Japanese Mayor Blames Women For Overcrowding Supermarkets And Says Men Should Go Grocery Shopping Instead. Is There A Vaccine For Sexism?
When the first lockdown was announced, I quickly went to the store to buy things that I absolutely needed, that is, groceries and snacks. There was a huge queue, and several people were not following social distancing. I had to really tell people to stand at a bit of a distance from me. In normal circumstances that would have sounded really mean but right now, it’s the wisest thing to do. Why should I risk my life because some people have no concept of personal space? I don’t think there was a gender divide here. Both men and women were failing to comply with social distancing. Anyway, when my turn came, I quickly added things to my cart, armed with an already drawn-out list of items. I improvised and picked whatever I think I needed.
While I was at it, never did I feel that I am less equipped than a man to buy groceries, swiftly and without being physically close to another person. I would have called myself an exception and pretended to take pride in that but it’s bullshit. One’s gender has nothing to do with their ability to shop for groceries.
However, Ichiro Matsui, Mayor of Osaka in Japan drew unbelievable parallels between gender and efficient grocery shopping. And like most things that involve a gender bias, this too is biased against women. He said, “When a woman goes, it will take time,” the Mayor he said. He also said that it’s because women since they take long to shop, supermarkets get overcrowded. “If it was you if you were told to get this or that, then you would go directly and go home. It’s also fine for men to go shopping while avoiding contact,” he added.
Wow, so he thinks that all those women out there in supermarkets, carefully finding a product based on its quality, cost and requirement are just doing timepass? We go to buy groceries because we love standing next to a sack of onions and potatoes. Oo…so much fun. Why do men have such a poor understanding of women? Are we like alien species? Put us in a Louis Vuitton store and yes, we’ll take hours if we don’t get thrown out and just for window shopping. But please, onions, bread, lentils – these things don’t really turn us on. We do it as a chore.
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It’s high time, such sexist men stop deeming women to be these frivolous creatures who don’t understand the gravity of any situation. Of course, he faced backlash for his sexist comments. He should probably know, that while Osaka is the second hardest-hit city in Japan, several countries around the world that have done really well at curbing COVID-19 are run by women. Women, who know much more than gossiping in cereal aisles. I hope with COVID-19, they develop a vaccination for misogyny too.