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Japan Atomic Energy Agency criticized for comparing radiation to angry wife

51 Comments
By Miki Kayaoka

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51 Comments
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Some people just don't have a clue about political correctness.

They should have said radioactive material is like a husband's angry bowels, and radiation is like his farts!

7 ( +10 / -4 )

Radiation is silent, but DEADLY!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I'm impressed people actually complained about it. Yet, politicians that state that women are useless unless they have kids are still elected...

6 ( +9 / -3 )

"Toxic" wives says a lot about how men view them.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Snuck in at the end, is the fact that it was a group of women from Tokaimura (location of another nuclear reactor with a history of mismanagement and idiocy) that thought up the cartoon.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Snuck in at the end, is the fact that it was a group of women from Tokaimura (location of another nuclear reactor with a history of mismanagement and idiocy) that thought up the cartoon.

It's a somewhat extreme example, but the fact that it came from women doesn't excuse it - there are women all over the world who believe that domestic violence is acceptable...doesn't make it any less heinous or wrong.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

The “radioactive wife” cartoon had been created by a group of six women who live near Tokaimura

That's the source of Japanese radiation knowledge? Just like Sarah Palin claimed international diplomacy expertise and Russia knowledge "because they could see it in nice weather".

Comparison was way off as well. One should compare radiation with the young stressed mothers in the news quite often lately - both kill children and nobody can, nor is willing to, stop them.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

but the fact that it came from women doesn't excuse it

No, but it turns a meat cleaver in to a butter knife.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Im more insulted by this line than the cartoon:

an effort to “make the hard words used in the nuclear power industry” more easy to understand, particularly for women.

Do we need to be taught the "hard words" in a different way to men, including the use of cartoons? Because out and about I see far more men reading cartoons than I do women!

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Perhaps if people in Japan wanted to have decent lives then men & women could get along better here, just an idea...............

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@coldishtoes - I'm absolutely not excusing the sexism on the grounds that it was thought up by women. It's often women who keep sexism alive (albeit beaten and shut up in the kitchen)!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I think it's a good analogy.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

@Maria - I'm glad we're on the same page! Sorry for jumping the gun, I think I'm a little bit sensitive to the idea that discrimination and vilification are somehow justifiable because the source and the victim are the same.

No, but it turns a meat cleaver in to a butter knife

Really? You're going with a kitchen metaphor? Jokes aside, I think anyone perpetuating sexism or any other discrimination is on equal footing; while their motivations might be different, the effect is the same...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Ridiculous overreaction. Mindless PC nonsense at its worst. There is absolutely NOTHING sexist or offensive about this campaign. (Actually quite sad to see the cancer of PC spreading from the US to Japan.)

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Yup, chauvinism is inherited from the mother's side.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

This kind of ignorance just baffles the mind.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Must have been a bunch of frustrated wives living out their "revenge" through a cartoon in a male oriented country.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

With an angry wife, you can see and hear her coming, giving you the opportunity to get out of her way, so I dont see any comparison with radiation. Its invisible silent and there is nowhere to hide

3 ( +4 / -2 )

The Japan Atomic Energy Agency devoted a page on its website to an effort to "make the hard words used in the nuclear power industry" more easy to understand, particularly for women.

This is tricky.

A Japanese research agency has dropped a controversial public relations campaign aimed at educating women about nuclear safety that compared radiation to the screaming voice of an angry wife.

If an angry wife's voice is comparable to "radiation", why would "hard words" be difficult for them to understand?

Are you saying the toxicity lies in screeches and bleats, or powerful words/rants directed at the offending party?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I have no idea why this page suddenly attracted people’s attention, but we would have deleted it earlier had we known about this page,” said Yusuke Uehara, a spokesman for the government-affiliated agency which conducts nuclear research, including work on safety. This discriminates against women, which is inappropriate.

