Sociopolitical Issue thread

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Re: Sociopolitical Issue thread

Post by jhamba » Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:54 pm

Birdie wrote:
jhamba wrote:This brings up a question, though. When can a trend or movement be called a proper subculture? imo, The fact that there is a small amount of people who associate themselves with pastel punk and the ideals have a certain amount of cohesiveness, which makes it enough of a subculture to me
I think what we’ve been trying to get at is that pastel punk relies too heavily on grunge and punk to be it’s own subculture. Jaej had also mentioned things like a scene, a definite music style, films, novels even, media coverage… Pastel punk doesn’t have any of this (yet) and we’ll have to wait and see whether or not it will develop or vanish. Of course subcultures and counter cultures always influence each other but as far as I can tell pastel punk is basically punk with a few more colours thrown in, soft grunge was meant to be a cleaner, prettier version of 1990s grunge. I’m still not sure if they aren’t interchangable too because all the “pastel punk” stuff I see looks exactly like Tumblr soft grunge to me. It’s an aesthetic I actually really like but I don’t see in what way it could be understood as its own subculture because I don’t see the political connection you see and I also think it’s still too close to just being regular grunge or punk to “count”.
jhamba wrote:I'm not trying to argue that the goth, punk and other counter cultural subcultures are a part of patriarchy or not feminist, just that some people might feel alienated because of the image, so they might find pastel more welcoming.
Yes, I can see that but I also think that these people still are drawn in by punk, goth or grunge in the first place. They’ve formed their own style within these communities because they didn’t like everything about them. I think that sums up what I was trying to say nicely: Pastel is a community within the punk/grunge/goth communities, not its own counter culture alongside them. Counter cultures evolve all the time, they change and they branch out and I think pastel is one small branch within the punk and grunge communities. Emo started out like this too in the late 1990s and then changed drastically and became bigger, developed its own musical style, aesthetics and “rules”. Pastel might do that but I don’t think it has yet.

I think we can’t really compare today’s subcultures to those of the past anyway. Back then, in the 1960s and 1970s, it was different because it was a completely new thing. The Mods, Punk etc., it had never happened before. It’s not new anymore and being counter culture has in some way become mainstream. It’s not that scandalous, different or political anymore, anyone can do it and in some way everyone does it. So subcultures keep branching out to form always newer, smaller “cultures” because people want to be different. But I personally think it’s a good thing we’ve come far enough as a society that being punk or emo or whatever is mostly socially accepted.
trashqueen wrote:on the other hand i do have Opinions™ on things being disregarded as 'not real' because they are happening mainly online *pulls out communication student card*
I think this might’ve been directed at me? As I said: I’m not saying it’s not real. I’m saying it’s not an actual subculture or even a counter culture because it is small, new and hasn’t developed into one yet. It still leans on punk too heavily to be its own thing and even though jhamba has mentioned a political connection, I can’t really find it even though I believe her it’s there for her of course. I didn’t mean to invalidate pastel as a way of life, I just think it’s not comparable to actual counter cultures for the reasons stated above. Yet. We’ll see were it will go in the future. Halsey has been mentioned a lot and she’s the epitome of soft grunge, I think, in the way that it seems to be something she actively connects with whilst other artists that get labeled “pastel” don’t. This might be a start of something or it might die down again, we’ll have to wait and see!

PS: I’m not as passionate about this as my posts make out, lol. I’m sorry if I’m being obnoxious or anything, I just think this is really interesting. I haven't studied sociology but I have worked with social history and I love the history of counter cultures and stuff, so interesting.
This is me being pedantic, but counterculture actually encompasses any subculture that goes against mainstream culture, so pastel is definitely a part of the counter culture.

Also, I'm going to argue , as I have before, that all subsets of counter culture is built as an offshoot to another one (except se religions, maybe). And, I feel like pastel punk/soft grunge (I don't see much of a difference, either), has come into it's own, to some extent. There's some definite role models they have, and there is enough evidence, to me, that it has some of it's own philosophy which differs slightly from grunge/punk/emo.

