Occidentalism
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Fired department store workers protest

June 19th, 2007 . by Matt

Some female workers were fired but continued at their posts in protest. Some men were sent to eject the women, and violence erupted.


26 Responses to “Fired department store workers protest”

  1. comment number 1 by: Ken

    This kind of labour conflict is inevitable because generated employment after the last crisis is almost part time job only.
    http://www.chosunonline.com/article/20070604000041
    But it is natural because the Pres does not know economy.
    http://www.chosunonline.com/article/20070605000038

    By the way, Matt,
    3 blogs about Japan are introduced in Asahi Weekly.
    http://www.asahi.com/english/weekly/0617/03.html
    I was interested in GaijinSmash so tried to post and was rejected.
    If you know how to post there, could you tell me with allowing me an off-topic?

  2. comment number 2 by: Errol

    Plus c’est la meme chose, plus ça change.

    “Relative to other developed countries, few women worked in managerial positions or earned more than a median income, and gender discrimination in the workplace remained a problem. According to the Korea Women’s Development Institute, the average working woman earned 64 percent of what a man made in a comparable job. The Equal Employment Act penalizes companies found to discriminate against women in hiring and promotions. A company found guilty of practicing sexual discrimination could be fined up to $4,399 (5 million won) and have its name published in the newspaper.

    The law also provides for a public fund to support victims in seeking legal redress. Nevertheless, some government agencies’ preferential hiring of applicants with military service (nearly always men) perpetuated legal barriers against women, despite a constitutional court ruling that such preferential hiring was unconstitutional. A recent poll showed that 79 percent of women responded that they had experienced some form of discrimination in the workplace, usually in the form of job duties and pay.”

    Man is the sky and woman is the earth. 2007 and every Korean woman who ever says to you that, “Korea is different now” can be referred to this link.

  3. comment number 3 by: kjeff

    Errol,
    The problem with mere “pointing out” something without actually trying to address the problem is…well, it’s just too damn easy. I’m assuming that you are Japanese…I may be wrong, but…

    Inequality in employment remained entrenched in society. Although Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication statistics showed that women composed 41.6 percent of the labor force, the average monthly wage for women was $1,900 (222,500 yen), less than two thirds of the monthly wage that men earned ($2,890, or 337,800 yen). Many private sector companies directed men into higher paying managerial jobs while steering equally qualified women into lower paying clerical work.

    And in case you’re French,

    The law requires that women receive equal pay for equal work; however, reports by various governmental organizations and NGOs indicated that there was a gender pay discrepancy of around 25 percent, according to the European Industrial Relations Observatory. Women continued to face difficulties in attaining positions of responsibility. According to a study by the government’s statistical agency, fewer than 20 percent of executives in the private sector were women, and although they made up 57 percent of the public workforce, women were underrepresented in managerial jobs and positions of responsibility. They were also underrepresented in political life.

    From your same beloved source…

  4. comment number 4 by: dogbert

    That looks like my morning commute on the subway!

  5. comment number 5 by: Errol

    kjeff Says:
    June 20th, 2007 at 12:47 am

    Errol,
    The problem with mere “pointing out” something without actually trying to address the problem is…well, it’s just too damn easy. I’m assuming that you are Japanese…I may be wrong, but…And in case you’re French,

    Try Australian …

    Here’s the State Department link.

    The law prohibits violence against women, including domestic abuse, and the government enforced the law.

    Women have equal status under the law, and the law provides for pay equity. In August the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) estimated that women’s full-time total average weekly earnings were 80.6 percent of those of men.

    The Commonwealth Criminal Code comprehensively criminalizes “people trafficking” offenses, including sexual servitude, slavery, and deceptive recruitment. These offenses carry penalties of up to 25 years’ imprisonment for slavery, 15 years for sexual servitude, and seven years for deceptive recruitment. Under the Child Sex Tourism Act, it is an offense for citizens or residents to travel abroad to engage in sex with minors under age 16 (see section 5, Children).

    In June 2005 the government expanded existing antitrafficking laws to include new offenses for debt bondage, child trafficking, and domestic trafficking, with penalties of up to 25 years in prison, and in September 2005 ratified the UN Trafficking Protocol.

