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Department store reviews plan for staff to wear menstruation badges after outcry

117 Comments

A Japanese department store is reconsidering a plan for employees to wear badges when they're menstruating, which was originally aimed at fostering sympathy among co-workers but triggered a public outcry.

The Daimaru Umeda department store in Osaka said on Thursday that it had hoped to encourage bonding by having menstruating staff wear a badge featuring an existing manga character named "Seiri Chan" - loosely translated as "Miss Period".

"We received many complaints from the public. Some of them concerned harassment, and that was definitely not our intention. We're reconsidering plans now," said a male executive who declined to be named. A spokesperson was not immediately available.

The backlash comes as cases of workplace harassment have come under the spotlight in Japan, amid a shrinking workforce and changing values about gender roles and work-life balance. Companies are increasingly and publicly being criticized for bullying and gender discrimination.

The Daimaru executive said the store had not intended to make the badge compulsory.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

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staff to wear menstruation badges after outcry

We're reconsidering plans now," said a male executive who declined to be named.

How many female executives do they have on board? So this things happened because solely all male execs decides what their female staff should do and wear?

15 ( +26 / -11 )

This was proposed by a female employee but I'm sure people spin this as a misogyny thing.

https://www.j-cast.com/kaisha/2019/11/28373789.html

「生理に対する理解を深めたい」と、若手女性社員から提案され、このフロアで働く女性従業員に生理バッチを提供した。

"'I want to promote people's unserstanging of menstruation' said a female employee." (translated by me)

18 ( +25 / -7 )

The Daimaru Umeda department store in Osaka said on Thursday that it had hoped to encourage bonding by having menstruating staff wear a badge featuring an existing manga character named "Seiri Chan" - loosely translated as "Miss Period".

I wonder why they would decide to not go through with this policy that was clearly thought up by the women on the fully female management of the store. You know, because this isn't an idea men would ever come up with.

 

 

...right?

0 ( +10 / -10 )

Sakurasuki, what sprang to my mind also on reading this!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

sakurasuki

 So this things happened because solely all male execs decides what their female staff should do and wear?

No. Actually the opposite. A female employee sugessted this badge in the first place.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

One suggestion from single female employee is enough to convince male executives to do this for all employee?

11 ( +16 / -5 )

This move was mostly welcomed by female employees in Daimaru.

https://www.j-cast.com/kaisha/2019/11/28373789.html

 女性従業員たちからも、

「生理の話を職場の人とできるようになったことが大きな一歩だと思う」

「同性同士で話すことで、ポジティブな雰囲気で盛り上がれた」

とおおむね賛同の意見が多いという。大丸側は今後、お客さんの反応などを見て継続するかどうか検討する予定だ。

But hey this is mysoginy because some outcry in the intternet.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

https://www.j-cast.com/kaisha/2019/11/28373789.html

女性従業員約500人が任意でバッジを付けている。もちろん任意だから、付ける、付けないは本人の自由だ。

This badge is not mandatory. Its totally up to each to wear one.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

This was proposed by a female employee but I'm sure people spin this as a misogyny thing.

I'm not finding anything in the Japanese news to say it was proposed by a female employee. The text you posted was a female employee talking about the plan, it didn't say she was the one who proposed it.

Translation of your text:

「生理に対する理解を深めたい」と、若手女性社員から提案され

"I want people to have a better understanding of menstruation" suggested a young female employee"

And none of these stories say it was proposed by a female:

https://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/article?a=20191125-00010008-jisin-soci

https://www.asahi.com/articles/ASMCW752DMCWPTIL036.html

https://mainichi.jp/articles/20191128/k00/00m/040/197000c

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Strangerland

若手女性社員から提案され、このフロアで働く女性従業員に生理バッチを提供した。

Sorry, maybe my translation was off. you should reas the whole paraglaph,

「スッキリ」の取材に応じた今津貴博店長によると、導入のきっかけは11月22日、「女性のリズムに寄り添う新ゾーン」として5階にオープンした最新の生理用品などを扱う売り場だ。「生理に対する理解を深めたい」と、若手女性社員から提案され、このフロアで働く女性従業員に生理バッチを提供した。

若手女性社員から提案され

So yeah. This badge was clearly poroposed by a female employee, if we believe Sukkiri.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Strangerland

Keep in mind "提案" is "propose" as in "propose the plan", not as in "propose that she thinks..."

8 ( +10 / -2 )

I'm Japanese native. you can see if you see my comment history.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

This move was mostly welcomed by female employees in Daimaru.

