On Diversity, “LGBT,” and Sexual Minorities
Date: October 28th, 2016 (Fri.) Location: Ono Auditorium
Speaker: Hiroki Fujita (Rainbow Action NPO)
The speaker expressed critical views of two cases of promoting diversity, describing them as image-building strategies that appeal to the tolerance of diversity (“pinkwashing”) and use “LGBT” to mask discriminatory policies and intentions. In this context, he also questioned the sincerity of Waseda University raising the banner of “promoting diversity.” He proposed measures for achieving meaningful—as opposed to merely superficial—diversity; and he explained to the many students in attendance that there are diverse ways of thinking, and expressed the hope that the students would form and feel free to express their own thoughts and opinions.
Participant feedback “Confronting gender projections”
I realized that media and advertising have a massive influence on people’s values, for better or worse, in relation to the new concept of sexual minorities. I also saw how vital it is that we receive information from various sources and make the right choices about which to keep and which to discard. Until now, much of the news on the Shibuya Partnership Ordinance seemed to reflect positively on the Ward’s response, and I myself had a good impression of it. But when I heard Mr. Fujita’s talk, I realized that the Ordinance is actually inadequate in many respects; for example, issuing certificates will require certain costs, and not enough public hearings were held. It was also new to me that Israel’s publicity about Tel Aviv being “the world’s most gay-friendly city” actually promotes pinkwashing. After hearing this, I felt that being well informed is very important when receiving information on topics like gender and minority, which have no correct answer. Specifically, I think we should not unquestioningly accept all the information we receive, but should be positive in listening to various opinions.
Maaya Fujita, 3rd Year, School of International Liberal Studies