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Labour minister: high heels at work necessary

jt9258

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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.
The simple answer is, they do not care.
 

nice gaijin

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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!!!
We're all in this together, and I probably only catch about 20% of the mistakes I make! Not everyone appreciates having theirs pointed out, thanks for being a good sport!

The simple answer is, they do not care.
I hate to agree with this but it's totally true. We'd all like to think that the organization's goal is to improve its systems and become more efficient and serve its customers/constituents better, but that's just us projecting our own values and desires. The organization itself has no such ambitions, because it's a collection of self-serving individuals; unless they can all agree on a common goal, and--perhaps more importantly--a vision for how to achieve that goal, changing from an existing process that is even remotely functional is nearly impossible. I experienced this in both the public and private sector; it takes a perfect cocktail of understanding, research, deliberation, will, leadership, persuasion, consensus, and a clear path forward... then maintaining that will and energy while the change is implemented and proven to be effective. Even then there will still be naysayers and hold-outs; I'm exhausted just thinking about it!
 

jt9258

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defending rules for the sake of being rules to me is a repugnant way to arrange your society.
But this is only your opinion based on western thinking, it does not show that you are a realist and or that you accept Japan for what it is, which is a rule-based group culture.

But at the same time, your comments come across as being judgmental of the Japanese and
their society?

In my observations and interactions with Japanese people, I have found that Japan is a rule-based group culture and that is how they want it and until the education system changes, there is little chance it will change any time soon.
 

TGI-ECT

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A "rule based group culture" is a very interesting idea for describing a few million folks.

I suppose it has to be a certain situation that causes one to pause a moment and allow something to sink in deeply enough that it might help improve one's view of the folks on this planet, and those four words at this point in time have just caused me to pause.

Okay - - - I think rules are a good thing. A rule-based culture is something I'll have to figure out as I go about today's duties. I am sensing, though, that a whole bunch of "cultures" around this planet have a tendency to appreciate rules. But to what degree would be the first question that comes to mind?

Now that "group culture" thing is interesting because I am in a situation at present where I have to view all humans on this planet as having a group culture frame of thinking, because I am engaged in a project that certainly makes me one of the top weirdos on this planet, but I need that group culture idea in the brain of any of my supporters, and there aren't too many of those at present, unless they are hiding their support in the place where we are all going over the plan.

I suppose I wish that humans on this planet would develop a better/stronger group culture way of viewing themselves collectively and then we might have a tad bit less hardcore fighting between the smaller groups and that would be a bit safer for a whole mess of folks.

I mean, collectively, humans are themselves a group, as opposed to the feline group, or the canine group, and all that. The problem is that humans then divide themselves into smaller groups and sometimes get really mean about who belongs to that "smaller" group.

Maybe the strength of the groupness signal within a certain group is what is either good or bad, if good can actually be achieved by a strong groupness signal in a given group. My experience on this good Earth after I started better understanding my fellow humans is that most times a strong groupness signal leads to all sorts of bad stuff happening.

Okay, Mod/Admin folks; I know I have wandered way too far off-topic. Sorry. I'm just openingly thinking about them four words jt9258 put up there.

(P.S. You've got me creating new vocabulary, Cool Gaikokujin. I really mean that last one, 'openingly'. And I also adhere to the period going on the outside at the end of that sentence.)
 

nice gaijin

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Do you not think that your statement sounds judgmental?

Japan is a rule based group culture and that is how they want it and until the education
system changes, there is little chance it will change any time soon.
Hmm, it probably does. Are you interpreting my criticism of this rule and my support for the #kutoo movement as an indictment of Japan as a whole?

Rules can be useful shortcuts to reduce the mental load on individuals and help provide guidance on how to act. Rules can also be stupid, and harmful. Stupid and harmful rules ought to be changed. There are processes for doing that, even in Japan.

In your zeal for Japan's rule-based...ness, you neglected to mention what you thought of this high-heel issue. Do you think it's necessary and appropriate to allow companies to force their female employees to wear uncomfortable footwear all day?
 