Your quote does not support the above assertion:

 女性従業員たちからも、

「生理の話を職場の人とできるようになったことが大きな一歩だと思う」

「同性同士で話すことで、ポジティブな雰囲気で盛り上がれた」

とおおむね賛同の意見が多いという。大丸側は今後、お客さんの反応などを見て継続するかどうか検討する予定だ。

Female members also stated things like "I think being able to discuss menstruation at the work place is a big step"

"Being able to speak with other members of my sex got me excited about the atmosphere"

Many other comments are said to have been similar. Daimaru has said that due to opposition from customers, they intend to decide whether or not to continue.

 

It just says female employees had some good comments. There is no breakdown on how many of them thought it was a good idea, or what the breakdown was on those who thought it was a good idea vs. those who didn't.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Keep in mind "提案" is "propose" as in "propose the plan", not as in "propose that she thinks..."

That's one meaning of the word, but is incorrect in this context. In this context it means more to offer an opinion.

Again, your quote does not say it was proposed by that employee, it only gave that female employee's comments.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

提供:

holdout

input(情報・アドバイス・アイデア・意見などの)

offer

proffer

provision

tender

提供された情報

provided information

提供された情報によれば

according to the information provided

提供された表向きの理由

official reason given

https://eow.alc.co.jp/search?q=%e6%8f%90%e4%be%9b&ref=sa

提供 has a much wider range of meaning than simply a proposal.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Strangerland

That's one meaning of the word, but is incorrect in this context. In this context it means more to offer an opinion.

No, Its absolutely correct in this context. As a Japanese native I can tell. In japanese many words are omitted, but by in this context "提案" is about the badge plan, not about previous "生理に対する理解を深めたい" sentence.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Strangerland, another source tells a female employee proposed the plan.

https://nlab.itmedia.co.jp/nl/articles/1911/22/news124.html

販売促進部の女性社員が「生理のときはこのピンバッジを胸につけることを提案します」

6 ( +8 / -2 )

No, Its absolutely correct in this context. As a Japanese native I can tell. In japanese many words are omitted, but by in this context "提案" is about the badge plan, not about previous "生理に対する理解を深めたい" sentence.

Well, I'm a second language speaker, so I'm willing to accept I may be wrong. So I just asked my wife to read it and tell me what she thought it meant.

She told me this is what the girl said. I then asked, ok, but it's using 提供, does this mean it was her idea?

"No, that's not what it says".

3 ( +6 / -3 )

What the actual? Why did anyone think this was a good idea?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

販売促進部の女性社員が「生理のときはこのピンバッジを胸につけることを提案します」

If this clear sentence doesn't convince you I dont know what can do.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

販売促進部の女性社員が「生理のときはこのピンバッジを胸につけることを提案します」

That says:

Female staff from the marketing department said "we propose that this badge worn on the chest when menstruating".

Again, it does not say that the idea came from females.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

If this clear sentence doesn't convince you I dont know what can do.

The sentence is clear that the woman proposes that the badge is worn on the chest. It does not refer to the plan overall.

You're the native speaker, that should be clear to you.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Whether it was the girl's idea or not, surely it was male executives who accepted the proposal? Does Daimaru Umeda have any female upper management capable of making such a decision?

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Strangerland

Again, it does not say that the idea came from females.

IT DOES. Your translation is wrong because you used "we" but it should be "I". It's pletty clear.

If you read through the article you can see the reasons for the badge were very feminist.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

wear badges when they're menstruating, which was originally aimed at fostering sympathy among 

Only a man completely devoid of common sense could have come up with an idea like this. How did this idea even make it out of the planning stage? I would assume any company, especially a company in 2019, would have shot this idea down from the moment it was brought up.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

IT DOES. Your translation is wrong because you used "we" but it should be "I". It's pletty clear.

She's speaking as a representative of the marketing department, which is "we", not "I".

If you read through the article you can see the reasons for the badge were very feminist.

Maybe. Or maybe it's what men think feminism should look like.

I still haven't seen anything that says the idea came from female staff. Only the use of female staff to speak on it, which considering the topic makes sense don't you think?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The sentence is clear that the woman proposes that the badge is worn on the chest. It does not refer to the plan overall.

Yes it refers to the plan overall. It's not like she's concernd about the location the badge resides. Chest or not is not importeant to her.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Why would it be beneficial for a Daimaru customer to be informed of the ovulation of a female employee?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Yes it refers to the plan overall. It's not like she's concernd about the location the badge resides. Chest or not is not importeant to her.

I have no idea whether it's important to her or not, as the comment does not express whether or not it's important to her. What it does express is this:

生理のときはこのピンバッジを胸につけることを提案します

They propose (提供) that the badge be put on the chest (峰につけること) when menstruating (生理の時).

Again, it is not speaking of who came up with the plan.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Read the whole article in Japanese before deciding. Make executives might require wearing glasses but I doubt they ask female workers to wear such badges. It’d be harassment.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why would it be beneficial for a Daimaru customer to be informed of the ovulation of a female employee?