Wouldnt like this guy to be doing my PR work. First he says he has no idea why the page attracted peoples attention, then he goes on to say that it discriminates women which is appropriate ... which one is it?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So, my ability to understand science is not possible? I have certification to teach earth science, although I am not at the moment. I could probably teach them lots of things, but then again, they are men.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

JapanGal, read the article, a group of six women created it, not men. As a man myself, I found it distasteful, considering much better (flawed) analogies exist.

Though the analogy may be controversial, nobody seems to realize that it is an analogy so flawed it is harmful. Most radiation isn't caused by agitation, as that implies an external source of energy increasing the agitated state . When talking about radiation from decay products (which everyone is so afraid of), that energy is inbuilt and not associated with any outside force. A better comparison would be to compare it with... well, nothing, since radiation is one of the primary forces of nature and cannot be simplified.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

wow who was the moron that thought this up, in any other country they would be fired.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Women understand women best..and even though it has nothing to do with radiation...it is not discriminating at all...

"The “radioactive wife” cartoon had been created by a group of six women who live near Tokaimura, site of a 1999 nuclear accident at a uranium reprocessing plant."

2 ( +4 / -2 )

of course this is wrong. an angry Japanese wife is much more dangerous than radiation :) relax people and enjoy life, it constantly amazes me how people have the time and energy to daily get upset upon all the trivial things that X said, did, or drawn and was insensible or poorly expressed.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Being sued by my ex wife... I totally agree with this

2 ( +3 / -1 )

No, no, no. Didn't they read the manual? It specifically states that all government campaigns must contain a cute cartoon character. These people should be fired not only for their lack of common sense, but for their lack of knowledge about government sponsored campaigns.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It paints a rather dim picture of married life - the woman is evidently dominant but angry and shrill, and the man is cowardly and powerless. Can't be have a couple happily beaming charge particles at each other or something a little less unfortunate...? Or maybe we could just talk about radiation and skip the pictures.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sorry, not a good typing day: Can't be have ---> Can't we have, charge particles --->charged particles

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This discriminates against women, which is inappropriate

Sadly I'm sure they had to clarify that it was Inappropriate, If they just would of said this discriminates against women alot of people still wouldn't see a problem. I have had alot of Japanese friends who have told me "I don't like Japanese girls that date gaijin" (coming from Male and Female Japanese) or Female friends who's boss tells them "You are getting older I can't let you work here much longer you should look for a husband and start your home life" Sadly most are not shocked by these statements and the look of horror on my face when they tell me is very confusing to them........ Its not at all shocking that 6 women made the cartoon, When you live your whole life thinking you are just property its hard to try to break the mold.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Its not at all shocking that 6 women made the cartoon, When you live your whole life thinking you are just property its hard to try to break the mold.

When you're a salaryman living your married life thinking that you are a nest-slave worker bee to a dominant female, the image of an irate woman is easy to relate to.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Insulting on all grounds, but I think what's more insulting than the actual comparison is the fact that they felt the need to make a campaign that dummies things down for women.

"The Japan Atomic Energy Agency devoted a page on its website to an effort to “make the hard words used in the nuclear power industry” more easy to understand, particularly for women."

This itself says that the men who thought this up are by far stupider than their female counterparts -- but I guess women are just baby-making machines while men like those in government and electric company execs are absolutely critical in life.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This itself says that the men who thought this up are by far stupider than their female counterparts

Reread the end of the article. No men thought this up,which says volumes about the self-esteem of the women who did think it up.

I'm willing to bet that there are plenty of "dumb" men out there too who couldn't understand the "big" words!

I wonder if they ever figured out how to use a dictionary.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Radiation is totally different. When an angry wife comes running out the kitchen yelling at you every time you get home, you can just shorten her chain. Not so with radiation!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Who "allowed" these women to come up with such an idiotic thing? Who hired them? Men. Probably the same women who agree with the likes of Ishihara that if a woman hasn't reproduces she's a waste of space.

It seems that is anyone needs to learn about radiation is would be the male buffoons "running" the country. What, no cute little half dress female manga characters to explain things to them?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I suppose if your real goal is not to educate, but rather to make the typical cook of the house feel ashamed and shut her up and convince her to buy whatever without question, its bloody brilliant to put that corelation in her mind, despite being reprehensible, selfish and evil.