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jt9258

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In your zeal for Japan's rule-based...ness, you neglected to mention what you thought of this high-heel issue. Do you think it's necessary and appropriate to allow companies to force their female employees to wear uncomfortable footwear all day?
Well this is Japan and as such rules are rules and if that means wearing shoes you do not like
and or feel uncomfortable, you either accept it or change your job.

What also has to be considered is that when these women applied for the job, they were fully
aware of the work wear requirements.
 

Julie.chan

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That doesn't answer his question. Do you think it's necessary and appropriate to allow companies to force their female employees to wear high heels?

Because you refuse to take a stance on this issue and instead talking about change in general, the only way to interpret your view, currently, is that you are opposed to all change, regardless of whether it's good or bad. As such, I am currently forced to believe that 20 years ago, when asbestos was still used in Japan (it wasn't banned until 2006), you would be right at the side of the asbestos industry, against those suffering from asbestosis and mesothelioma. Similarly, I am also forced to believe that you are opposed to any effort to reduce smoking, for instance.

I don't actually believe that is your position, but you are forcing me to assume that is your position by standing against a ban on high heels requirements while refusing to express support for those high heels requirements.

If you support forcing women, and only women, to wear a certain type of shoe (high heels) that causes deformities, swelling, and long-term pain, then it would be nice to actually have a discussion / debate regarding that, rather than beating around the bush. If we did have that discussion, I would personally be very interested in also debating the topic of sex-assigned dress codes period, which I briefly mentioned in my first post on this thread. But again, that's only possible if someone here believes that women being forced to dress in a way that differs from the way their male coworkers dress (and vice-versa) is appropriate.
 

jt9258

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In the past I would have got involved in these types of pointless discussions, but as I approach
life with Japanese values and thinking life is a lot less stressful.

That doesn't answer his question. Do you think it's necessary and appropriate to allow companies to force their female employees to wear high heels?
I have already answered this question,

Because you refuse to take a stance on this issue and instead talking about change in general, the only way to interpret your view, currently, is that you are opposed to all change, regardless of whether it's good or bad. As such, I am currently forced to believe that 20 years ago, when asbestos was still used in Japan (it wasn't banned until 2006), you would be right at the side of the asbestos industry, against those suffering from asbestosis and mesothelioma. Similarly, I am also forced to believe that you are opposed to any effort to reduce smoking, for instance.
My understanding of Japanese culture is that they accept everything and question nothing, which is exactly how
I handle these matters, much less stressful and results in a much more rewarding life.

I don't actually believe that is your position, but you are forcing me to assume that is your position by standing against a ban on high heels requirements while refusing to express support for those high heels requirements.
You are free to assume what ever you like. I stand neutral on the high heels issue.

If you support forcing women, and only women, to wear a certain type of shoe (high heels) that causes deformities, swelling, and long-term pain, then it would be nice to actually have a discussion / debate regarding that, rather than beating around the bush. If we did have that discussion.
I have past the discussion debate regarding these matters, its less stressful.

I would personally be very interested in also debating the topic of sex-assigned dress codes period, which I briefly mentioned in my first post on this thread.
I will offer up my opinion on this, if we all looked the same and wear the same cloths, how do you feel it will affect
the population, I do not think many men would be attracted to a woman that basically looks like a man, as you may
or may not know the population is already falling in Japan and gender equality and sex-assigned dress codes will
not help the problem.

Try asking a peacock to change its dress code, think about it, its part of nature and part of life and the survival of the
species.
 
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Vincent3

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But Japan is a rule based group culture and that is some thing I prefer and value.
Rules are indeed valuable, when they sensibly and humanely contribute to the greater good. Ignoring medical and safety concerns isn't very conducive to the greater good.
The labor standards law sets minimums.
The purpose of minimums is to protect employees from unsafe or unhealthy practices. Setting the minimums below that line doesn't make any sense.
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.
These Japanese women and their male supporters on this issue are trying to get them changed, which is obviously within their right. I don't get why you oppose their efforts here. I don't get why you think it's your place to oppose their efforts. You say in one sentence that you're neutral on the issue, but it actually sounds like you think these women's valid grievance should be ignored for the sake of ossified status quo.
Well this is Japan and as such rules are rules and if that means wearing shoes you do not like
and or feel uncomfortable, you either accept it or change your job.