    Since 2004 the AFP has opened 112 investigations and charged 22 persons for people trafficking offenses. During the year the courts convicted four persons of trafficking offenses and sentenced them to prison terms of up to 10 years.

    THE LAW IS ENFORCED IN AUSTRALIA. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED IF YOU ENGAGE IN SEXUAL DISCRIMINATION IN THE WORKPLACE, SPOUSE ABUSE, PEOPLE TRAFFICKING OR CHILD SEX TOURISM.

  6. comment number 6 by: HanComplex

    They look like a bunch of wild monkeys fighting for food. Tells you much about Korean culture and the people.

    Errol, thanks for the link. This part is telling:

    The government generally respected the human rights of its citizens; however, there were problems in some areas. Domestic violence, rape, and child abuse remained serious problems. Women, persons with disabilities, and minorities continued to face societal discrimination. The country was a country of origin, transit, and destination for trafficking in persons.

    Non-Koreans who have lived in Korea or know enough Koreans shouldn’t really be surprised at the above findings.

  7. comment number 7 by: GarlicBreath

    They look like a bunch of wild monkeys fighting for food

    Monkey-baiting was a real blood sport.

    I think Koreans just love to protest. Whores will protest, or Koreans will protest over a silly british movie . Actually, I don’t know about anything that Koreans won’t protest over. Usually the USA or Japan must be blamed.

  8. comment number 8 by: Ehhhhh....

    Why do white people like to molest little kids, including their own family members? I wonder how many are not white in the recent bust.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/06/18/world/main2942073.shtml?source=RSSattr=HOME_2942073

  9. comment number 9 by: Ehhhhh....

    You want to see monkeys in action, check out these white & black monkeys in America.
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=vVvEChXulSs

  10. comment number 10 by: Ehhhhh....

    Maybe you xenaphobic morons should wake up and see what’s really going on around the world.
    http://www.counterpunch.org/gray09172005.html

  11. comment number 11 by: kjeff

    Errol,

    Try Australian…

    I’m sorry, my mistake… Well, hats off. Always a bit envious of Australians in term of general living condition. Half of my childhood friends lived in Australia, and loving it, except for the brief period during the East-Timor thing. Had it not been for my girlfriend -now wife-, I would have gone to study, and probably live there.

  12. comment number 12 by: Phil2Musashi

    Hey there Ehhhhh….

    Us white folk are not the only people who molest kids, it is just that on an international scale, more white people on average have the sufficient funds to go on wild-underage sex romps.

    In East Asian cultures where public shame is much more serious than personal guilt, families will go to extreme lengths to bury all their dirty secrets. This allows for some awful circumstances, such as parents knowingly letting their own childeren be sexually abused by an older uncle, because it is not as shameful as creating a public incident by sending that uncle to jail. Growing up among many Chinese and Japanese immigrant families in Vancouver I have heard all sorts of scary family stories from friends.

    As for cultures derived from Western Europe, there is a long history of punishing or expelling family members for personal reasons.

    I would suggest from my own experiences that if a white French, British, or Canadian man was caught having sex with kids (his own or otherwise) he would most likely be expelled from his family, but if a Japanese, Chinese or Taiwanese man was caught, his family would go to great lengths to protect and or defend him in the name of their family.

  13. comment number 13 by: egg

    Phil2Musashi

    I would suggest from my own experiences that if a white French, British, or Canadian man was caught having sex with kids (his own or otherwise) he would most likely be expelled from his family, but if a Japanese, Chinese or Taiwanese man was caught, his family would go to great lengths to protect and or defend him in the name of their family.

    I understand that what you are saying in the above is a counter-argument against Ehhhhh and I have no intention to deny your experience. But isn`t there too much generalization included?
    To say further when a woman in western countries remarriage with her child and if she doesn`t have enough economic ability to live alone, do you truelly think that she will never neglect to bring a charge against her abusing husband?
    I admit in Japan still there are cases in which a familiy member neglects to accuse, but the main reason today is not the orient original ( as you say ) feeling of shame. It is a question of whether someone can live with her child without someone else`s help or not. I don`t know about other countries much but I guess it is not so different.
    I admit women living only by herself might be more difficult compared to western countries but isn`t it just a question of degree?