Well, this article doesn't explain the entire situation. Daimaru had redone a given floor of their store, with a section named Michikake, which was selling goods focused on female menstruation. It was meant to tie in with that.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I'm in the U.S. but yeah I've been to Japan and love the culture there immensely. Regardless of who proposed it, I'm just shocked this kind of thing would even be considered.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Strangerland

The thing is she proposes the whole "生理のときはこのピンバッジを胸につけることを提案します". It's not like the plan "生理中はどこか(somewhere)にバッジをつける"was proposed before by other staff.

And, the original text clearly says 提案 but again you say "提供". Am I missing something? Please correct me if I'm wrong for using "提供". It's no wonder your wife said "No, that's not what it says" If you explained using "提供".

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Sorry I meant  "Please correct me if I'm wrong for using "提案"."

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I'm in the U.S. but yeah I've been to Japan and love the culture there immensely. Regardless of who proposed it, I'm just shocked this kind of thing would even be considered.

It's not that shocking to those of us who live there. Quite in line actually.

And while I think it was probably a bunch of old men who came up with the idea, that's pure speculation, and this being Japan, it could easily have been a female as well.

One thing to note is that Japanese people are often more open with these kinds of bodily functions than westerners. I've had Japanese girls I do not yet know well talk about constipation and menstruation. I'm cool with these things, but I'm a little more open minded to that stuff than many westerners.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

it had hoped to encourage bonding by having menstruating staff wear a badge featuring an existing manga character named "Seiri Chan" - loosely translated as "Miss Period".

Leaving aside the issue of who originated the idea and what their gender was, you do have to wonder why nobody at any point in the decision making progress put a stop to this. I would think that at least by the time they had someone do the mock up of the Miss Period mascot someone would have raised an eyebrow and said “Are we really sure we want to do this?”

But no, that didn’t happen.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The thing is she proposes the whole "生理のときはこのピンバッジを胸につけることを提案します". It's not like the plan "生理中はどこか(somewhere)にバッジをつける"was proposed before by other staff.

She's a member of the marketing department speaking to the press. Of course it was proposed by other staff. And again, you keep going on about this sentence. As you, a native speaker know, を is used to designate the object of the action. In this case, the action is 提供します - 'proposing' not 'proposed' and the object of that action is 'バッジを胸につけること' - putting the badge on the chest.

If it had been past tense, your comments would be better supported. But you're speaking of a marketing department person speaking to the press about something they are proposing. There is nothing to support making the leap from that to it having been the speaker who actually created the plan/policy in the first place.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

I'm actually all for being able to openly talk about being on your period, and removing the stigma surrounding menstruation, but start that in schools and education, not with some silly badge.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Leaving aside the issue of who originated the idea and what their gender was, you do have to wonder why nobody at any point in the decision making progress put a stop to this.

I stopped wondering about that years ago:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/15/fukuppy-fukushima-mascot-japan-fridge-egg-name

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The Daimaru Umeda department store in Osaka said on Thursday that it had hoped to encourage bonding by having menstruating staff wear a badge featuring an existing manga character named "Seiri Chan" - loosely translated as "Miss Period".

You can,t make this stuff up, seriously.....whether it was originally suggested by male or a female employee..this is one of those ' only in Japan ' moments.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

What a stupid idea. If they want people - ie men? - to understand what menstruation is, have an in-company workshop. ffs

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Thanks hiragino. It sounds like it was proposed by female staff who work on the same floor as a new women's corner selling menstruation related goods.

It also sounds like there are people on the Internet judging this as if male bosses are forcing women on the meat counter to wear the badge.

One of my exs would end up in complete agony in a bad month. Before that, I had no idea how bad menstruation could be.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I don't find this offensive, just very very weird. I don't quite understand what they want to accomplish, because what is the point in sharing that you are on your period with co-workers? I don't share my weekend plans with co-workers, so why would I want to share information about my bodily functions?

How does this de-mystifiy or de-stigmatize menstruation?

I can also see this completely backfiring, with grotty old men making lewd comments to the women, or managers using this as an excuse for discriminatory behavior.

Just an all-around bad idea that should not have even been suggested, whether it was by a man or a woman (and I can believe it could be either).

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Pink stars, anyone?

Massive failure and violation of personal info.

Instead give the women three days paid leave and allocate their duties to the males who get to wear heels for three days.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Strangerland, another source tells a female employee proposed the plan.

> https://nlab.itmedia.co.jp/nl/articles/1911/22/news124.html

> 販売促進部の女性社員が「生理のときはこのピンバッジを胸につけることを提案します」

My girlfriend has a master's in linguistics from a Japanese university and agrees that this is a possible interpretation. I have a master's in applied linguistics myself as well as N2 Japanese and I agree that this interpretation is possible too.

