The Japan Times just wrote an eloquent and thoroughly incisive review of the 30th Anniversary Edition of Womansword: What Japanese Words Say About Women by Kittredge Cherry. Thanks Sophie Knight of The Japan Times!
"Much of Japanese profanity revolves around women’s reproductive organs, which says something about the values of the society and culture. Language reveals
the judgments and biases of the group; it specifies how they see the world and how they want it to be — and, in doing so, shapes that very world.
Given that so many demeaning and negative words related to women endure, is it any surprise that sexism is still rife in Japan?
That is clear from the 30th-anniversary edition of 'Womensword: What Japanese Words Say About Women,' by Kittredge Cherry...Cherry’s short, meticulously researched pieces are filled with lively descriptions and illuminating historical tales about words relating to women, illustrating how womanhood, femininity and the role of women are perceived in Japanese society.
Cherry’s writing is witty, but this collection of short essays reads at times like a dismal history of sexual oppression. It is astonishing how many words there are to belittle and objectify women."
Read the full review here.