Thousands of Japanese women have taken to social media to share their experiences of being discouraged from wearing spectacles at work, since the practice was exposed in two recent reports. It turns out that a range of firms tell their female employees not to wear glasses, including a domestic airline that cites “safety” issues, retailers who claim bespectacled shop assistants give a “cold impression”, and restaurateurs who think glasses sit uneasily with traditional Japanese dress. (The Week, 15 Nov 2019)
Remember the old rhyme?
Boys don’t make passes
At girls who wear glasses
This story about the Japanese women seems incredibly sexist, and would be howled down in the West. No one can help having eyesight problems; indeed, if you are short-sighted you cannot go about without your glasses or you can have an accident. Nor, in many cases can you do a number of jobs without 20/20 vision, assisted with glasses or not.
The writer, when young, was at one time distraught because he couldn’t find a girlfriend. “Get rid of those frightful horn-rimmed glasses and that will solve the problem,” I was told by one pretty girl. I did and it did! So glassesism has an old history, but doesn’t pass muster now. Or maybe, to be absolutely accurate, you cannot say what you think of those glasses the girl is wearing .