By the way, we're saying 'interpretation' because that's what all language is based on. There is no inherent meaning in language and it relies on both sides accurately conveying and interpreting signs (speech, text, gestures, etc) the same way.

Considering there is so much confusion, it would be good if a news outlet followed up on it. It's perfectly possible that a woman came up with it, don't forget we've just had the Seiri-chan MOVIE out of all things so it's not this is invisible in public

0 ( +6 / -6 )

I am somewhat finding this news great , because regarding to the news, girls around me talked about period and problems they have about it. I also want to add that many straight men were freaked out about this news. I guess they are trying to show off how much they care about women (great, go on, make sure you do the dishes tonight). Looking forward to seeing how Miss Period film turns out, and a lot of men watch it too.

strangerland - The subject article can be read that it was suggested by a female staff. There is nothing wrong with understanding the article that way. I am not saying your interpretation is wrong but it can be read that way.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Forcing someone to wear badges is not a good idea. Perhaps the idea was in the right heart but let people choose to wear it or not, would solve a lot of headaches.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

So it was proposed by female, female staff liked the idea, and it was on voluntary basis; but oh, the outcry, man are sexist pigs, of course. By the way, I think it is a bad idea, but I'm not the one wearing those badges. And I felt uncomfortable when a female employee sent me a lenghty and detailed email describing her menstruation and asking for half day off. I asked her to just tell "I don't feel well" next time.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I find this to be a good idea. I always ask the females I'm managing to take their menstruation days off if they feel the need, no questions asked. Just say you're not feeling well.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Timeline of events:

A woman comes up with the idea.

management, fearing backlash for not following the suggestion of a woman about a woman issue decide to make the pins.

then everyone wakes up and realizes that it’s a stupid idea

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Folks I think we can agree on one thing here, Japanese as a language can be VERY vague, with many interpretations, drives me nuts at times.

As to this idea...….not the best one I have heard, no matter what gender suggested it!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

WTF, more than half of the comments are people fighting over the Japanese translation, and totally of topic

It's completely on topic as it affects its evaluation. People are saying "Only a man could come up with this!" and it's quite funny how in this case they appear to be very wrong. It also exposes the hypocrisy of the people who decry sexism but evaluate ideas solely based on the sex of the person they came from!

The badge was voluntary anyway.

As for...

I felt uncomfortable when a female employee sent me a lenghty and detailed email describing her menstruation and asking for half day off. I asked her to just tell "I don't feel well" next time.

I agree that a detailed description of a bodily function can elicit some disgust but please get yourself comfortable with a woman asking for period leave as it is a legal right in Japan. As a compromise, I suggest simply telling them something like "Don't worry, I don't need a detailed description. Just let me know you want to take your alloted leave and we can discuss anything extra within the framework of the company policy."

By the way, I tell my university students that they don't have to ask to leave, they just have to tell they are leaving the room for me to account for them if there's a fire or something. I don't need to know why and they're allowed up to thirty minutes out of the room per class before they are classed as absent anyway so it doesn't make a difference.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

What a wonderful idea. I'm surprised it was quashed. In fact, it could be made mandatory for every female over 12 right through the whole country. IDIOTS!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Does a man who shops at that store really care?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Drew the idea from those Pregnant mother Tags??

3 ( +3 / -0 )

生理に対する理解を深めたい」と、若手女性社員から提案され

So let's set this straight, shall we?

As has been pointed out above by hiragino4410, this sentence in Japanese is 100% unambiguous and means that (the company is claiming) a young woman proposed the plan.

As far as the grammar of this sentence goes the 生理に対する理解を深めたい」と... part of the sentence can be translated as "in order to promote deeper understanding over [employees who have to work while suffering discomfort due to their] period"...

“と” , in this usage, links a reason with an action by a designated party, in this case the proposal.

The first part of the sentence before the “と” is complete and self-contained, setting out the reason for the proposal. When we get to 若手女性社員から提案され, the question of what is being proposed (the 提案)can only logically refer back to the original plan, and the sentence cannot be interpreted as an unrelated woman (who was not the proposer) simply making a comment about the system.

Consider the example sentence;

JPN: 若い人にもっと運動してもらうと、新しい体育館の建設が市から提案された。

ENG: In order to encourage young people to do more exercise, the city authorities proposed the construction of a new sports hall.

Now imagine that the entire topic of conversation is the new sports hall and everyone involves in the discussion shares that awareness. Then you can simply write

若い人にもっと運動してもらうと、市から提案された。

Even though the reference to the sports hall has been removed from the sentence, the English translation does not change.  Assuming we are still discussing the sports hall, the sentence has not become ambiguous nor is another interpretation is possible, even though the subject has gone completely.

