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  1 month ago

#KuToo – Japanese women against workplace discrimination. Should dress code be so demanding?

Yumi Ishikawa, an 32-year-old actress and writer, was annoyed by the imperative of wearing heels at work. Heels in Japan are a requirement for a standard work attire of a working woman. This is part of the image that the company requires from them. Ms. Ishikawa was tired of how much these shoes are uncomfortable and painful for working women. She realized this while she was working as a receptionist for the funeral parlor. She had to stand for hours and greet customers 5-7 cm high heels, because that's what the company demanded.

She noticed that male employees wore flat shoes as they were more comfortable during work. As part of the protest, she decided to do the same. She shared her choice on Twitter adding #KuToo, which is a word game of two Japanese words: kutsu - shoe and kutsuu - pain. #KuToo quickly gained popularity on social media, Japanese Twitter and foreign media. In addition, she opened an online petition to prohibit imposing wearing high heels at work. Her petition entitled "Do not force women to wear high heels at work" very quickly gained popularity. Yumi Ishikawa was surprised that her complaint, born of physical pain and frustration, received so much response.

To increase the popularity of non-social media, Ms Ishikawa and other volunteers have organized a special event in Tokyo, where men are asked to walk and even work in high heels.

Ms. Ishikawa presented her petition to the Japanese Ministry of Health to force the government to react in this matter. Unfortunately, Takumi Nemoto - the Japanese Minister of Health, objected to the petition following the traditional way of thinking - "High heels are required and reasonable in the workplace"

Web users and supporters of the petition commented that high-heeled shoes could be dangerous for women working in Japan. An earthquake can strike at any time, and uncomfortable and shaky shoes while running to a safe place, increase the likelihood of injury and damage to health.

Despite the logical arguments and the real consequences of this problem, the opponents of this movement try to reduce its popularity and downplay the demands of Japanese women. Comments "you can always quit this job" and a very malicious suggestion that the career of Ms. Ishikawa as a model weakens the strength of arguments in this matter.

Even though Japan wants to fight discrimination in the workplace, recruitment processes, learning opportunities and promotion, Ms. Ishikawa wants to highlight the lack of interest in a standard work outfit. Thanks to the #KuToo movement, she wants to change it and fight against sexism and harassment in the Japanese community.

What do you think about #KuToo? Do you think that Yumi Ishikawa's arguments and her supporters are justified? If yes what would you add to their argument? Do you think that employers should have the right to force us to wear a certain type of dress?


  1 month ago
why is it constantly about women! none would tell a man what to wear, women are constantly targeted when they're chubby they're told to lose weight, theyre skinny they're told they have no meat and should gain weight, when they wear a suit they're told they want to copy men, when they wear skirts without tights they're told they're being too seductive and its inappropriate when they wear clothes that are covered they're made fun of for trying to hide their clothes. it is 2019 women can do what they want and ignore the haters because none will be happy with you so ignore them and do what you want and be a boss and love yourself! follow your heart always because it is your life.


  1 month ago
Comfort comes first in my book.


  1 month ago
Some women would be happy and comfortable wearing high heels all day but it should never be mandatory. Everyone should have the choice as to the type of heel or not they choose to wear. The only time that a type of shoe should be mandatory is when they are safety shoes or specific to a job, eg trainers in a gym, dance shoes etc


  1 month ago
I never wear high heeled shoes now because of my bad knees, but I still like to dress smartly when I go out. It should not make any difference what you wear , it is how you do your job


  1 month ago
I saw this , and had to check that it was 2019 ! How outrageous and dated this attitude is !


  1 month ago
omg.. I can't wear heels.. Never have and never will. I'm lying. I did try it once. Was horrible and it lasted less than an hour. Women shouldn't be forced to wear it. I'm also against theaters who require a 'dress code' asking women to wear evening gowns. I am female but I don't want to wear any kind of gowns, skirts or dresses. I would rather wear a suit like men do.


  1 month ago
#KuToo she's just right to question it , and hope her petition finally gets results !!!! if put in again that is
, for its no joke heels, and most woman here have a option on footwear
, mine would be flats all the way , i am not in work now , but when did we wore what we wanted and its great to have that choice x


  1 month ago
You don't have to wear high shoes to look smart in the workplace. I think she is right to complain as not everyone can wear them especially if you are constantly on your feet or have a medical condition - they are not practical. I think the men should wear them for a day and see how they get on.


  1 month ago
it's not only in Japan. Both in the UK and the US, some companies have been found to insist that women wear high heels. Appalling, as it's so bad for posture and veins, and so potentially dangerous.


  1 month ago
Japan has some deeply regressive attitudes to women; infantilising & sexualizing by turns (& worse, simultaneously: witness the "schoolgirl rape" trope in manga.. Heels are injurious to health #KuToo
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