Don’t Let Gender Discrimination Devour Society

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Updated: Mar 08, 2021
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In “ The Tokyo Medical University entrance exam scandal: lessons learned, ” an article written by Greg Wheeler, the author discussed the scandal about Tokyo Medical University’s Gender discrimination. In order to impose the restrictions on the number of female students, the Tokyo Medical University (TMU) designedly lowered part of the female application entrance exam scores. In the article, the author analyzed the unfair methods of the TMU and selection system in Japan and Japanese social values, pointing the finger at the entrance exam system and the social values. What’s more, Wheeler commented on the remedial measures of the TMU, thinking the entrance exam system should be completed and the whole social values should be paid more attention by society. In case the similar incidents happen again in the future, the author also listed some recommended actions, such as improving the transparency of the exam institution, taking measures to ensure that women will have more equal treatment at work.

Actually, there is no doubt that the entrance exam scandal is not an accidental event absolutely, but a complicated problem that caused by various factors such as the Japanese social Gender discrimination, Japanese social deep-rooted rotten ideas about female and role of women, kinds of social pressure, opaque and imperfect examination and admission system. The scandal is a stark example of the persistent specter of gender discrimination in Japan. This is a signal that Gender discrimination is still devouring our society now, especially for Japan.

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Gender discrimination may be the chief culprit of this scandal because it was not the first time that Gender discrimination had caused social problems. In 1978, a girl entered the final round of a children’s sumo championship. But she was rejected to entry to the competition place- the ring at the sumo’s former home arena in Tokyo. Furthermore, a woman also was refused by the sumo association when she tried to enter the sumo ring to present the cup to the champion (REIJI YOSHIDA, 2018a). Both of these events were typical Gender discrimination in Japanese society because men thought women are “impure” because of menstrual blood (REIJI YOSHIDA, 2018b). What is worse, according to the research of The World Economic Forum in 2018, Japanese gender gap index ranked 110 out of 149 countries (Thisanka, 2018). In a word, there are enough reasons to believe that Gender discrimination is the root of TMU’s scandal. However, there were many specific angles of Gender discrimination in this scandal, for example, the social deep-rooted rotten ideas in the Japanese mind.

With the social deep-rooted rotten ideas in the Japanese mind, there were thousands of women lost opportunities to develop and exert their talents and become Social victims. The absurd rules in sports is a vivid example. What is more, women can’t make sushi is another instance of discrimination. According to the research studied by Shinzo Araragi, the parents of female students usually hope their daughters live near them and do not study or and work in competitive cities (The Asahi Shimbun, 2018). Moreover, families of female generally hold a firm belief that women who have great education would find husband difficulty. The thinking typical of the countryside that “daughters do not need to enroll in universities,” also is devouring the society (The Asahi Shimbun,2018). For these reasons, it is easy to make sense that female always need to sacrifice themselves to make a family. They usually give up opportunities to enjoy higher education or have a wonderful job. That is why the girl’s scores were first lowered. According to the rotten views, these girls should have been sacrificed in the fierce competition.

It is precisely because of the long-standing decadent thoughts, the role and position between male and female in Japanese society are unfair. The unfair situation also helped to cause unfair treatment for female. As a highly prosperous developed country, the position and role of women should be changed better than being a housewife. According to the survey, Japan ranked 114th in the world in economic participation and opportunity for women in 2017 (Japan Times,2017). It means that the economic independence of Japanese women is very low. That’s why we see so many images of Japanese women as housewives. They became the accessory of men and have to stay at home to deal with housework in order to show their limited value. Obviously, it is another obstacle that women usually have responsibilities for taking care of the family. This directly led to their relatively short career. For this reason, the TMU limit the number of female students in order to save social resources. Fundamentally speaking, it is the unfair position and role of the female in Japan that cause the TMU’s unfair operation.

The examination and admission system should be completed because the unfair operation would be found in the institution was reliable. There are many measures which need to be taken by the whole society. For example, the university usually uses the law as an excuse not to publish a lot of information about examination. Thus, it is necessary for the institution to make a concession for examination. What is more, the university should publish the examinee’s score and backup the examinee’s answer which is convenient for the examinee to check their ranking. All in all, it is important to improve transparency throughout the examination and admissions process.

Japanese society had changed a lot about gender discrimination, but not enough. As time went by, there were more and more girls got opportunities to enter the university and bask in higher education. The difference between the university enrollment ratios for male and female students has been shrinking every year. The percentage for Japanese females entering university became 50.1% in spring this year (The Asahi Shimbun,2018). There is no doubt that the position of women is gradually changing, more and more women devoted themselves to the development of the world with their circumspection, concentration and many other natural advantages. However, there is a need to reflect on some of the struggles for women’s rights. For example, the women’s position will not be changed a lot because of the Ladies’ day or discount. On the contrary, it may increase women’s dependence on men. Because it is obvious that women don’t have too much income when most of them are housewives. Maybe, this is a simple compromise of Japanese society. Compared to China, there was an official document was published recently. The document stipulates that the interviewer may not ask women about marriage and childbirth. It may be a good example for Japan to protect women’s legitimate rights(Notice, 2019). Generally speaking, Japanese society still needs to put more effort into changing gender discrimination.

Making up for the past is as important as preventing future accidents. With the exposure of the scandal, TMU has taken remedial measures to regain the public’s trust in its admissions system. For example, the university announced that it will offer to accept 67 female applicants whose scores were lowered and failed to enter the TMU(Associated Press,2018). However, it is not enough yet, the TUM should take steps to make up for the loss of more students. It still ignored lots of past victims. Anyway, it is also important to make up for past because it may help the university to remember the past.

All in all, the entrance exam scandal is not an accidental event absolutely, but a complicated problem which caused by various elements which include the Japanese social Gender discrimination, Japanese social deep-rooted rotten ideas about female and role of women, kinds of social pressure, opaque and imperfect examination and admission system. It is necessary for society to change its rotten ideas firstly and change the women’s unfair position step by step. Anyway, it is never too late for us to stop the Sexism devouring Society if the society put more and more focus on changing social rotten ideas and women’s unfair position.

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Don't Let Gender Discrimination Devour Society. (2021, Mar 08). Retrieved from