David H. Slater - Director of the Institute of Comparative Culture, Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Sophia University
The groups and individuals who have come together under the slogan “women against nukes” (原発いらない女たち) have emerged as one of the most articulate and strategic voices against nuclear power, but also against capital and state exploitation; their voices are some of the few from Tohoku (as opposed to those from the Tokyo-based demonstrations) that have been heard in a national and even international arena. The first part of this talk sketches some of the ways that this rhetoric allowed women, especially in Fukushima, to form political networks through digital media. These networks have become important sources of information about radiation and energy, and political alliance against nuclear power. The second part of this talk demonstrates how some of these women, often young mothers, have found themselves at odds within their own community in ways that foregrounds the fault-lines of gender and generation that are often obscured in daily life, but have actually characterized many rural communities far before the 3.11. Slater particularly addresses the often untenable position many women find themselves in as they attempt to manage their different roles as mothers, wives, community members, citizens, and activists.