If subjectless sentences like these are completely unambiguous, why do we see people complaining that subjectless sentences lead to ambiguity in Japanese?

To explain this, we can look at an example of where an ambiguity could actually occur using a subjectless construction when discussing a proposal. For example, if you had a sub proposal within a larger proposal, so you are literally discussing both in the same context, there would be room for confusion, depending on the details.

JPN: 新しい区画整理がはじまり、その一環として体育館の建設もすすめられている。

若い人にもっと運動してもらうと、市から発案された。

ENG: A new urban renewal program has begun including the construction of a sports hall.

The city came up with the idea [to build the sports hall] to promote exercise among young people.

The above is unambiguous.

However;

JPN: 新しい区画整理がはじまり、その一環として公園の建設もすすめられている。

町の魅力を向上させるため、市から発案された。

ENG: A new urban renewal program has begun including the construction of a park.

The city came up with the idea [of the urban renewal? of the park?} to improve the appeal of the city.

This one is a little more ambiguous (forgive the strained example, it is a little hard to think of these kind of sentences on the fly. Even here, the most natural interpretation probably leans towards the park as the subject).

Despite the slight potential for confusion when discussing nested topics, these constructions are a regular feature of written Japanese.

In complex topics and technical writing (such as patent applications) it is not a great idea to use constructions like this as they can be deliberately misread by people with malevolent intent.

However, where there is only one relatively simply topic, the

( [reason for action] と [details of action left out] [party taking action] [verb describing action] )

construction works quite nicely.

So, to return to the topic, a grammatical analysis reveals there is no potential whatsoever for ambiguity and the badge was (it is claimed) proposed by female staff.

Thanks if you made it this far!

12 ( +12 / -0 )

you can see the reasons for the badge were very feminist.

I'm sure people spin this as a misogyny thing

It's neither a misogyny thing or a feminist thing.

It's just a really, really, stoopid thing.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Whether it was the girl's idea or not, surely it was male executives who accepted the proposal?

I suspect some (all?) of those male executives felt the idea was silly but were perhaps afraid of being labelled as a misogynist.

In today's society, it seems they cannot avoid being labelled as a misogynist by the discontents: If they accept the proposal, they are misogynist; if they reject the proposal, they are misogynist.

Anyway, the badge was not compulsory...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The fact that there is a need for this badge for people to be kind and considerate is outrageous. This simply shows how cold and apathetic we've become.  

Personally, I don't expect people to treat me kindly because of my gender or because I am menstruating.  I would rather prefer it if people just respect each other and observe the golden rule.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

That female employee must be the apple of the male execs. Now she should suggest paid leave when women are on their periods, higher pay and a chance for 50% of women to sit on the board, let's see who listens to that

3 ( +4 / -1 )

These folks are insane...I'd say. Why don't we have people wear badges indicating how much of a stipend they earn, which area they live, which handicap they bear. We could start with a mandatory hut for those with influenza or a cold... who knows.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

jpn_guy, hats off to you. You could have made the explanation shorter by pointing out the fact that Strangerland simply got 提案 and 提供 confused which led to the cringe-worthy argument above.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Thanks Dervish. Brevity not my strong point, unfortunately. It is a bit of a problem...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Whoever suggested it, this is the stupidest thing I have ever seen. Should I wear a badge too saying Tin Tin chan when I'm feeling it??

1 ( +3 / -2 )

*Also thanks to hiragino4410 for staying calm and patient.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Is this some kind of joke? Why not wear a red flag lapel badge while they are at it?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A mix of ignorance, naivety & full-on creepiness (borderline fetish); just plain weird & so Japanese!

J ppl are a different species altogether aren't they (that's why many are so intriguing/frustrating/confusing but also fascinating to me i guess). Everyday feels like an anthropological mission; 'why would you even say that? why would you want to do/email/say that to your clients/suppliers etc? are the questions i most frequently ask here (and these are genuine questions, am not having a go just trying to understand).

How about a 'i have the runs' badge?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Had this idea been a hit, everyone would have praised the female employee who came up with the idea. But because there was a backlash, the male executives get the blame. Misandry as usual.

The intention is actually noble (create sympathy for the female employees and better understanding of what they are going through). Maybe the way they went about it is controversial.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

It really is a weird story. If I am working a job I don't want a badge letting other people know about what I am dealing with. I know a paper store that has some of the employees wear a button with a fun meter. They can move the meter 180 degrees letting you know if they are having fun or not.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Could this have happened in any other country?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

great idea, why the backlash?

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

You can’t force someone to do so. They could be on the rag and not wear the badge.

