Being a woman and student at the same time in Japan is way more complicated than one could think of. Imagine you’re a high school graduate and your passion is medicine, so you decide to apply to Tokyo’s Medical University, one of Japan’s top medical schools. You spent months on preparations to only find out that the university is purposely rigging women’s entrance exam scores in order to ensure, that some of them couldn’t attend the prestigious school. How ridiculous is that? Instead of trying to remedy that problem, Tokyo Medical University manipulated test scores to rob spots from women who had burned with passion to become doctors, studied their cardiopulmonary systems out and passed some of the most challenging tests in Japan. We should really take a long, hard look at how unfair this score fraud is. Most importantly of all, the women who were bumped to make way for the boys need to be given immediate and proper redress. The pearl of this scandal is the way the university acknowledged it, they said women tend to quit as doctors after starting families, causing staffing shortages at a school-affiliated hospital. In Japan, women are still considered responsible for homemaking, childrearing and elderly care, while men are expected to work long hours and outside care services are limited. Before jumping into conclusions of the “intellectual insufficiency and the inability of women to have a career” in this field, please give them the same conditions and the same opportunities first.
I’m not quite sure if we live in the 21st century or we’re traveling back in time. We really do need to question the structure of society that is preventing women from achieving as much as men in this case. Not having access to higher education in this specific field is terrible and must be discussed, not overlooked. What I think is necessary to mention, is that many cultures assume women were built for parenting in a way men weren’t, that clearly is the issue of the Japanese people. Furthermore, because of this defeatist attitude, the woman easily settles for a mediocre success; she does not dare to aim higher. She very quickly curtails her ambitions, she often considers the very fact of earning her own living is a battle and like so many others she could have entrusted her future to a man. And here we get into a vicious circle; women become financially dependent on a man, leading to the inferiority of women. Patriarchal society can only be abolished when its women are no longer dependent on men in any way.
Yes, there are of course many who accept society just as it is. They represent the most conservative element of society. They orchestrate the mystification intended to persuade women to “remain women”; housewife, children, laundry, exemplary wives, you name it. Women have been enslaved by men, and the worst part about this is, that it still continues. We have thousands of cases where all of society -beginning with parents- lies to its girls. They cheerfully accept these lies because they invite her to take the easy slope, and that is the worst crime committed against girls first by parents, eventually by society. If only from the earliest age, the little girls were raised with the same demands and honors, the same freedom as her brothers, taking part in the same studies, promised the same future surrounded by women and men who are equal to her, then a world where gender equality would be a fundamental value would be easy to imagine.