An influential Mayor in Japan has found himself in hot water after he suggested men should do the grocery shopping because women were too indecisive, took too long and therefore posed a greater CV-19 threat.
The Mayor of Osaka – Japan’s second-biggest city – Ichiro Matsui (pictured below) made the extraordinary claim during a press conference over the weekend addressing the city’s response to the pandemic.
“Women take a longer time grocery shopping because they browse through different products and weigh out which option is best,” Matsui said.
“Men quickly grab what they’re told to buy so they won’t linger at the supermarket – that avoids close contact with others.”
When a journalist in the room pointed out that his comments were sexist, Matsui, 56, acknowledged that his remarks might be viewed as out of touch, but said they were true in his family.
The mayor also said citizens should try and limit their trips to the supermarket and suggested people born in months with an even number only visit the shops on even dates and individuals born on months which have an uneven number go on corresponding dates.
His comments soon drew criticism from social media, where popular Japanese journalist Shoko Egawa tweeted to argue that “people who know nothing about daily life shouldn’t make comments”.
Egawa’s tweet has since garnered 3,400 likes and some 1,300 retweets, with many people commenting to agree with the sentiment.
“Japan is a country where these words come calmly out of a mayor’s mouth. Deplorable,” one person tweeted.
While another added: “When I hear remarks like this… I feel the need for people with diverse backgrounds to participate in politics.”
“There are indecisive men and nimble and sharp women,” another wrote.
While some even backed the Mayor’s comment. “That’s right. Elderly women in-particular are always chatting away, unconcerned about shopping.”
Japan currently has 13,441 confirmed coronavirus cases with a reported 372 deaths. Osaka has 1,521 cases and 30 deaths.
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