Dr Caroline Norma1
1RMIT, , Australia
Only recently, with the onset of the #MeToo Movement, has the sexual harassment of women in mainstream work been considered in terms of prostitution. The sex acts demanded of American female entertainment industry hopefuls by men like Harvey Weinstein raised awareness of the vulnerability of women in the labour market to sexual solicitations from men with power over their careers, incomes and professional reputations. It is now more recognised that women are sometimes forced to acquiesce to the continuing sexual demands of these men to survive. As yet, though, the prostitution aspects of the man-made world of work have been considered only in individual, one-on-one terms. The prospect that women’s sexual exploitation is structurally embedded in capitalist labour markets is not yet an insight of #MeToo. This presentation will describe features of Japan’s labour market developing since the high-speed growth era that have structured female prostitution and sexual exploitation as part of mainstream white-collar work.
Caroline Norma lectures in the Master of Translation and Interpreting degree at RMIT University. She researches histories of military and civilian prostitution systems in Asia and Australia from a feminist abolitionist perspective. Her research is translated in Japanese and Korean, and her two sole-authored books influence the direction of advocacy movements in support of the ‘comfort women’ around the world. Her current project investigates prostitution perpetrated by Japanese, Australian and American military men during the war in New Guinea between 1942 and 1945.