Also, I feel the need to mention, I don't actually give a shit about pastel personally, either. The only reason I feel the need to come to it's defense is because it's so dominated by teenage girls, who are just shat on by society. My defense of pastel punk comes from the same place of me defending Mary Sue's in fanfiction.
Just trying to spread the Dangirl agenda

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Re: Sociopolitical Issue thread

Post by Katka » Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:07 pm

jhamba wrote:Also, I feel the need to mention, I don't actually give a shit about pastel personally, either. The only reason I feel the need to come to it's defense is because it's so dominated by teenage girls, who are just shat on by society. My defense of pastel punk comes from the same place of me defending Mary Sue's in fanfiction.
We might not agree about the pastel thing but I totally agree with this. :thumb: I don't have much else to say on the subculture discussion but I wanted to let you know that I understand this and this is something I feel strongly about too.

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Re: Sociopolitical Issue thread

Post by Sakura Selfie » Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:44 pm

There's some very interesting discussions on here regarding the punk ethos, I'd just like to say in regards to jaej saying that there were a lot of middle class punks well there might have been but the people going to Eric's (a nightclub in my home city that was famous for showcasing punk bands) to watch the punk bands were mainly the kids off the council estates not the surburban sheltered kids, and right wing fuckwits wearing swastikas would not have been looked upon kindly in a movement that was very racially diverse. You're right that a lot of the people did also wear suits, ska and two tone were also popular and the working class kids did like looking smart but they still liked punk, the clothes were a part of it but the main point of it was the protest music and making a stand. The Rock against Racism concert in 1978 is a decent example of this. In relation to the gender roles, there were a lot of very strong female presences in punk, sioxie et al were very popular and to this day my dad still loves Pauline Murray. Punk may have had some issues but as a movement and a counter culture I genuinely think it helped a generation of frustrated British youths a voice and the music it produced has documented a very turmoil ridden era in British society excellently. Anyway, the clash are the first band I ever properly remember listening to when I was a kid, and I'm privileged to say I saw Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros before he passed away and he really is a hero of mine (and that's why I'm very passionate about this subject and I'll stop now, sorry for the ramble.)

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Re: Sociopolitical Issue thread

Post by capybantsa » Wed May 31, 2017 5:21 am

Since it was getting very off topic and I didn't think it would be appropriate to carry it over to the new thread, I'm replying here instead. Sorry it's a bit long, I got in analyst mode a little bit lol

Subject: Dan & Phil Part 46: Some kind of a gay backstory
Gnosia wrote:
capybantsa wrote:
Pushing hard for change is very un-Japanese, so if that's what feminism is then I think it's incompatible with Japanese core values.

Advancements in technology allow people to have more freedom of choice in their lives because it makes both jobs outside the home and housework much easier. Jobs that used to destroy men's health are now easy and safe enough that women can do them without society having a collective heart attack about it, and housework is quick and easy enough that you don't have to spend all day everyday doing it, so now men and women both are freer to make choices about our lives. Choices that laws alone couldn't give us because of life's responsibilities.

One of the biggest issues women have in Japan is the lack of respect in business, but this is slowly changing. Once the current generation of upper management finally releases their death grip on their companies and retire, I think we'll see more women in those positions. I don't think it will ever be an equal outcome even with equal opportunity though, because women here just aren't as interested in such positions. Being a housewife is still a popular choice among women even despite the freedom to work.

Likewise, most Japanese people think it would be good if there were more women in politics, but even despite that general attitude and government efforts to get more women in politics it's just not happening, so I think probably women aren't interested in that as much either. People certainly aren't avoiding voting for them.

I had to look up the Bechdel test. It seems arbitrary and weird to me, but I'm pretty sure most popular Japanese anime and dramas would pass. Not sure about movies since I don't watch movies much. I don't think anybody in Japan would care about such a metric, and would instead focus on the characters as individuals and how they fit into the story.

