Interview with Ayako Kano

Portrait of Ayako Kano

Gender: The Largest Category of Human Experience

Gender, as both an intellectual or academic category and a political buzzword, is a hot button issue today. However, it is often difficult to understand where gendered boundaries lay and what people are doing when they invoke gender. In most cases, declarations around issues of gender are battles over power and equality.

In Episode 1 of our Gender series, Sam Timinsky interviews Ayako Kano who is Professor of Japanese Studies in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania for a wide ranging discussion of gender, family, labor, and the current Abe administration’s policies in Japan. Kano explains the ways in which gender penetrates nearly every aspect of an individual’s life. As such, she claims, activism or policy-making related to gender strike at the heart of a society’s culture and politics.

Interested in learning more about how Ayako Kano addresses Gender in history? Check out her book, Japanese Feminist Debates. You can also read her recent pieces “Abenomics and Acrobatics” and “Is Shinzo Abe Really a Feminist?”

Stream or download our conversation here.

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