  14. comment number 14 by: Phil2Musashi

    Good point Egg. And yes, I am generalizing. But I am doing so to point out the different kinds of logic involved in different societies. There does seem to be a trend in East Asian cultures of Confucian heritage that consider the notion of the “family” as being above that of the rest of society. While in the West, sometimes we are almost to quick to give up our family values in order to submit to what society believes to be just.

    In the case of a single mother, I still partial to the idea that in general there are more opportunities in Canada, American, or Western Europe for women who may be trapped in relationships that are abusive to either themselves or their children.

    I guess it is not so much a question of the inherent values of a culture, but a question of how those values shape a society.

    What do you think? Does that make more sense?

  15. comment number 15 by: camphortree

    Phil2Musashi Says:

    As for cultures derived from Western Europe, there is a long history of punishing or expelling family members for personal reasons

    Japan has a long history of punishing or expelling family members for personal reasons. It is called “勘当” or ”親子の縁を切る”. It has been one of popular themes in kabuki, other forms of classic theater plays, modern soap operas and literature. Japan’s 1,300 year old chronicle, “The Record of the Ancient Matters(古事記)” tells an episode in that a mighty god(須佐之男命)was expelled from the heavenly plain by his sister, the Sun Godess(天照大神). She gathered all the gods and goddesses at the river bank, discussed on how to punish the problem god, and they came to a conclusion that he must leave the “Eden” forever. So he did.
    To my amazement this mythical tradition??? had been carried out until recently in the village in Shikoku where I was born. I did not know about that until my dying great aunt told me. She passsed away when she was 98 years old. I went back to Japan to see her before she passed away. In her bed she told me ancient events that took place in the village. One of her stories was that a village young man J was expelled from my village about sixty years ago. He had sneaked into his elder brother’s wife’s futon when her husband had been out of the village. Back then the married couple chose not to ask the police to come. Instead, the matter was discussed at the relative’s secret meeting(親族会議)and their conclusion was delivered to the village mayor. In a strict confidential manner the village mayor expelled J forever from the village. J was not allowed to step in the village even when his mother or father passed away. J died in a far away place somewhere in Kanagawa-ken(near Tokyo) at the age of eighty plus years old. Apparently he had no family of his own. The Kanagawa Police notified his death to his elder brother who was living in my village in Shikoku. The elder brother was too old to go and pick up his younger brother’s dead body. His son did not go either. A current village council head did for the family. Sixty some years after J left my village his ash returned home and according to my great aunt, the ash was “burried” in a small chest of drawer that was designed to be pulled in inside the base stone of his mother’s marble tombstone. The mother and my great aunt were childhood friends.

  16. comment number 16 by: Phil2Musashi

    Oh yeah, I’ve read a little bit of the Kojiki. Cool book (sometimes kinda naughty eh!?!). It is of course true that people are expelled for internal family conflicts in East Asian communities as well. But there is also a big difference in the way a small community deals with a problem, and the way a society deals with a problem. It also depends on the how well known the people involved are.

  17. comment number 17 by: egg

    Phil2Musashi
    Thanks for your reply. I enjoy talking with you.
    After I read your post I examined my ideas again about the family values. Or I might say your suggestion gave me a good chance to think about the family values in Japan. But still I think those values only have some limited effect. I believe the neglect of accusing abusing family member now a days is mainly caused by the economical opportunity to live alone provided by the society and not by the cultural values. To begin with the values don`t differ much today, I believe.

    Now Japan accepted not only Confucianism but also buddhism and had Shinto too. So I don`t know whether the below will apply to other asian countries. I am intending to refer only to Japan. And some introduction of what I consider to be the past Japanese family values is included.
    “養老孟司” who is a Japanese critic about society, suggests that the area where the public laws ruled differed in Japan compared to western countries before we lost the WW2. (Those values were changed by our present constitution.) He is claiming that in Japan the rules didn`t come into families while in western countries it did. He says the notion of public and private differed. Private meant the area of indivisuals in western countries but the area of families in Japan. The units of society was not an indivisuals but families in Japan, he says.
    In general I think what he is claiming is a reasonable theory. But I don`t want you to think that the above will mean that fathers could do anything to their families. In my interpretation he had the responsibility to rule or run his family well so that all the family members can live happily. And even though public laws didn`t come into families, if he couldn`t, he would be considered as an unable man. I feel, originally shame was felt against themselves when fathers couldn`t make their family members happy or control their family members to live peacefully. (Not against the ill acting family member) (And maybe later other family members began to think of ill acting familiy members as a shame.)
    But the present constitution states clearly that the unit of society is an indivisual. Nearly sixty years have passed since it was made. So the idea of a family being a unit of society has changed quite a lot. It still remains a little but today, it won`t cause much effect.
    So my answer to your question is talking about today, family values do not differ much to western countries. And I think this