Housewives are much more common than househusbands, so most daytime TV and commercials are more targeted to women over their 30s, which includes cleaning commercials, but it's somewhat mixed. I found a compilation of Japanese commercials it's the first video I clicked on and in the first 2 minutes there's a dad making a bento and taking his kid to the park. There are male and female versions of this particular commercial campaign
In rounding back to the original relevant topic of discussion about opening channels of communication between understanding both sides of a perspective or political stance where the viewpoints are not centered on potentially harmful rhetoric but merely a contrast of opinion about ideals and their usefulness or implementation, I think it's always best to hear the point of view of those directly affected by the issues feminism addresses or directly involved in its efforts of reform in Japan rather than relying on an interpretative perspective alone as many things can become lost in translation, even as a citizen of that country.

It's a complex subject with I'm sure many more contributors and angles than I will ever know about from my own limited purview as someone not of Japan and also as someone hugely aware of the limitation involved with applying european/western standards of thinking to other cultures, but I found the two articles below featuring interviews with different advocates of the movement in Japan interesting to read if only for a better, more well rounded idea of the issues faced and the actions being taken and the reception/backlash towards these measures. ... -feminism/ ... -election/

In the second article linked, on the subject of politics in Japan, when you say there's no visible interest in pursuing politics I found the below contrast interesting to read:
For women with political ambitions, the system in Japan remains stacked against them. Noelle Takahashi, a politically active woman who currently works for a private firm in Tokyo, is angling for a seat in the next House of Representatives general election as a candidate with the Democratic Party of Japan, the country’s second-largest political party. Takahashi says political parties prefer a certain kind of profile when they are selecting candidates for office. “They prefer a man,” she said, “who graduated from Tokyo University, majored in law, and used to work in the Ministry of Finance,” long regarded as Japan’s most powerful ministry.

And when women are able to run for office, it’s often for vacancies — less desirable political districts that established, usually male politicians can avoid. “Women candidates can only get the leftovers,” Takahashi said.

Even the women who have managed to make it into elected office tend to hold less influential positions and have less experience than their male counterparts. That’s because Japanese women, unlike men, are rarely career politicians. They may have entered office from a less competitive district or on the coattails of a popular national leader. When they are later voted out, as seats are difficult to keep over the long term in Japan, they are likely to give up on politics and move on with their lives.
Seemingly to suggest percieved lack of interest isn't exactly correlative to the answer of why women aren't engaging with political careers, with other interesting points made in the rest of the article talking about the emphasis of family and other societal norms as only one part of the problem. On the whole, although there may be skeptiscm towards adopting the term feminsim, there's still interest in adopting its philosophy. Maybe it's un-Japanese to want change, but maybe it's just human to seek change in unfavorable circumstances and in doing so it seems natural people will gather around certain movements that provde the catalysis and framework better than others while using it to accomodate their personal circumstances as they vary from country to country.

and the technology answer still confuses me it seems like saying with the invention of the roomba people no longer need to worry about domestic chores and can now get on to funding that start-up or playing mini golf at the arcade next door without a problem, when just as I mentioned, situations tend to be more complex than such a simple solution would imply even taking into account opposing core values and traditions.

I don't know. Just a thought out of many..
There is a tiny bit of feminism in Japan, but it's extremely minimal and largely led by foreigners or people heavily influenced by western ideals, so it's accurate to say that Japan does not really have feminism. Feminists have pretty much no power or popularity in Japan.

If you search "feminism" in Japanese (incognito so the results are universal) you'll get a very wide range of results, but most of it is neutral or negative. There are 1.5mil results, and most of it is either dictionary results, western celebrity talk, stuff translated from English, or criticism.

Related keywords are "feminism Emma Watson", "feminist man", "feminism Japan", "feminist ugly", "feminism antonym", "feminism opposition", "feminist annoying", "anti-feminism", "feminism criticism", and "feminism gender".

The general impression I get is that a lot of people view feminism as unfair to men, kinda cult-like, and at odds with Japanese ideals.

