In contrast to gay men, lesbians have been und err epre sented in Japanese society¯a global phenomena, according to Moonwomon-Baird. She argues that “lesbian practice is regarded as marked behavior, but goes unremarked much more than is true of gay male practice, even in this era of both friendly and hostile societal discourse on queers.”1 Watanabe Mieko, a pioneer lesbian scholar, poet and writer, argues that lesbianism in Japan has been historically marginalized and less documented as compared to male homosexuality.2 Not only are the lives of lesbians in Japan invisible, but also research in queer studies excludes lesbianism for the most part. The crucial reason, as Thorne and Coupland point out, is the patriarchy that supports “the more general social disempowerment of all women” and “exerts pressure on gay women to remain invisible and voiceless.”3 Chalmers blames “the androcentrism of most heterosexual social science disciplines,” which do not recognize women as a separate entity. Japanese aca demia folds women into the term hito (person/people).4 Chirrey puts it simply: “The existence of lesbianism is at best marginalized and at worst suppressed.”? On top of all this, the financial disadvantage of lesbian/straight women, who are paid less than gay/straight men, contributes to this phenomenon.
KeywordsSexual Minority Person Pronoun Japanese Language Linguistic Practice Direct Style
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