Japanese women are saying, “No,” to high heels in what’s been dubbed the #KuToo movement, a play on the words for “shoes” and “agony” and an allusion to the #MeToo hashtag. The #MeToo movement has not caught on in Japan, where, even from other women.
“This is about gender discrimination,” Yumi Ishikawa, 32, an actress and writer, who started the movement, said in an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday. “It’s the view that appearances are more important for women at work than for men.”
It is a view not shared, apparently, by Japan’s government
Earlier this week, Ishikawa handed the labor ministry a petition that she began online, protesting many companies’ requirements that their female staff wear pumps and heels. The petition had collected 18,856 signatures.
But when asked about the petition in a parliamentary committee hearing on Wednesday, Takumi Nemoto, the minister of labor, appeared to defend heels-on-the-job.
“It is socially accepted as something that falls within the realm of being occupationally necessary and appropriate,” he told the lawmakers.
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