TOKYO (TR) – The publisher of weekly tabloid Spa! has apologized following on online protest over an article that ranked universities by how easy it is to have sex with female students.
In the December 25 issue, an article on dating sites included the opinion of the manager of the operator of such sites to come up with the “easiest university girls” ranking.
The article mentioned the names of five universities, each ranked based on the likelihood a man has of scoring with a co-ed he met at a drinking party should he purchase a meal and drinks, a process known as gyaranomi.
The article received criticism online. Kazuna Yamamoto, a 21-year-old university student, launched a petition on site Change.org to coax Fusosha Publishing to renounce the article and issue an apology. As of Tuesday afternoon, the petition had been endorsed by more than 28,000 persons.
“2018 was a year where women from all over the world fought for women’s rights, so that our voices were delivered,” Yamamoto wrote. “Japan will be having the first G20 Summit [in Osaka] this year, and it is ridiculous for an article such as this to be published.”
In the apology by Fusosha Publishing, included by the Asahi Shimbun (Jan. 7), the company said that the article covered gyaranomi since it is a “societal phenomenon.” In addition to explaining that the rankings were based on the experience of the manager, it said that female university students regularly participate in such events.
The magazine apologized for “for offending readers” with “sensational” content. “With regard to discussions on sex and gender, we would like to receive a wide variety of opinions so that we can [serve our readers],” the company said.
In the petition, Yamamoto cited Ministry of Justice data that says only 18.5 percent of women report incidents of sexual assault. “Why? 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.”