Japanese Language as a Representation of Casual Sexism

I sometimes encounter very strange Japanese word.

For example, there are words 女優 (jyoyu-)and 俳優(haiyu-).

Former is supposed to be translated as actress and the latter as actor.

I have been accustomed to using these Japanese terms, but I found that these words are a little bit strange. Even more, these terms might be a casual sexism because, originally, acting persons are translated to 俳優 regardless of gender.

However, Japanese language calls only male as 俳優, but not women.

Also, the word 女優 could point out female acting not only at the stage of drama, TV shows, playing, movies but also pornography whereas there is a differentiation of the name between male acting at the porno (男優) and at the other places (俳優).

It is almost first time for me to blog in English so I think that some parts are messy, but my point is that the Japanese word 俳優 excludes women from acting in terms of the language and 女優 could unintentionally shape women’s acting image as a sex symbol.

In order to change this unbalanced situation, I want to suggest using 俳優 to both men and women because the word 俳優 is originally gender neutral terminology.

I personally started rephrasing, and feel that word choice on the daily basis could control people’s mindset.