What also has to be considered is that when these women applied for the job, they were fully
aware of the work wear requirements.
When one says that workers should either agree to these kinds of requirements or leave, it puts the job market at odds with safety and medical wellness.
My understanding of Japanese culture is that they accept everything and question nothing
Apparently not, because these Japanese people are questioning this.
I have past the discussion debate regarding these matters, its less stressful.
Is that an evolution, or a devolution? If life's goal is to avoid all stress, society wouldn't enjoy the progress that comes from identifying deficiencies and improving them. There's of course a balance to be struck, but avoiding reasonable change for the sake of today being just like yesterday doesn't strike a good balance in this situation.
I do not think many men would be attracted to a woman that basically looks like a man
This isn't about women dressing like men, so put that strawman away. They simply want the option to choose whether the shoes they walk in all day have heels. I'm quite sure it'll have no effect on the dating market, except that women who are concerned about their safety and medical wellness will be spared men who don't respect that.
 

Julie.chan

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I will offer up my opinion on this, if we all looked the same and wear the same cloths, how do you feel it will affect
the population, I do not think many men would be attracted to a woman that basically looks like a man, as you may
or may not know the population is already falling in Japan and gender equality and sex-assigned dress codes will
not help the problem.
Suicide won't help, either, so I'd like to tell a personal anecdote: the fact that none of my workplaces have ever had sex-assigned dress codes was a contributing factor to saving my life. Gender dysphoria is very distressing, and transitioning is very hard. That little bit of stability, not having to fight with my employer over how I dressed, was a big help.

I'd also like to make one thing perfectly clear: what I would recommend is not making everyone dress the same. Gendered dressing is fine. But I would propose framing it this way: "Here's the masculine dress code, and here's the feminine dress code. You can use either one."

Therefore, if the feminine dress code is unreasonably requiring uncomfortable footwear, women could wear the masculine uniform (perhaps as a form of protest). Conversely, if the masculine dress code is unreasonably disallowing bottomwear suitable for hot weather, men could wear the feminine uniform (perhaps as a form of protest). And of course, trans people, like myself, could simply switch uniforms and have no worry that they'll fall afoul of the company's rules. Basically, it would be a self-correcting system; as long as the company makes the uniforms reasonable, it will have the advantage of gender differentiation that you speak of, but uniforms that cause discomfort to anyone will be strongly discouraged.

And the way this could be achieved is, quite simply, for the government to step in and prohibit sex-assigned dress codes (that is, prohibit companies from forcing people to wear one uniform or another on the basis of sex).
 

jt9258

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I notice that both Vincent3 and Julie.chan do not live in Japan.

The Japanese government may never step in and do anything, because the education system
is some thing that they have decided on for the next 10 years, so nothing is going to change
there and as the education system is designed to produce an obedient work force for corporate
Japan, where they accept everything and question nothing, those that do try to bring about
change normally end up with the opposite, as they get hammered down at some point.

In fact the corporations work with the high school system, so most students are guaranteed
employment when they graduate.

And the students in the Japanese school system do not shoot each other.
 
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Julie.chan

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And what do you think of the proposal I suggested above, which after all has nothing to do with the education system (the only thing you talk about in your last post)?

This is the problem I see: you're still arguing over a point that no one ever disagreed with you on (your claim that change is unlikely because of how Japan is), rather than responding to the actual points the rest of us are raising. This discussion is never going to go anywhere meaningful as long as you continue to do this.
 
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TGI-ECT

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I apologize for using the quote tool in this manner, but I can't come up with anything better to help me with a question and an observation. (No, two observations.)

QUESTION:

My understanding of Japanese culture is that they accept everything and question nothing, which is exactly how I handle these matters, much less stressful and results in a much more rewarding life.
Could you please, jt9258, be more specific as to who "they" represents in that statement I have quoted?

