SDHF Newsletter No.333 “Comfort Women” All Signed a Contract of Agreement —Impact of the Ramseyer Article Series No. 4: Chapter 2: The “Comfort Women = Victims” Stereotype Broken Down
“Comfort Women” All Signed a Contract of Agreement
—Impact of the Ramseyer Article
Arima Tetsuo, Professor, Waseda University
(English Translation: Society for the Dissemination of Historical Facts)
Series No. 4: Chapter 2: The “Comfort Women = Victims” Stereotype
Ramseyer’s critics think that he supports prostitution. The facts are that unlicensed/licensed prostitution and the comfort women system were legally permitted long ago. Today, prostitution is legal in many countries. Looking beyond morality, one should acknowledge that prostitution is a major industry and contracts clearly exist; it is obvious that the fundamentals of economics are at work. Rather than support prostitution, Ramseyer merely took an interest in delving into what economic mechanisms come into play.
Ramseyer’s critics are trapped by the notion that prostitutes are “living a life of shame” and that former prostitutes fit the “sex slaves plunged into Hell” stereotype. But this notion is far from the truth.
In “Comfort Women Controversy: (1) Did they really return home with empty hands?”, Lee Young-hoon, the main author of Anti-Japan Tribalism, points out that not a few of these women built houses back home and even bought land. Prostitution, including being a comfort women, was a means by which poor women could earn more money than by working in a conventional business. In other words, prostitution was the way by which poor women could climb up the social ladder.
Comfort women as human beings have dignity and their pride. They would not be at all pleased to be “subjects of research” and to be pitied by postwar elites who were raised in a far more favorable environment than they were. So, assuming that the comfort women were merely oppressed victims is rather insulting to them.
Only the poor know poverty. Only comfort women know what being a comfort woman was all about.
MOTEKI Hiromichi, Acting Chairman
for KASE Hideaki, Chairman
Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact