A Japanese weekly magazine called Spa! invited online outrage after it published an article on December 25, which ranked women’s universities on the basis of how easy it was to ‘convince students to have sex at parties’. The article was about a practice called ‘gyaranomi’, which are drinking parties where men allegedly pay women to be their date. The article claimed that such parties were popular among female college students.
The article invoked a lot of online criticism for sexualising, objectifying and disrespecting women, with many calling the magazine “disgusting” and the article “unbelievable”.
After the article was published, Kazuna Yamamoto started a petition on Change.org, demanding that the article be taken down, the sales of the offensive issue suspended, and the publication issue an apology. The petition has over 41,000 signatures at the time of the publication of this article.
In her petition, Yamamoto wrote:
“2018 was a year where women from all over the world fought for women’s rights, so that our voices were delivered…This sexualizing of women is not funny…Because sexual assault, random guys touching your butt in public trains, having their crotch up your butt, rape, is something women have to deal with.”
Though the magazine apologized after online criticism, they did not indicate whether or not they will take down the problematic issue. The magazine said in a statement:
“We would like to apologise for using sensational language to appeal to readers about how they can become intimate with women and for creating a ranking…with real university names…that resulted in a feature that may have offended readers.”