Yoichi Masuzoe, the politician who once publicly stated that women “are not normal” during their period and “couldn’t possibly” be relied upon to run the country because of it, has been elected as governor of Tokyo, it has been announced.
The remark about women and the supposed effect menstruation has on their decision-making abilities was made by the former TV star and political scientist back in 1989 when he was talking to a men’s magazine and discussing women in positions of power.
“Women are not normal when they are having a period,” Mr. Masuzoe is quoted by the magazine as saying. “You can’t possibly let them make critical decisions about the country [during their period] such as whether or not to go to war.”
Admittedly, the remark was made quite some time ago, and Japan is not exactly known for being the most forward-thinking or PC country in the world at the best of times, but people – women in particular – have not forgotten the remarks, and during the lead-up to the election an anonymous group calling themselves the “association of women who will not have sex with men who vote for Masuzoe” sprang up online, quickly winning thousands of followers on Twitter.
It was evidently not enough, however, and Masuzoe is now the man in charge of some 13 million Tokyoites, having secured the majority of votes during the weekend’s election.
Issues of sexism aside, there are some who are unhappy about Mr. Masuzoe’s decidedly pro-nuclear stance and believe that the politician’s increased power and influence may result in Japan restarting its numerous nuclear reactors, which have been idling since soon after the events of March 11, 2011 when a tsunami caused a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
In a speech given yesterday, Mr. Masuzoe pledged to make Tokyo the “number one city in the world”, but we have a feeling there are plenty of female citizens out there who feel their city would already be far greater without men like him at the helm.