Dear Kojien, Please Convey that Feminism is an Ideology of “Equality Between all gender”

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Do you know how the word feminism is defined in one of the most respected Japanese dictionaries, Kojien?

In May 2017, we began an open letter and signature campaign to the Kojien, which was about to release a new revision, so that they would incorporate the idea that feminism is an ideology that wishes for "equality between all gender".

Here you can see the open letter that we initially wrote.

In response to this, it was reported that the definition of feminism and feminist would be revised, with the revised dictionary eventually being released on the 12th of January.

Have you seen how the words "feminism" and "feminist" have been defined in this 7th version of the Kojien?

An ideology and movement that asserts the social, political, legal, and sexual self-determination of women, and advocates for women's liberation from sexism and equality between both sexes. Women's liberation. Expansion of women's rights.

1. Women's liberation theorist. An advocate for the expansion of women's rights.
2. A man who is easy on women. A man who preaches respect for women. In Ango Sakaguchi's Shise Kandan "This old man's virtue is that he is a rare feminist. With a congenital spirit of consideration for women…"

Concerning the definition of "feminism", although we were very happy to learn that the words "liberation from sexism" and "equality" (which were not present in the 6th version) were added, we are disappointed that the definition states "equality between both sexes" instead of "equality between all gender".

In the scholarship and practice of feminism, it has already become clear that there are people who cannot be distinguished by male or female, and their difficulty of living, societal prejudice against them and lack of support is a large issue.

Feminism is a scholarship and movement that has developed to become more welcoming and inclusive, so that, instead of being exclusive, feminism is able to stand together with more people. We believe that the current definition is insufficient in crediting feminism for such efforts.

To reduce the prejudice against sexual minorities, and to achieve a society where everyone can be happy, we believe that this dictionary definition must also change.

Concerning the definition of "feminist", we seek the removal of the definition "a man who is easy on women" or for a clarification of this definition as a misuse of the word.

In this new revised definition of "feminist", we were shocked to learn that 80% of it was taken up with explaining the "man" of "a man who is easy on women". It wrongly gives the impression that feminists are all male.

In fact, not only is the definition "a man who is easy on women" completely irrelevant to the word "feminist", the wording "easy on women" has a negative connotation.

Whether someone is easy on women or not is based on a male perspective. This wording of feminism implies that "In principle, men should be strict on women" - expressing that men and women are not equal.

In a society where severe gender inequality permeates, calling men who are "easy on women" as "feminists" from a one-sided male perspective, is obviously unfavorable for feminism.

Moreover, the word "colloquially" which was originally present in the 6th version has been deleted. This deletion is nothing other than an official affirmation of the wrongful usage of "feminist" as "a man who is easy on women."

Furthermore, the fact that "an advocate for the expansion of women's rights" - a phrase which has continuously created misunderstanding - has remained in both the definitions of "feminism" and "feminist" is also very disappointing. Moreover, in contrast to how "the liberation of women, an advocate for the expansion of women's rights" comes after the words "equality" and "liberation from sexism", in the definition of "feminism", it remains unclear to the reader what a "feminist" is from the definition.

Many students use the dictionary. Within this rapidly globalizing world, young people take this dictionary into their hands to carve their own path.

We would like the Kojien to consider the toil that such misunderstandings of "feminism" and "feminist" would inflict on these young people when they step into the international stage.

In this current revision, the fact that the word "LGBT" was newly added to the Kojien made headlines. While this is delightful news, it was pointed out that the definition had some misleading expressions.

In response, the editorial department of the Kojien replied that they are "considering appropriate measures, including an amendment"

Please amend the definition of "feminism" and "feminist" as well.

Large-scale revisions are conducted roughly every ten years, but our understanding is that amendments are possible during reprints.

Everyone, lets raise our voices together to seek Kojien's revision of the definitions of "feminism" and "feminist"!

Kojien Campaign

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