Last night was the Women and Men workshop at the Dawn Center in Osaka. There were about ten of us there, including some women who hadn’t been there in a while and some who joined via Skype.

The Dawn Center is tied in with the Purple Ribbon Campaign, and many places were illuminated with purple lights. This campaign is for the prevention of violence against women. I could understand the purpose of the campaign, but as a long-time supporter of de-violence, I felt uncomfortable with the wording.

Prevention of violence against women… At first glance, this sounds like a good statement, but it contains many contradictions. It could mean that violence against men does not need to be prevented. It can also lead to the reinforcement of the gender bias that women, unlike men, are weak and should be protected from violence.

By nature, violence is unacceptable, regardless of gender. Violence against the weak is especially unacceptable, but it does not require gender. However, if violence against women is denied, violence against men will be tolerated. If a child or a physically weak person is considered to deserve to be beaten because he is a man, eventually when he grows up or acquires social power, he would think that it is inevitable for the weak person to be beaten and affirm his own violence or shift the problem to the weak person, saying that it is their fault for making him angry.

The paradox is that saying and doing things that do not allow violence against women will in turn induce violence against women… I understand the meaninglessness of talking about something good on paper so much in the real world, but I guess the experts who do not learn from the real situation or the people who suffer from violence do not understand.

Last night, we also learned about addiction… Drugs and violence can’t be stopped by saying “stop because it’s bad.” Addiction is said to be a “disease of loneliness,” but if you realize the joy, richness, and happiness of human relationships and learn the skills to do so, you will not need addiction. There is no need for violence.That’s why the basic principle of my workshops is to have fun and feel good… I don’t use violent words like “you must apologize.”

The Ferris wheel at night from the platform of Osaka station on the way home… I think it was about twenty years ago that we rode it together.

Originally posted on November 15, 2020

English text translated with DeepL (Japanese to English) and checked by Mina.

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