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Labour minister: high heels at work necessary

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thomas

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🤦‍♂️🤦‍♀️ That's deserving of a double facepalm! And perhaps a Darwin Award.

According to Japan's (male) Minister of Labour Takumi Nemoto wearing high heels is necessary and reasonable in workplaces. He expressed his opposition to the #KuToo movement and its call for a law barring employers from forcing women to wear high heels:

“It is socially accepted as something that falls within the realm of being occupationally necessary and appropriate,” Nemoto told a legislative committee on Wednesday.
Thousands of supporters have rallied behind the hashtag #KuToo — a pun based on the Japanese words for shoe (kutsu) and pain (kutsuu).

yumi-ishikawa.jpg
Photo credit: Kyodo News


 

Julie.chan

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I don't know about Darwin Award... I don't see how saying that is going to kill him.

But it's true that requiring high heels is unreasonable. (High heels cause damage and deformities to the foot.)

And FWIW I don't think it's reasonable for an employer to have sex-assigned dress codes at all. Even if you cast aside the argument that it's discrimination against women (and also men; it goes both ways), it's also really bad for transgender people.
 

nice gaijin

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I'm too lazy to make a proper joke, but he really put his foot in his mouth. (Asahi, Telegraph)

Seriously, what is necessary and appropriate about it? I'd like to know. I agree that he ought to be forced to wear them, since he's inclined to inflict them on women. After all, high heels were originally men's fashion.
 

Julie.chan

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Didn't the modern fashion trend start with a short queen? I seem to remember reading that somewhere, though I can't remember where.

Eh, whatever. Damaging fashion is damaging fashion regardless of where it came from. (Still better than foot binding, though... even thinking about that ancient practice makes my skin crawl.)
 

Glenski

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It's necessary and reasonable if you want to keep women in "their place", a social position where they are inferior to men. Keep it up, Old Boys. You're just being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
 

Lothor

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I'm too lazy to make a proper joke, but he really put his foot in his mouth. (Asahi, Telegraph)

Seriously, what is necessary and appropriate about it? I'd like to know. I agree that he ought to be forced to wear them, since he's inclined to inflict them on women. After all, high heels were originally men's fashion.
Nothing is necessary and appropriate about it, as he well knows. But people asserting their rights, however reasonably, is anathema to the ruling classes in Japan, so a comment had to be made.
 

TGI-ECT

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Do any of you know where the actual regulation can be found as to a height limit for a pair of shoes?

I ask, because if there can be no regulation found that clearly states a height limit, then one of you that might have a friend that works with/on shoes should ask if it would be possible to design a seriously high shoe that will be safe and then ask one of the media folks to watch as an individual wears that pair to work at some government office, like the MHLW.

I mean, sometimes taking something to extremes, but being safe, can get folks to reconsider an idea that is basically not too great.

I thought I had read that in both the UK and Canada the folks in charge, when pushed, backed off and said enough was enough and do as you wish.

You get the BBC to be on hand when somebody walks into one of those government buildings in Kasumigaseki with a pair of 150cm tall shoes on, then the rest of the world takes notice and the folks in power start to worry that maybe a custom like that being started just one year before the Olympic Games come to town could sort of cause an image problem. In more ways than one.

And if somebody wants to ask about this on that Twitter platform, please do. I don't think I have an account on Twitter.
 

TGI-ECT

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Well, an interesting situation.

At a meeting I was attending a short while ago I was approached during a break and somebody asked me if I didn't think 150cm was too much?

I had already thought about that and was planning to make an adjustment in a new post, but it seems at least one other individual spotted that, too. Maybe some of you others, too.

So let us bring the height down to about 50cm. During that break and discussion I was informed that about 10cm was considered a sort of standard, and I want something that will be obviously much higher, IF there are no regulations written against the use of super high heels.

I also have considered another factor of safety --- the person that participates in this exercise will have to wear special ankle supports, but would that also be in the regulations? They could be hidden if the person participating in this special project is wearing a non-skirt style business arrangement.

