Diamond Emails Pt. 2

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Date: Thu, 15 Sep 2005 16:34:51 -1000
From: Milton Diamond
To: ********@yahoo.co.jp 【管理人判断によりアドレスを伏せました】
Subject: Re: resending of the questionnaire to Dr. Diamond for the use of new book

Dear Yamamoto-san,

I have been extremely busy these last few weeks so I have not been able to respond until now. I’m sorry about that. The new semester has started and I am heavily engaged in teaching medical students.

Both of your e-mails have been received and I certainly knew you wrote them.

Unfortunately it is not possible for me to respond in great detail to your questions at this time since my professional obligations to my University must take precedence until the end of the semester in December. And as you can well imagine, responding accurately to your questions has already been an effort that has taken several days. And there are other professional articles I am writing.

As I mentioned to you previously , I have submitted an article regarding gender-free education to JASE and it is my understanding that it will be published in their November issue. I would imagine that my comments there would provide you and others with my ideas on “gender free.”

In response to your specific questions here below are some comments I hope you can use and find helpful.

In general I can repeat that I am for providing equal opportunities for education, sport, advancement, employment, political and administrative positions and in every other way for men and women. Cultures such as those in Arabic countries, for instance, repress women’s opportunities and discriminate in many ways. They are backward and repressive in their legal system and prejudiced in how they treat women and other minorities. Japan, however, is a forward looking nation and one that doesn’t fit into that antiquated mold. Japan is a modern nation and one that must, in my belief, adopt to modern ways of treating women in all regards. Doing so will also enhance men’s positions in many ways since the burdens of society can be shared equally.

Recently we had a devastating hurricane, Katrina, here in the United States. A few years ago all hurricanes were called with male names. Now they are mixed in rotation with male and female names. No one was harmed or insulted thereby but it was another indication that men and women would be treated equally even in such simple ways. I think the same will be noticed in Japan if the school roles are mixed and all names be called alphabetically regardless if a boy’s name or girl’s name is first. And I believe every one should be called with the same suffix “san.” I can tell you that several Japanese men have told me that when they left school and for the first time were called san, they thought they were being addressed as girls.

In America, not too many years ago, the language adopted a change in calling women by the title Mrs. Now we all use the term Ms. Thus, women are not identified as married or not since it makes no difference in the respect they should be accorded. (Many years ago all boys were respectfully addressed as Master and adult men were addressed as Mister. Again, that, difference was seen as old-fashioned and of little use. The term Master for a boy is only rarely used now.) In marriage ceremonies, there is no longer used the expression “Man and wife.” It is now “Husband and wife.” This puts them both on equal footing.

In using distinct boys and girls names, I think that is proper. Children given peculiar or opposite-sex names are made fun of by their peers. So I certainly don’t see anything wrong in maintaining certain differences that make life easier. In this case identifying someone as male or female. And equally celebrating a boys day or girl’s day, to me, is a harmless custom. However, I do believe that some girls will want kabuto and other boy’s day presents and should be allowed to have them just as I think it is OK if some boys want ningyo and are equally allowed to have them.

I have no idea of how feminists here in the US or in Japan are using the John/Joan case. I certainly think it does strongly support the idea that an individual’s gender preferences are inborn but they are modified by experience. David was not allowed to be himself until he forced the matter by threatening suicide. I believe that everyone, boy or girl, man or woman, ought to be able and allowed to demonstrate any behavior trait regardless if it is sex or gender-syntonic or not according to others. Each individual ought have a right to act as he or she will.

I will mail to you some articles which I have written and you have my permission to quote from them. But please keep all in context. You will see from my article now in press regarding “The Right to be Wrong” that I view personal freedom, for males and females, very highly and do not want to see people restricted in how they display their gender since I think it does no harm. And I definitely see sex and gender as different; and generally I see gender as socially and culturally attuned in comparison with sex which is much more biologically linked.

I hope this helps you. If you use any of my writings please be sure to send me copies.

Aloha,


Milton Diamond, Ph.D.
Professor
University of Hawaii
John A. Burns School of Medicine
Department of Anatomy and Reproductive Biology
Pacific Center for Sex and Society
1951 East-West Road
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822
USA

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2005,September 13
Dear Dr. Diamond,

How are you?
I sent you my e-mail to ask some questions mainly about gender free topics yesterday, but I forgot to write my name on it.
Therefore I thought it’s better to send it again to you.
I hope you can understand my questionnaire well.