The female workers just want some understanding and sympathy from male and female coworkers and wouldn’t want to be thought as lazy if it affected their job performance.

Usually people just say I have a stomachache or Im not feeling well.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The female workers just want some understanding and sympathy from male and female coworkers and wouldn’t want to be thought as lazy if it affected their job performance..

We ALL want understanding and sympathy from others, but this is a crass and vulgar expression of yet another from of special pleading.

No-one gives a flying doughnut whether you're on the rags or not. Actually, scratch that, this is Japan; someone's bound to get off on it.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The Daimaru Umeda department store in Osaka said on Thursday that it had hoped to encourage bonding by having menstruating staff wear a badge featuring an existing manga character named "Seiri Chan" - loosely translated as "Miss Period".

Just shows once again that reality is crazier than any fiction people can make up.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Are you serious, how can someone even think about this idea?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I want to know WTF kind of policies they have in place that at least one woman thinks they need sympathy for having their period. Do they have really long shifts without breaks of something? Do you need special permission from three levels up to take a loo break?

If you're having serious problems, see a doctor. Maybe get on a low dose pill. Don't expect everyone else to want to publicly deal with your menses and don't expect me to be public with mine.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

When I first came to Japan I was shocked how many office conversations among the women were about constipation. I would seriously be less surprised if an employee suggested a badge for that. Weird. Jaw-droppingly weird. All of it.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

What a weird suggestion is this "fake news"? It is too hard to believe this and belongs on the unbelievable show.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

sakurasukiToday 06:56 am JSTstaff to wear menstruation badges after outcry

We're reconsidering plans now," said a male executive who declined to be named.

How many female executives do they have on board? So this things happened because solely all male execs decides what their female staff should do and wear?

Punish the women who are having their period - broadcast it so everyone all around knows it! What decade or for that matter what century are we living in? Publicly shaming people for something natural is something only a dunderhead would come up with.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

When I first came to Japan I was shocked how many office conversations among the women were about constipation. I would seriously be less surprised if an employee suggested a badge for that. Weird. Jaw-droppingly weird. All of it.

I doubt constipation affects job performance quite the same way as menstruation does for a more affected woman. However, the point made here is still important in that it shows Japanese people have different standards to others when talking about bodily functions. It is perfectly acceptable to talk about unko (poo) in Japan in situations where you would get funny looks in the West. Japanese toilets with the bidet spray would never have been developed had people been too embarrassed to talk about the act of pooing.

Perhaps people who are happy to talk about constipation have less objection to badges about menstruation.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The fact that there is a need for this badge for people to be kind and considerate is outrageous. This simply shows how cold and apathetic we've become. 

As Sha said, there is something wrong with the badge thought as an idea to have people act civil toward you.

the badge was not compulsory

Since when does 'not compulsory' as any kind of significance in Japan ?

The intention is actually noble (create sympathy for the female employees and better understanding of what they are going through).

I do not really get how seeing a badge will make someone have any idea of what it is to be on your period neither of what the lady wearing it is feeling. It is not like there is some kind of guidebook for every lady to follow every month (see kohakuebisu's post). And as Sha said : people should respect each other and respect the golden rule.

I do not really get the point of having female staff wearing a specific badge at some time of the month. All the benefit for male and female should not even be seek (out of the should be obvious to the utterly devious spectrum).

The badge could be an way to promote the 5th floor new space but in that case it should be wear by all staff (male and female) at all time.

The badge could be a way to identifiate specialist (with training and bonus) of the field and then should be wear at all time by the trained staff regarding of their gender. Since obviously they should train male staff too for the male customer which need information. Having to go ask a lady about this kind of stuff when you are a man could be stressful for some.

About the author of the idea, people should not forget that even if the chance of the idea to be fully implemented without any change are not void, it could be expected than the original idea went from some brainstorming before giving the definitive plan and that group effect can be tricky.

Well, they can be several explanation as of why someone come up with this idea some creepy. So let just think that it was a genuine attempt to increase visibility of the subject.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What an absurd idea!!

How about those going through menopause? Should they wear a 更年期 badge?

And...men don't get menses but there are PLENTY of men who have PMS symptoms! They should wear a badge too!

Again, what an absurd idea!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The BBC's take on it here:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-50597405

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Daimaru Umeda department store in Osaka said on Thursday that it had hoped to encourage bonding by having menstruating staff wear a badge featuring an existing manga character named "Seiri Chan" - loosely translated as "Miss Period".

This is absolutely hilarious,

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Alfie NoakesToday 08:11 am JST

Leaving aside the issue of who originated the idea and what their gender was, you do have to wonder why nobody at any point in the decision making progress put a stop to this.