Now if we could get like about 10 folks to participate, that would be even better.

We could call it the Nemoto Fashion. Or the Nemoto Style. Something like that. But be safe and all that.

I mean, if that Nemoto fella wants them ladies to be tall, well then get them way up in the air, right?

Super Tall means Super Business Style, yes?
 

jt9258

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The point that is being missed here is that all Japanese companies here, have registered[
company rules with the Labor standards office, once registered the rules are rules and if
they state a women must wear high heals then that is what she wears.
 

thomas

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The point that is being missed here is that all Japanese companies here, have registered[
company rules with the Labor standards office, once registered the rules are rules and if
they state a women must wear high heals then that is what she wears.
Company rules, like all other regulations and legal stipulations, are not set in stone and can be amended in case they are nonsensical, obsolete or do no longer reflect social conventions. And that is exactly the point of the #KuToo campaign. Not that forcing women to wear high heels is equivalent, but apartheid, racial segregation, universal manhood suffrage, and six-day working weeks were once rules, too.

[tl:dr: silly rules can be amended]
 

jt9258

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But Japan is a rule based group culture and that is some thing I prefer and value.
 

joadbres

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The point that is being missed here is that all Japanese companies here, have registered[
company rules with the Labor standards office, once registered the rules are rules and if
they state a women must wear high heals then that is what she wears.
The VERY SAME article (and the VERY SAME sentence) of the Labor Standards Act which states that companies must submit rules goes on to state that companies must resubmit the rules if they are amended.

If you had bothered to look that up before posting, you could have saved all of us from reading your spurious nonsense.
 

jt9258

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I am fully aware of the Labor Standards Law, and yes you are right, a company
can resubmit for a change in the rules, but in most cases they never change
them.

The labor standards law sets minimums, most companies set rules that should
set higher standards than the Labor law, but most use the rules to provide less
than the minimums set by the labor Law.

Why do you insist on insulting others with words such as ""saved all of us from
reading your spurious nonsense"". Is there really any need for this?
 

joadbres

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Is there really any need for this?
You show a condescending tone ("The point that is being missed here"), and then provide completely bogus information ("once registered the rules are rules").

Yes, in this case there is most certainly a need.
 

jt9258

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You show a condescending tone ("The point that is being missed here"), and then provide completely bogus information ("once registered the rules are rules").

Yes, in this case there is most certainly a need.
Have you ever tried getting them changed?

Its not part of the culture to change things, as the education systems main focus is to turn
out an obedient workforce that accepts everything and questions nothing.

And Yes I do have children in the education system.
 
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Julie.chan

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Japan evolved from a failed militaristic empire into one of if not the greatest economic powerhouse with very little military presence that sets a positive example for the rest of the world.

If that sort of change was possible, I think it's possible to get rid of high heels from a company's dress code. Just saying.
 

jt9258

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Japan evolved from a failed militaristic empire into one of if not the greatest economic powerhouse with very little military presence that sets a positive example for the rest of the world.
Sorry if its off topic:-

But to answer your comment about little military presence,

Abe is trying to change it.

 
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Julie.chan

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I don't know much about that, but even if Japan changes back to that, that's rather tangential to what I'm saying because we'd then be talking about two massive changes instead of just one. The point is, I don't think Japan is incapable of changing something as trivial as company dress codes.
 

TGI-ECT

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It is so very true that rules/regulations/laws are a must to maintain an orderly social entity, such as that which we have here in Japan. The same is true for all other nations/cities/business communities (such as a commercial enterprise) BUT flexibility must be also allowed in any society or community IF we are going to allow for improvements to be accepted by those that live within the confines of a given society or community.

Let us take, for example, a company. If an employee were to see a better way to do some job then wouldn't it be a good idea if there is an environment within that company that allows that employee to speak up and make it noticed to the upper-management that maybe she/he (the employee) has discovered a better way for that company to serve its customers?