I’m looking forward to your answer as soon as possible.
Thank you.

Sincerely yours

Akira Yamamoto

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Dear Dr. Diamond:
How are you?

Thank you for your e-mail.

First of all, I apologize that I might have talked about Dr. Chizuko Ueno a little too emotionally, because I had been angry at her attitude toward the case of late Mr. David Reimer.

She is regarded as one of the most influential opinion leaders concerning gender-free ideas in Japan. It seems that being a thorough Marxist feminist and radical feminist, she is far from being satisfied with the definition of the term “gender” commonly adopted by Japanese feminists. Nevertheless, she quoted the feminists’ slogan that the gender difference is caused “by nurture” and not “by nature”, as if to propagate it, and at the same time she quoted the twins case for promoting the theory that sex
and gender are separate in her book titled “the Politics of Gender Difference” published in 2002.
When she referred to Dr. Money’s study, she ought to have known that his experiment on David had been proved a failure. I think that she should have made some comment on David’s unhappy case, when she referred to ” the Sexual Signature” to introduce the cases of outpatients who came to the department of sexology of Johns Hopkins University to consult Dr. Money and Dr. Tucker in her book. Did she just neglect David’s case ? I suspected that she concealed it. Was I wrong ? As I thought you felt like I did, I
might have misunderstood your comments, also partly because of my poor English ability.

Ms. Ueno’s opinions and writings about gender are actually very elaborate, refined, and subtle, but her simplified words and phrases have had a great influence on people at large. And the gender free movement influenced and led by her have reached the point where many Japanese people can no longer calmly watch it. Some intellectuals have begun to warn the gender free movement–according to them unique in Japan– is destroying the education, family and the traditional value of Japan. (Though it is said that
destruction of those are just what radical feminists aim at) To me, it is because the word gender never be free from ambiguity. In spite of that, reality goes ahead absorbing what is called “gender free ideas” in Japan.

You said in the last e-mail ” Basically I do support gender free ideas”. Frankly speaking, I quite agree to your gender free ideas in the sense you explained it to me. However, I am sure that the phenomena which gender free ideas in Japan have brought are quite different what you expect to come out from your gender free ideas.

As you kindly proposed me a chance to ask you questions in writing, and you said you were willing to answer me in writing, now I would like to ask about your opinions regarding the following matters. In doing so I will show you some conditions in Japan for your understanding my true intention.

1)The problem of mixed name lists in public elementary and junior high schools

In Japan coeducation system was adopted in public schools under the guidance of the Allied Forced led by USA soon after the World War II. Until recently names of the pupils were divided into a boys group and a girls group in the name lists. But from the viewpoint of gender free ideas, it was regarded harmful, and mixed name lists are being used in 81 % of primary schools e.g. in Tokyo. The promoters of mixed name lists say even calling boys’ names first is not good as it used to be practiced.

—-Do you think that this movement is meaningful in terms of your genger free ieads ?

2)The problem of the change of the suffix to the pupils names

In Japan teachers used to call pupils putting a suffix “kun” like “Jack Smith-kun” for a boy, and “san” for a girl like “Betty Smith -san”. Now teachers are told to unify the name-suffixes into “san” so that pupils do not become conscious about the difference of sex. Boys and girls are told to call each other by the name with the suffix “san”. A large number of parents have begun to notice the change and criticize it, saying that it challenges the Japanese tradition and it is against the freedom of
expression.

—-Do you think this movement is consistent with you gender free ideas ?

3)The problem of naming babies

Recently one pamphlet financed by Japanese government and sold through the Board of Education in a local area alarmed parents, saying ” Aren’t you going to force your babies to grow unconsciously manly or womanly by giving a name with a strong image to a boy and one with a pretty image to a girl?” This pamphlet is titled “New Support for Bringing up Babies “. This pamphlet also regards ” A Dolls’ Festival ” which have been observed in Japan on March 3rd every year for hundreds of years, as an undesirable
custom, as it develops womanly consciousness among girls. As one might have expected, a Diet woman of the Democratic Party criticized the pamphlet at the floor of the House of the Representatives two years ago. But the pamphlets have been sold widely as before.