    in general there are more opportunities in Canada, American, or Western Europe for women who may be trapped in relationships that are abusive to either themselves or their children.

    likely but in my opinion it comes from the economical differences.
    I am not so conffident whether I understood and replied you properly or not. But I would like to hear your comment. And it is only my ideas so if there are some Japanese posters who have different opinions please correct me.

     

  18. comment number 18 by: egg

    I believe the neglect of accusing abusing family member now a days is mainly caused by the economical opportunity to live alone provided by the society and not by the cultural values.

    should be

    I believe the neglect of accusing abusing family member now a days is mainly caused by the lack of economical opportunity to live alone provided by the society and not by the cultural values.

  19. comment number 19 by: GarlicBreath

    ahnyonghaseyo Ehhh,

    Ehh
    You want to see monkeys in action, check out

    these white & black monkeys in America.

    Please don’t make racist comments.

    Ehhhhh…. Says:

    Maybe you xenaphobic morons should wake up and see what’s really going on around the world.

    Ehhh.. I also reccomend getting out of Great Corea and see what is going on in the world. You are in for a big suprise.

    phi-ting!!

  20. comment number 20 by: Phil2Musashi

    I think I know what you mean Egg. I am definately guilty of generalization, but I guess it is because I was looking for major differences, and it would seem that economic differences are definately a major factor.

    But do you really think there is not much difference between the values of Western Countries and East Asian? Sometimes I think Western country’s values are really screwed up, and East Aisan are so much better. Other days, on certain subjects, I am so glad that I am not coming from an East Asian background.

    Just among my friends, I would suggest that there is a much feeling of connection in regard to East Asian families. I wonder for example, how much guilt would you have if you found out that your father or brother was molesting a child. I would be angry at them, but I don’t think I would feel guilt. Some of my Chinese and Japanese friends however, feel very bad if about what their own family does.

    Does that make any sense? Hope my ideas are coming across (I’m a little tired right now!).

  21. comment number 21 by: egg

    Phil2Musashi

    I am definately guilty of generalization,

    I think my words must have been harsh. I will appolgize. Sorry. I have absolutly no intention to accuse you. As I said before I enjoy so much talking with you. I just wanted to express my ideas, hear your opinions, know the differences and clear why the differences occured.

    But do you really think there is not much difference between the values of Western Countries and East Asian?

    I think there are differences. But I want to think or decide them to be trivial. As long as we live the differences are not so substancial. We breathe, eat, drink, sleep, learn, play etc. Are there substancial differences?
    I admit I can`t always think this way. There is always a temptation to take a conspiracy theory. But still I will promise you, I will try not to take it. There are differences but I hope we can cope them by respecting each other.
    Now, back to your question, what will I feel if my father was molesting a child? I will feel sorry for the victims ( it might be called shame, I can`t tell.), anger against my father for both causing harm to the victim and degrading our family honour (yes, I think this might be a family value too, but I think to say accuratly or honestly it might be just a fear that the society`s anger will point to our family. Whether those who say that they feel guilt are concious or not, I can`t tell, but I will say it is just a fear. (I believe shame is a feeling that fathers or whom responsible for running a family will feel for not being able to take care of his family.) I hate these kind of Japanese society`s aspects.).
    I will feel sad and I think I will cry but still, I will take my father to the pollice or to the victim`s family to appologize and conpensate.
    Will my actions differ to you? ( Sorry, I am rather drunk today so I will examine what I wrote tomorrow but I think the essentials will not change.)

  22. comment number 22 by: egg

    Phil2Musashi (addition)
    The distance between the country where we live is quite wide when I compare it with the distance between the table (where my computer is on) and my bed (where I am going to sleep from now on). But it will be quite narrow or short when we compare it to the distance from our sun. It is all relative. It is just what you want to consider, I think. I would like to value the similality and at the same time, to discover where the differences occured.

