Monday, 15 November 2010

Negotiating the road to gender equality ... with a flip-up map

With attention focused on the APEC conference in Yokohama, here are some stories from the past week you may have missed.

On Monday 9th, police arrested a panty thief who had attempted to steal three pairs of underwear from a washing line on a woman`s balcony. When police searched his home they found 3,000 other stolen pairs of panties. The 55-year-old man said, "I have always been interested in women`s underwear". So too, apparently, were the police who displayed the panties at the police station and invited journalists to photograph them.

Also on the 9th, Seibu announced the launch of Maid Trains on the Chichibu to Ikebukuro line. Maids will ride the trains, playing games with the passengers. Some station shops will have photo studios so travellers can have photos taken with the maids. (

On Thursday 11th November, Triumph displayed their `concept bra` designed to introduce foreigners to Japanese tourist spots. The bustier has three buttons which when pressed welcome tourists in English, Chinese and Korean. A short skirt `flips up` to reveal a map of Japan.

What a sad, third-rate little country ... which by the way ranks 94th out of 134 in terms of gender equality in the annual World Economic Forum ranking.

Next week, granny arrested for pinching Y fronts from launderettes and police display them for women who have `always been interested in men`s underwear`, Seibu launch the Beefcake Express and Triumph display the concept tourism boxer shorts ... with flip-up map. Never going to happen, is it?

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