—- Do you think developing sex/gender consciousness is harmful to gender free movement in terms of your gender free ideas ? And, how do you evaluate their attitude towards traditional festivals ?

4) The problem of the attitude of the Cabinet Office of Japanese government in charge of the policies of equality of both sexes.

It is still quoting Margaret Mead’s theory on its HP with the intention to make people believe that maleness and femaleness are not universal, but they change in different cultures and societies. I hear some scholars say her such theory has been completely denied.

—-How do you evaluate Margaret Mead’s theory from the viewpoint of your gender free ideas ? Do you have any suggestion to the Cabinet Office?

5)The problem of the position of the National Women’s Education Center (NWEC)

NWEC, which is the center of gender study in Japan, has published ” the Handbook for the Educating /Learning Women’s Studies”, where there is a column titled ” Gender Identity”.
The handbook is supposed to be an introductory literature for those who study women’s study. The column quotes from Dr. Money’s “Sexual Signature” his view of gender that gender identity is stronger than anatomical sex”.

—-I read in an article that you believe “The sex in the brain is more important than the sex between the legs”. What is the main difference between your view and Dr. Money’s ? What is your opinion about the “one gender theory” in which radical feminists try to separate gender from sex, and see no difference or seam between male and female?

6) The problem of the definition of gender
The Cabinet Office of Japan adopts the definition of gender that “gender is what is formed by culture and society” in contrast to sex which is biological.
In UN some organizations use this idea as a definition of gender, others not. It seems that this definition has not yet been accepted internationally.

—-What do you think about the established definition of gender?

7)The problem of dropping of the twins case from publications by some feminist scholars in USA.

“As Nature Made Him ” says that “some feminist scholars quietly dropped the twins case from new editions of their women’s studies textbooks “(page 176) in USA.
—-What do you think advocators of gender free movement in Japan should learn from this fact?

8)The problem of the suicide committed by Mr. David Reimer

I was greatly shocked to know that Mr. David Reimer committed suicide on May 4th last year.

—-Does the above mentioned-attitude of feminist scholars in USA have anything to do with the failure of the twins case ? How did you feel and what did you think when you were informed of his death ?

9)The problem of the reprint of the Japanese translation of ” As Nature Made Him”

—- How do you evaluate the recent reprint of the Japanese translation of “As Nature Made Him”?

10)The problem of the results of the questionnaire about the consciousness of high-school students

Some of the Japanese officials in charge of the gender policy insist that children sould not be educated with the stereotype thinking that female and male school children are supposed to behave womanly and manly respectively.
We obtained deplorable data, which are the results from the questionnaire conducted by a Japanese think-tank and reported in February.
The think-tank researched high-school students in four countries, USA, Japan, China and South Korea at the same time last year. One of the questions to the students was ” Do you think it important that a woman and a man should behave womanly and manly respectively ?”
What surprised us most was that only 28,4% of the Japanese female high school students answered “Yes”. On the other hand, 71,6% in China, 58,8% in USA, and 47,7% in South Korea answered “Yes”.
The results of the male students were almost similar. Only 43,4% of the Japanese male high-school students answered “Yes”, while 63,5% in USA, 81,1% in China and 54,9% in South Korea answered “Yes”. Moreover, it was revealed that Japanese high-school students didn’t think it important to ” refrain from having sexual intercourse before marriage” Only 33,3% of them answered that it is important, while 52,0% in USA, 75,0% in China and 73,8% answered in the affirmative.
Shocked by this result, one of Japan’s major daily, the Yomiuri-Shinbun, reported this on the front page as the second biggest news of the day.

—-What do you think about the results of the questionnaire? Don’ you think they reflect the influence of gender free movement ? Do you consider this phenomena as a sign of improvement of human being or its degeneration in terms of the relationship between men and women ?

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Akira Yamamoto Mr.
Editor-at-large The Editorial Department,
the Sekai Nippo, post code 150-8345
World Building 12-9 Udagawa-cho
Shibuya-Ku Tokyo, Japan
【管理人判断により電話番号を伏せました】
********@yahoo.co.jp 【管理人判断によりアドレスを伏せました】
http://www.worldtimes.co.jp/
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