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Society: Feminism

In this lesson you will read about Feminism and how it has changed the way people think about women.

Part 1: Women in Japan

Think about women in Japan. Read these questions. Write your opinion () in your notebooks. Do you think that women have equal rights in Japan? (Why or why not ) Do you want equal rights for women in Japan? (Why or why not ) What are some stereotypes of women in Japan? (Why or why not ) Are women only clubs, bars and gyms a good or a bad thing? (Why or why not )

Part 2: Vocabulary
Find these words in the dictionary. Write the meaning in your notebook. Feminism, equality, patriarchal, stereotypes, discrimination, punish, attitudes, illegal

Part 3: The history of Feminism

Read the report. Answer these questions. Write in your notebook. What changed in 1928? What new laws started in the 1960s? Why did a new Feminism start in the 1990s? What is Revolutionary Girl Utena about? What changes have happened in Japan about womens rights in the last 10 years?

Feminism is the idea that women are equal to men. Feminists want equality, or equal rights, for women including pay, legal, and working rights, and stopping domestic violence and sexual harassment. The history of feminism starts with the suffragette movement in Britain and America in the 1900s. Suffragettes wanted the right to vote in elections. They had many demonstrations and in Britain in 1928 the law was changed so that all women over 18 could vote. In the 1960s Feminists wanted to change patriarchal society so that women could have the same rights as men. They wanted to change stereotypes about women; for example, most people thought women should get married and have children. They should not have a job or be independent. In the 1960s in America new laws made discrimination against women illegal. If a company did not choose a women to do a job because she was a women then they would be punished. In the 1990s a new Feminism started because women still had many problems including sexual harassment, discrimination at work and in society, and unequal rights. Feminists now try to change the ideas women have about themselves. An example of this is the Japanese anime Revolutionary Girl Utena (Shoujo Kakumei Utena). In this story a young woman wants to be a Prince. By changing her idea about what she wants to be and how she acts, she is changing her idea about herself. She is has her own ideas and identity, and does not need men. A famous Japanese feminist is Kato Shidzue. She was born in 1897 and was one of the first women politicians, working from 1946 to 1974 for the Japan Socialist Party. She started the Japan Family Planning Association in 1948 which helps women to get birth control and contraception.

Japanese society is changing. Women Only bars, restaurants, trains, and gyms are very popular, and women have jobs and careers, but there are still problems such as unequal pay and unequal protection after divorce.