I stopped wondering about that years ago:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/15/fukuppy-fukushima-mascot-japan-fridge-egg-name

Somewhere there's a retirement home for manga characters whose time has come and gone, or who never quite got there in the first place. Right now Seiri-chan is at the front door, introducing herself to the little fridge egg from Fukushima.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In Japan, isn't it common rule in companies that women can get day(s) off because of menstruation specifically ? It was when I worked in Japan....

So the idea is not to take a day off and show that you are working instead !

In both cases, it is not about respect or empathy.

Respect or empathy should be all the time with all people.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This could ONLY happen in Japan, and I have zero doubt in my mind it was an idea thought up, talked about, and implemented by men, and men alone. This is being laughed at all over, and when I posted it on Facebook and Instagram, you can feel the outrage and in some cases extreme laughter over it in posters' comments.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

One thing to note is that Japanese people are often more open with these kinds of bodily functions than westerners. I've had Japanese girls I do not yet know well talk about constipation and menstruation. I'm cool with these things, but I'm a little more open minded to that stuff than many westerners.

Don't be ridiculous would you? The fact that they may be more open to the matter is irrelevant here. That's actually not even true, as many women are not comfortable that people just throw at their face any comment about their menstruation. Now, assuming you are right, what kind of disturbed mind would connect the dots between a woman potentially being open to the subject within the conversation with a very small number of people and a woman being asked to wear a badge indicating that she is having her menstruation that could be seen by hundreds of people? That's plain humiliation since the message is: look she is in a bad mood, you know why. That's stupid since women experience menstruation in different ways.

Please, every crazy and stupid thing that Japanese do can not be defended.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

How many other companies want to follow this idea? Got to be close to zero. Am guessing this will be featured on a lot of channels now but not in a good way.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

People don't need badges to tell people to empathize with others who are not feeling well for whatever reason. More education on showing kindness to others is more beneficial. I often get the idea that everyone thinks everyone is a competitor!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

maybe time for the men to wear impotence badges also , they can call it Mr Viagra

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Alex Einz: "great idea, why the backlash?"

Ask your partner to wear one and see what happens. Maybe you'll understand then. Or you'll just blame it on her period (if I'm assuming too much about your gender preference, forgive me).

Strangerland: "One thing to note is that Japanese people are often more open with these kinds of bodily functions than westerners."

Hogwash. And to think you've been here as long as you have. People may be more open about it with YOU, because they think they can be. And in any case, if what you say is so correct, do tell us why the customers were complaining about the whole thing? The public outcry was most assuredly the Japanese public, which wouldn't be the case if you were right in what people have called you out on here.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

wtfjapan: "maybe time for the men to wear impotence badges also , they can call it Mr Viagra"

Nah, that's not really the same thing. You're talking about shaming people for an affliction, whereas menstruation is of course a perfectly normal bodily function. Not sure there's really anything equivalent you could rightly ask men to do this kind of thing with (maybe "Prostate-kun"?) which is part of the point -- if someone is going through a tough time because of something their body is putting them through that they cannot help (and I'm assuming that is why someone would wear the badge by choice) the specifics should not really matter, and they certainly shouldn't feel any pressure or obligation (and they would, here) to show others, nor others to see it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

My, my! Some people here sure are sensitive! It’s like you’re all...wait s minute. Uhh, it’s like you’re all..,what? Uhh my wife is calling me. Gotta go!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Regardless of who proposed this, after reading the original article, the question is if you wear a badge indicating you're menstruating then what? どうするの?The article says that some were concerned about privacy. Why would any woman わざわざ"生理中" だと知らせる? Male employee stated that they can tell right away, for embarrassing reasons, when a woman is menstruating.

The question should be Why would you want your customers to know this? It takes away the fun of shopping. When an employee is in training they wear a badge, so customers can sometimes be a little more patient. But to female customers who shop, should they be more patient just because an employee is wearing a menstruating badge? Then the shopping experience just became about the employee not the customer. The art of professionalism just went out the window.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A Japanese department store is reconsidering a plan for employees to wear badges when they're menstruating, which was originally aimed at fostering sympathy among co-workers but triggered a public outcry.

It triggered a public outcry.

What on earth do you expect!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

WTF?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I don't think that many or any woman in the UK would ware a badge like that, I am sure that they would be embarrassed, I would of thought that it would be the same for Japanese ladies.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The next time I see a news item on, let's say, viagra, I'm going to rush into the thread to speak with utter confidence and authority about "how men feel". ;)

3 ( +4 / -1 )

What a great idea.

