Japanese magazine apologises for university ‘easy sex listing’

Mag printed an interview with a manager of the matchmaking site who ranked five colleges whose students he said were ‘sexually easy’ at drinking parties

Maya Oppenheim
Women's Correspondent
Tuesday 08 January 2019 14:17
'Stand Up Japan' movement aims to end sexism in Japan prompted by article ranking colleges on how 'easy' female students are

A Japanese magazine has apologised after publishing an article which ranked women’s universities on how easy it is to convince students to have sex at drinking parties.

The weekly magazine Spa! printed an interview with Keiji Isogimi, manager of matchmaking site Lion Project, which ranked five colleges whose students he said were “sexually easy” at drinking parties.

He also described how to “coax” women and judge whether a woman is sexually available based on her clothing and appearance.

Now, an apology has been issued after a ferocious backlash on social media and a petition which accused the article of “sexualising, objectifying and disrespecting women” garnered 35,000 signatures as of Tuesday.

Takashi Inukai, a spokesperson for the magazine, said the publication was writing specifically about drinking parties where male participants pay fees to women.

He said such parties are currently popular among female college students.

“We would like to apologise for using sensational language to appeal to readers about how they can become more familiar with women, and for making a ranking based on (Mr Isogimi’s) experience that mentioned real university names — which came out in a way that may have offended readers,” he said.

But there was no suggestion the controversial 25 December issue would be taken off the shelves.

Kazuna Yamamoto, a female university student, started the Change.org petition on Friday which called for the magazine to issue an apology, remove the article, and pledge not to use terms which objectify women.

Ms Yamamoto also shared videos on social media in Japanese and English which hit out at the magazine over its depiction of women.

She hit out at wider Japanese society for excusing the objectification of women and for victim blaming those who experience sexual assault.

The student said this was not the first time the magazine had run similar content – it has also published stories on subject matters such as “the characteristics of a woman who gets into bed easily” and “the types of alcohol to use to have sex with a woman", she claims.

“Getting a girl unconscious or incapable of making decisions so that you can have sex with her is called rape,” Ms Yamamoto said during the clip. “What if your daughter went to one of the schools (mentioned in the story)? What if your daughter’s classmate is reading the article about alcohol to get a girl drunk and unconscious?”

Japan has recently been in the public eye for falling behind on gender equality in the wake of the global #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and assault.

The East Asian country ranks bottom of the G7 countries on female representation in politics and business.

A number of medical universities in Japan have admitted to meddling with entrance exam scores to deliberately put female applicants at a disadvantage.

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