world are posting selfies of glasses to support the Japanese in their protest:
A user writes: "Let women wear what they want, stop trying to control us (and our bodies)."

Already in the summer, Japanese women had caused a stir. Under the name #KuToo, a pun of the Japanese words for "shoe" (kutsu) and "pain" (kutsuu) and in reference to the #Metoo movement, they spoke out against the obligation to wear high heels in the workplace.

They drew attention to a petition by the actress and author Yumi Ishikawa.

Eyewear also in South Korea theme

Japan's women are not alone with their problem: Even in South Korea, glasses in the workplace provide for discussion.

Former beauty queen and news anchor Lim Hyeon-ju surprises her viewers in April 2018 with an unfamiliar sight: she wore glasses in the television studio. On Instagram she shared a picture of herself.
The action was successful: A local airline has since allowed the female crew members to fly with glasses.

Dress codes are also in many other countries repeatedly topic. In the UK, for example, a study was published in 2017 that pointed out that the law prohibits sexist rules, but that they are still prevalent. In May, Norwegian Airlines hit the headlines after it became known that they wanted their flight attendants to wear high heels. The Norwegian MP Anette Trettebergstuen was outraged by the backwardness of the rule: "The 1950s have called and want to get their rules back."

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