If you search "woman lib" in Japanese there are only 200,000 results, but they're much more positive or neutral and the related keywords are mostly prominent names and where to find info. Due to the low number of results, I think probably only people direclty interested in it are talking about it.

Now getting into the common concerns and discussions regarding sexism:

If you search "female discrimination" you get 4mil results. By far the most common complaint is lack of respect in the workplace, but another common complaint is lack of consideration from husbands (loveless marriages are kinda common unfortunately). There's a surprising amount of discussion about sexism against men in these results, too.

Related keywords are "gender discrimination examples", "gender discrimination work", "female discrimination current state", "female discrimination workplace", "female discrimination male discrimination", "gender discrimination close to you", "female discrimination history", "female sexism English" (this is really common in Japanese keywords, it's not indicative of anything besides an obsession with English), "「heeey tea」is gender discrimination" (this refers to workplace disrespect), "gender discrimination essay".

Going through some results there seems to be a strong interest in hearing women's opinions and experiences directly, and there aren't really any legal complaints, only cultural ones (though cultural ones are of course valid). There's also discussion about how bad women's issues are (or aren't) in comparison to men's issues, and comparison of the present to the past. There's more gender neutrality in these results, but the women's issues are taken seriously.

If you search "male discrimination" you get 5.5mil results and there is a lot of discussion about preferential treatment to women and women's issues both culturally and legally. There's also discussion about the general disposability of men in Japanese culture, male exclusion by businesses, and a lot of talk about foreigners' opinions.
(The use of foreigners is a common tactic in Japan to open up a non-PC conversation that it would be "inappropriate" for a Japanese person to start, but gets a pass because foreigners aren't expected to adhere as strictly to Japanese customs. Basically, "oh hey look at these problems foreigners have noticed, let's talk about it maybe".)

Related keywords are "male discrimination examples", "male discrimination power nation Japan" (wasn't totally sure how to word that, it basically means on an international scale Japan has quite a lot of male discrimination and so is a "power nation" regarding that, similar to how a country might have a lot of cultural influence internationally and could be called a "cultural power nation"), "male discrimination problems", "male discrimination girls' channel" (a popular women's forum), "male discrimination 2ch" (4chan's big brother), "male discrimination earthquake" (referring to male disposability in disaster situations), "male discrimination overseas reaction", "male discrimination anime", "male discrimination society", and "male discrimination why".

There seems to be a general impression that sexism against men is rampant in Japan, and there is a lot of concern over other people's opinions rather than men's own opinions. The complaints are both cultural and legal. There also seems to be much less respect for people speaking out about these issues than there is for the people speaking out about women's issues, which would explain the foreigner tactic and the over-concern for others' opinions.

Putting them both together, it seems men are considered to have more problems in Japan, but women's problems are considered to be more important, and it's harder to talk about men's problems because of social stigma.

Bringing it back to feminism, Japanese people don't have it, want it, or seem to even need it. Which is why I said before that the importance of feminism seems overestimated by westerners.
Regarding politics: First of all, Noelle Takahashi is not Japanese, she is American of Japanese descent. Her observations are worth listening to, but they do not represent Japanese views.

Most people perceive a problem in politics for women, which is why the government has made efforts to purposely increase the number of women. However, if the number didn't increase much despite strong efforts by the government and strong public support, I think that means maybe the "problem" wasn't as much of a problem as people thought. Even the article you quoted said that women just aren't trying as hard as men to stay in politics. We're already encouraging women and instating policies to help them, should we also try forcing them?

We'll see how much things change once the current generation of politicians retire, but I don't think it will change nearly as much as people expect.
What is confusing about technology giving people more freedom? In the past, chores had to be done and they took all day to do. Now they still have to be done, but they can be done very quickly with most of the day left open. With no other responsibilities to fill that time, suddenly there is freedom of choice. I'm not saying it's the only factor, but it seems obvious that it is a very big factor. Social and legal change can only do so much in the face of the harsh demands of life.

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