Thank you.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

OBSERVATION:

Try asking a peacock to change its dress code, think about it, its part of nature and part of life and the survival of the species.
I'd sure like to be taught how I can communicate with a peacock. And I can assure anyone that teaches me how to communicate with a peacock that I would have a much better set of questions prepared for a peacock than asking the peacock about the color and pattern of its feathers.

Now, if anyone were to offer that my observation is inane I would have to then point out that I am not the author of the idea placed here about that communicating ability with a member of the avian dinosaurs.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

To be frank, I am very disappointed in you, jt9258. I know you don't give a Rattus' arse that I am, but I feel a tad more at ease for offering that conclusive observation.
 

jt9258

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Could you please, jt9258, be more specific as to who "they" represents in that statement I have quoted?
They = Japanese people.

I'd sure like to be taught how I can communicate with a peacock. And I can assure anyone that teaches me how to communicate with a peacock that I would have a much better set of questions prepared for a peacock than asking the peacock about the color and pattern of its feathers.
Try getting your opinion across to anyone in Prefecture Office, Ward Office, City office or Town Office in Japan and
you will feel like you are trying to communicate with a Peacock, because they will not listen to you.
 

jt9258

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This is the problem I see: you're still arguing over a point that no one ever disagreed with you on (your claim that change is unlikely because of how Japan is), rather than responding to the actual points the rest of us are raising. This discussion is never going to go anywhere meaningful as long as you continue to do this.
Now you know what its like trying to discuss this kind of matter with a Japanese person, its pointless
and since I understand and live within the culture I do the same.

The reason I do the same is because I do not want to waste my time and energy, as it will change
nothing, because wile change may come in the future it will be a very very very very slow process
because the average Japanese person just does not care.
 
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Julie.chan

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Now you know what its like trying to discuss this kind of matter with a Japanese person
Are you sure? AFAICT no native Japanese people are contributing to this topic at all. That's always seemed more typical to me.

it will change
nothing, because wile change may come in the future it will be a very very very very slow process
Isn't that a contradiction?
 

Vincent3

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I notice that both Vincent3 and Julie.chan do not live in Japan.
I lived in Japan for nine years, continue to watch Japan from where I am now, and plan to return to Japan soon.
And the students in the Japanese school system do not shoot each other.
This and the first quote come across as deflections, and not very expensive ones. The point about the heels-required issue has been amply made, so I'd rather post in other threads.
 
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jt9258

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Are you sure? AFAICT no native Japanese people are contributing to this topic at all. That's always seemed more typical to me.
Because most do not speak good English and as my wife just explained they would not waste their time.

Isn't that a contradiction?
If you read what I wrote you would have noticed I wrote "MAY" in the sentence.

The chance of change is so small that it will hardly be noticed.

But lastly why are you so worried about Japan, you do not live here.
 

jt9258

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I lived in Japan for nine years, continue to watch Japan from where I am now, and plan to return to Japan soon.

Relevance?
I have lived in Japan more than double the time you lived here and am a Permanent Resident.
 

nice gaijin

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Ok, I had a little time to think about this and we've exchanged a few messages. I believe he is not trolling, so I will respond seriously.

@jt9258, I looked back through this thread and you never did state an opinion about the high heels issue. It wasn't even until after you claimed to have answered my direct question that you even declared neutrality on the subject. Having an actual opinion on this matter doesn't undermine your position about the likelihood of a change, but your neutrality indicates that you're comfortable with things as they are, and don't support the effort, even if it's just on the basis that you don't support any attempt to change the rules. Not taking a position is very much taking a position. If you wish to have that debate, I think it would be more interesting, but you've attempted to sidestep the topic of discussion to make a somewhat insulting generalization about Japanese people as a whole.

Which brings me to my second point, that your characterizations of the Japanese as accepting rules without question is already disproven by the fact that these efforts are being made by Japanese people. By making their complaints public, they are breaking free of your stereotype by not only questioning the validity of an established rule, but openly complaining about it and trying to enact change. Like I said earlier, rules can and sometimes should be changed, and even Japan has processes to make these changes. There are many potential reasons why our Japanese members haven't participated in this thread yet, but you're the only one here who has not only made any assumptions as to why, but also purport to speak with authority on their behalf.