  23. comment number 23 by: Phil2Musashi

    Egg said

    Will my actions differ to you? ( Sorry, I am rather drunk today so I will examine what I wrote tomorrow but I think the essentials will not change.)

    That is sooo funny! I was drunk last night when I posted too! Haha, I think the distance between us just grew a little shorther LOL!

    I think I know how you feel though Egg. I believe my actions and feelings in such a situation would be very similiar to what yours would be.

    I guess when I should clarify what I mean by cultural differences. You are correct, it is all about relative distance. As humans, there is very little difference between us. But as members of any individual society or social group, there can be huge differences.

    And the past will always influence the present. For example, in parts of China a son could be sentanced to jail or even executed, for testifying against his father. If though this legal system changed when the Communists came to power, the existence of such a law gives insight into how the priorities of a society which adheres to popular Confucian thought is structured. There is an idea that the family is paramount; and that it was seen as more deadly to society that a son would turn in his father, than any offence the father could commit.
    In the West, if you can not bring yourself to turn in a family member who has does something wrong, then society believes we are too weak, or that we don’t have the moral strength to do so. In many East-Asian cultures though, I think there is a greater sympathy for the internal suffering and coflict that we must deal with when choosing between a loved one, and what we believe is right.
    Does that flesh out my idea a little better?

  24. comment number 24 by: egg

    Phil2Musashi
    There may be a chance in the future when we drink together. It must be fun.
    When I was writing the above, I was only thinking about Japan. I think you have been thinking in a more wider span. I don`t have much time today, so I will examine my thought about Confuciasm and write about it later.

  25. comment number 25 by: egg

    Phil2Musashi
    I am not so confident but you seem to have “孝”(filial piety) in your mind. You seem to think it only exists in Eastern countries and this cultural difference will bring the difference in peoples activities and feelings(“a greater sympathy for the internal suffering and coflict that we must deal with when choosing between a loved one, and what we believe is right”). And you consider this cultural difference to be quite big(“as members of any individual society or social group, there can be huge differences”).Am I right?
    .
    Well, I believe that in general, these cultural values or virtues exist to maintain social system or to let people survive more easily. And a society is not maintained by only one value or virtue. In China there were “義”(righteousness),”忠”(loyalty), too. A society choses which virtue is superior to other influenced by social, natural environments, I think. For example China chose “孝”(filial piety) superior to others, but when Japan imported them, Japan weighed “忠”(loyalty) more. I imagine the difference between the two countries was caused by the social and natural environment.(I think in China, you had to make big families to survive but in Japan it was not so necessary.) So, if the social,natural environments will change, I think the order of values will change too.
    And to say further, how the society weighes the values may differ, each value might be quite similar in every society, I guess. For example you can translate the Chinese virtues to English. It means that there is a same kind of notion in western countries too. And you said that you will feel similar to me, if our fathers were molesting a child. You said “I think there is a greater sympathy” and won`t that mean you have some “孝”(filial piety) already?
    What I want to say is that every society has many virtues and how the society weighes may differ from society to society(The differences comes from social, natural environments.). But I guess that each virtues are pretty much alike. (Because they are used in the same purpose, to maintain the society.)
    .
    It might be just that I am trying to focus on similarity, while you want to recognize the difference more clearly. Maybe we are just looking into the different sides of a coin.
    By the way, I still think that how Japanese society today weighes the values are quite similar to western countries. (But I think there are some points where I changed my ideas.)
    .
    It is just my hypothesis and if there are someone who is good at comparative study of cultures, plese correct me.

  26. comment number 26 by: Phil2Musashi

    I think we are noticing a lot of the same points Egg, but I was definately focusing on the differences. I didn’t want to say that Japan and Western nations do not share the same virtues. I guess what I wanted to say is that although many cultures share the same virtues, they do not share the same social pressures. And it is often these social pressures that affect how much priority a specific virtue is given within a culture.
    .
    There is so much arguement between English speaking Western countries such as Canada, England, and the U.S. They all share a common language, share a great amount of common history and literature. But, each country has its own very distinct societies that places different values on different virtues.