Vivien Ng


The other day on "Marketplace," a nationally-syndicated program on WNYC Radio, there was a segment called "Debunking the Myths About Japan" anchored by the journalist Y Kan. My ears perked up when Kan announced in her no-nonsense way, "There is one myth about Japan that I take pleasure in debunking: there is the common belief that in Japan, women are subservient and second-class citizens. Not true. In Japan, women wield tremendous power. They control household pursestrings ... ." Every feminist fiber in me went on full alert. She continued, "While it is true that many women in the workplace are considered 'office flowers,' women now make up 40% of the workforce .... So, things are changing in Japan for women." A myth about women may have been debunked, but I question the reality or the desirability of the new myths.

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