Skip to main site content.
A young woman is pictured after a Coming of Age Day celebration at an amusement park in Tokyo. (REUTERS/Yuya Shino )

‘Not funny’

Magazine apologizes for ranking women’s universities by sexual availability of their students

By WITW Staff on January 9, 2019

A Japanese magazine accused of “sexualizing, objectifying and disrespecting women” by publishing an article ranking women’s universities by how likely their students were to have sex at drinking parties has issued an apology, of sorts, after facing widespread outcry.

The article, published in the December 25 issue for weekly magazine Spa!, was ostensibly centered around the practice of “gyaranomi” — drinking parties that male participants pay women to attend. According to the magazine, they produced the offending list through information garnered from the developer of an app intended to help facilitate the parties. Following the article’s publication, a woman launched a campaign and online petition on change.org to call for an apology from Spa! and the suspension of further sales of the issue.

“2018 was a year where women from all over the world fought for women’s rights, so that our voices were delivered,” said the petition. “Japan will be having the first G20 summit this year, 2019 and it is ridiculous for an article such as this to be published. It’s not funny at all.”

In a statement, the magazine declined to suspend sales of the issue but did offer a lukewarm apology for their use of “sensational language.”

“We would like to apologize for using sensational language to appeal to readers about how they can become intimate with women and for creating a ranking… with real university names… that resulted in a feature that may have offended readers,” read the statement. “On issues that involve sex, we will do what we can as a magazine to listen to various opinions.”

Last year, Tokyo Medical University was accused of deliberately altering women applicants’ entrance exam scores in order to prevent more women from being admitted into the university.

Read the full story at SBS News.

Related

World leader claims this government official, the only woman in his 19-member cabinet, counts as ‘2 or 3’ women

Prestigious Japanese medical school allegedly altered scores to exclude women

Japan explores new strategy for promoting gender equality — hunky house husbands