Just because they are women who thought of it, don't assume they give a damn about other women, their kids, husbands or anybody but themselves. They may have been asked to come up with a description that will foster silence and knuckling under, and they delivered for a paycheck.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

While the idea seems to have come from women in Tokaimura, you would hope that some common sense would have prompted people to think again before using this analogy unchanged. Like some neuron that starts firing and says 'Hey boss, this might not look so good to, say, 50% of the population...'.

A perfectly good non-apparently-sexist version could have been written with an angry boss (= radioactive material), who has an increasingly angry and complaining nature (=radioactivity), and the boss's complaints and insults are the 'radiation'.

In fact, it would work for any gender, nationality, etc. equally (after all, hands up if you never had a bad boss!)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It took six women to portray the increasing agitation/reaction of a housewife in a pressure vessel, er, apartment. Her boilers are ever closer to bursting.

The husband's presence in the picture is largely irrelevant. The kids, the pets and anything to hand would get the same treatment.

This sounds more like a cry for help than a lesson in nuclear safety.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Husband's are outraged that it downplays the danger of angry wives.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

'Make the hard words used in the nuclear power industry' easier to understand. Maybe like the comic beasties you see running around your stomach on medicine packages. I'm no nuclear physicist but I'm not a toddler either.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

dragsby, the message was not for children (they already did that, comparing leaking radioactivity to poop) and not for men, but for women. The people at JAEA (all men?) wanting to get the message to women decided to ask women for the ideas and illustrations. No need to avoid being sexist. It was sex-oriented. The perception was, for whatever reason, that women needed to get a clear message. Just like they might need to get a clear message for a new women's fashion mag or product.

The only question in the article is why the web page "suddenly" attracted attention when it has been up for two years. Good question.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I suppose, a man looking at a picture like that would simply be reminded of his wife screaming about radiation, when he mostly doesn't give a damn. Absentmindedly thinking... "Oh those women and their radiation thing"

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Nandakanda, excellent post. Nice to find a fellow calm and rational thinker within this maelstrom of hysterical blamers and haters and PC dogmatists.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I remember seeing a video on YouTube that compared the Fukushima plant to child crapping his pants. That was for kids so it made sense. You don't need such silly analogies for adults.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You don't need such silly analogies for adults.

Unfortunately for "women" and "otaku's" here in Japan I think you do, if one is to believe the article....(rolling eyes sarcasm)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubaru: "Reread the end of the article. No men thought this up,"

Wrong. The cartoon was created by women, but who created the campaign that used it?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

what ridiculous pandering. Can adult conversations occur in Japan? Or is there a radiation mascot in the offering soon?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This sounds like those stupid ads from the 50s... I mean come on, making it easier for women to understand?

The “radioactive wife” cartoon had been created by a group of six women who live near Tokaimura, site of a 1999 nuclear accident at a uranium reprocessing plant.

It was created by women in 2009? What were they, the rich women of businessmen who believe a Japanese wife should only concern herself with the home, kids and husband? Welcome to the 21st century ladies! Don't pander to those who want to perpetuate the stereotype.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Insulting on all grounds, but I think what's more insulting than the actual comparison is the fact that they felt the need to make a campaign that dummies things down for women.

Actually, they need something that dummies things down for EVERYBODY. More than a year after the Fukushima meltdown, people are still posting their total ignorance of what radiation is and what it does. I guess people figure that it's easier to get hysterical about something you can't see, taste, smell, or feel, than to actually learn a bit about what it really is.

I can actually understand this analogy they used. The angry wife (the radioactive source) yells (emits gamma rays) at the husband (a non-radioactive substance) and raises his agitation to where he begins to yell at his co-workers/friends/kids (moves from a stable state to where he begins emitting gamma rays too). They could have reversed the roles for the exact same effect, but I somehow think that would have raised less of an uproar even though it would have been just as politically incorrect.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm just surprised it was made by six women.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ionizing radiation brings a nagging wife metaphor to mind?

Hmmmmm.......

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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