...and that brings me to my last point: living in Japan doesn't qualify you as an expert. The fact that you think your residence status or the length of your time in Japan makes you some kind of authority on Japanese people tells a different story than you think it does. It really doesn't matter how faded your residence card is if you have just stuck your head down some other frog's well. Your experience is your own and might be helpful as an anecdote, but you cannot honestly assert your experiences or observations as anything more than that. Your veteran expat status doesn't make your opinions any more valid than the other members here, and it doesn't impress us when coupled with your defeatist attitude, so please leave that ego at the door.
 

TGI-ECT

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That was an excellent piece of writing, nice gaijin, until that bit about a defeatist attitude and as that is right there at the end it might be better if I were to use the present tense and offer that it "is" an excellent piece of writing.

But why am I going to all this trouble to make a point here?

Well, we can receive an education here from what jt9258 has been trying to teach us. Of course, the "teaching" part may not have been the intention, but it is what has happened here at my work station.

You see, there are folks --- and probably bunches of folks --- that are rowing through life with oars and in small crafts and they can't allow themselves to be swamped by large waves so they tend not to create waves themselves and then feel safe, and that not creating waves thing is manifested to some of us as they don't wish to bend rules, let alone actually break them. That even goes to the level of not even contemplating that there might just be a fair number of human folks that actually do break rules.

Now them folks that have that style of life/thinking are not actually defeatist type folks because they probably haven't been pushed to the point of having to fight or surrender. Once they find themselves in that situation they may just surprise themselves and those around them by turning out to be very hardcore fighters.

Bottom line is I don't think it is defeatism, but something else. Them head doctor folks probably have the proper vocabulary to describe what that "something else" is, but I don't have it in my data up there in that thing on my shoulders that seems so dense sometimes I can't navigate around in there and find things. I wish there was a CCleaner utility for my brain mass.

Anyway, I don't tap that 'Like' thingy very often, but a tap for that bit of writing up there was deserved. For sure!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

A last sort of hoping thing --- I sure am hoping that you aren't upset at anyone, jt9258. No offense is meant by anything I write. It is just this business of exploring different thought processes and sometimes they are not my own thought processes, but I am exploring and studying to get a better grasp of things, if that is possible with my dense brain matter.

Again, no offense is intended, jt9258. But I do know that sometimes my writing is really weird and easy to think I am intending to be offensive. But I'm not.

(And how about that one Cool Gaikokujin? Two sentences in a row starting with "But".)
 

nice gaijin

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Thank you @TGI-ECT, interesting points about the attitude not really being "defeatist." I guess what I meant is that it smacks of the "love it or leave it" attitude I've seen before in many places, starting with my own country. The difficulty of enacting change eventually becomes a barrier to even recognizing things that should be changed, and then eventually in order to avoid the cognitive dissonance of supporting a broken system, those folks realign their own values to fall into step with that system, and then claim that you either need to support it in its entirety, or pack your bags and get out.

At this point, I consider the mentality to be "defeatist," because they assume that the broken bits are a necessary supporting element for the culture as a whole, and that changing these things will somehow erode the structure of that society. This creates the staunchest defenders of the broken system, even if it's not in their own best interest... a form of cultural Stockholm's syndrome, perhaps.

(And how about that one Cool Gaikokujin? Two sentences in a row starting with "But".)
Haha I'm not that pedantic! I end sentences with prepositions all the time and most of my sentences are probably longer than they ought to be, so I probably shouldn't cast stones about grammar--so long as the meaning is clear.
 
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Julie.chan

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The thing about ending a sentence with a preposition is spurious nonsense. That's the sort of pedantry up with which I will not put.
 

nice gaijin

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This was on Asaichi this morning, so it's still getting some play in the media. A couple of the women interviewed on the street seemed worried that nothing would change, but they were all in support of the movement.

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