Now, if you have a company that is so locked into following rules that an employee feels it is unwise to offer an idea on how that company can better do its job, then I think you have a company that is going to stagnate, like a tree that receives no water, and die.

The same is true for a nation of citizens that are so afraid to try to voice concerns about bad rules --- it is a nation that is stagnate and we have seen over and over through the ages that nations that become stagnate, because of fear within the citizenry, wither away.

One thing I have yet to see in print in any article or discussion about this high-heel business is why? What exactly is the benefit for a female individual to be elevated about 10cm higher than the height that she was provided by her parents or God or Mother Nature, or whomever set the arrangement for that human's physical attributes?

And why is it that short male members of the human race that work in that same company are not required to be likewise elevated to some special height, just like those female individuals?

Besides that question, I also would like to see some doctor type individual provide some information on just what exactly that type of shoe can do to a person's foot and ankle area? Can some sort of real damage be done?

And while I am thinking about feet and rules and customs and this-and-that good for a society, don't I remember learning in some book or something that there was a country here on Earth that once made their women folk tie up their feet into some sort of neat bundle that made their feet smaller, but absolutely ruined the feet of the individual that had that done to them? And wasn't that rule/custom changed when enough humans in that society finally got the message through to the power folks in that society that the rule/custom was actually doing damage to the feet of those women?

So please show me a doctor's report that those high heels are not doing damage. Sorry, a team of doctors; not just one doctor.

Thank you.
 
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Julie.chan

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And while I am thinking about feet and rules and customs and this-and-that good for a society, don't I remember learning in some book or something that there was a country here on Earth that once made their women folk tie up their feet into some sort of neat bundle that made their feet smaller, but absolutely ruined the feet of the individual that had that done to them?
That's... an understatement.

What you're describing is foot binding, an ancient Chinese practice where little girls' feet were compressed in a way that deformed them, and I think literally involved breaking bones several times. It's a disgusting practice thankfully outlawed in the 20th Century, and just thinking about it makes me cringe.
 

nice gaijin

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yeeeeah, defending rules for the sake of being rules to me is a repugnant way to arrange your society. As a government employee I used to run into that kind of lazy thinking all the time. "We've always done this way" is just another way of saying "we're used to this and change--even/especially for the better--requires effort." In this case, even in the face of a growing cohort of women who are no longer silently tolerating these oppressive fashion rules, a bunch of men (who aren't personally affected by this rule at all) are trying to resist change, and aren't even providing any valid reasoning to do so.

Unfortunately, I don't think the end of foot-binding as a practice was a collective decision made for the sake of the affected women. For a long time, foot-binding was a sign of wealth, because a women who could barely walk clearly couldn't do any work and needed to be waited on. According to this article there were several groups that sought to abolish foot binding cause it's a messed up practice inflicted on women (admirable), but it seems like it was the new government that ultimately put an end to widespread practice... as it was more because the practice was considered a symbol of China's backwards-thinking, and "natural" feet were considered more modern. Pretty much at every stage of this, women suffered as men made decisions about what they could do with their bodies; after the popular opinion of foot-binding shifted, women who had their feet crushed into those godawful tiny shoes were then shunned as a symbol of their country's backwards past. Like FGM and other horrible things done to women (often by women) to appeal to the male gaze, this is one topic that never fails to piss me off. Foot binding - Wikipedia

PS: @TGI-ECT, sorry for being nit-picky, but "stagnate (v) == become stagnant (adj)," you used it both as a verb and an adjective in your post. I made this part tiny cause I'm embarrassed by my own pedantry. Carry on!
 

TGI-ECT

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I am absolutely tickled pink that you pointed out that error! Really. Thank you. Honestly speaking, I am surprised I made that mistake, as I tend to be careful times 3 about using at least one language properly. I guess this age thing is for real!! Or that is just a convenient excuse for old-fashioned stupidity!!!

But seriously, thank you for going to that extra bit of effort to let me know I made that error. I think, though, I will leave it there so your postscript makes more sense in about 100 years when the historians are studying this site to find out what was going on in this century in this part of the world.
 
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