Other ideas for badges:

I’m hungover. leave me alone

I haven’t been laid in ages

going through relationship issues

feeling lonely

I’m a JT poster
4 ( +4 / -0 )

I too almost spilt my coffee when reading the article here. But after reading the original Japanese in the comment section, it seems a lot less weird. Apparently, these badges are only to be worn in the tampon corner on the 5th floor, and not all the female staff across the building. No seiri chan badges at the checkout counter, as the English article made it sound.

I wont get into the argument about who proposed it. To me it sounds like the idea came from young female staff working there, but my Japanese is not native, so what do I know.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Is it really a thing to give women time off for their period?? Somebody is joking, right?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This has to be one of THE dumbest ideas ever proposed anywhere. I seriously do not want to know when any woman I don't know intimaty is menstruating.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

And the 50+ male managers will wear a fitting badge - "cantankerous old bast$rd"

0 ( +2 / -2 )

male managers will wear a fitting badge - "cantankerous old bast$rd"

I'm not a manager, but I really want one of those!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Is it really a thing to give women time off for their period?? Somebody is joking, right?

I can bet you've never worked in Japan, and if you've worked, not in a proper company. It is not a thing to give menstrual leave. It is the law. Ladies have the right to claim their menstruation is uncomfortable enough for them to work, and the employers have to grant them paid leaves (12 per year, or one per cycle).

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Women don't need to wear badges, as I'm sure other men can tell (like I can) by their odor alone, that they are coming up to, or have started a Menstrual time.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

And... @ebisen - the Menstrual period can be very painful at times for Women, so much so, that the usual off-the-shelf painkillers don't help. You may also know this if you have had any serious long term relationship with a Woman.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sorry @ebisen - that wasn't aimed at you, but at the person you commented upon.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Bugle Boy of Company BNov. 30 03:35 pm JST

Is it really a thing to give women time off for their period?? Somebody is joking, right?

It's true - it's even in Japanese labor law.

But IMO, the kind of pain women can experience during their period merits more than one day off.

And I imagine if men experienced the same pain, like being kicked in the privates 24 hours a day for five days straight, you would probably agree. I don't think guys really appreciate just how tough women really are, and how good we are at enduring pain. It can even be so bad as to make you throw up.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

... And.. this is in the labour standards of many Asian countries as well. In Europe it would be completely illegal, thanks to their stance on equality between sexes there.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

An amazing degree of uncertainty, confusion, and clarity about this article, yet its a very simple issue. If for some strange cultural reason Japanese ladies might want to advertise their periods out of consideration for colleagues, they should be allowed to. However it would be a kindness to its female citizens for the government to discourage the practise as being unnecessary and labelling, thus bringing the handling of the issue in line with the rest of the modern world, rather than with any more backward cultures that may still have antiquated attitudes to this natural bodily function.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can bet you've never worked in Japan, and if you've worked, not in a proper company. It is not a thing to give menstrual leave. It is the law. Ladies have the right to claim their menstruation is uncomfortable enough for them to work, and the employers have to grant them paid leaves (12 per year, or one per cycle).

Well, it's a good thing you didn't put money on that bet. I've worked in (full time employee) at a major IT company. In Japan. So, there's that. But the point is, I'm not a woman so that explains why nobody came up to me and told me about my 12 paid holidays a year.

I'm not sure if it's a good thing or not, but it certainly opens my eyes a bit more. Yes, I agree that we need to take care of people who need help, but from what women have told me, the pain and discomfort vary greatly woman to woman.

I wonder how these 12 paid holidays are calculated into the "wage gap".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

loosely translated as "Miss Period".

Great translation! If you "Miss" your period you have an bigger problem though!

Sounds like one woman suggested this and the higher-ups, not having any brains themselves, actually agreed to go through with it. They should have consulted their wives at least. I know when my wife has her period but I certainly know she wouldn't want me making it public to anyone else.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Have you ever seen so much nit picking in your life? Who cares if the translation is right or wrong. Or who suggested what and what gender. The fact is when a woman is menstruating and having a hard time. I'd like to know so I can be a little more patient or bit more understanding. I do not find the badge offensive at all. I think it is great idea. I trust Japanese female retailers to always try their best to offer high quality customer service and not use this badge or a menstrual condition as an excuse for more sinister nature.

Get over it. Let's get it done.

What a fine idea.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you were in a boardroom in North American or Europe and suggested that women in the company wear specific badges when menstruating, they would cart you off for mental health assessment.

It beggars belief that some posters here think it is a great idea.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Dear sir, is incredible, the menstruation or period, as is been cooled, is something natural, although, many lady’s is clear that they feel very uncomfortable, and also, not very healthy, but is something natural,so, why to have such an idea, of promoting their self..? Is something like the man should announce that they are horny, what a lack of respect for the women..I can not believe it, go a head men staff and as your sisters or mother when to that have their period or menstruation days, so men will be happy to share their info.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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