One of the goals of the Abe administration is to see more women in the workplace in roles that make a difference. His administration already in an unprecedented move appointed 5 women to upper cabinet positions (although 2 have already resigned almost simultaneously) who are in key positions to revise and craft Japanese laws and legislation.
However, the Japanese adult video industry already has been a field where women have held much power long before the current prime minister's women-in-the-workplace mandate. This element of the business sometimes has been featured in various 'Female Employee' productions which shows AV workplaces with a fair share of female staff members.
This may not be what's best for actual female employees at Japanese AV companies (the “female employees” in these types of productions are not real women in the office, but AV stars masquerading as them). What's shown in these movies are extreme cases of (staged) sexual harassment mixed with extremely amorous and outgoing women. It's anything but natural even for an adult video office.
However, is everything shown in these 'Female Employee' productions totally staged or are there some nuggets of truth mixed in?
When I used to work at an AV company, my part of the office had a total of 5 employees with 2 being female. What's more, they were both pretty young at about 25 years old. Although they were kind of cute, you'd never mistake them for adult video stars. I was really surprised when the younger (and cuter?) one started working with me to the point where I flat-out asked why she decided to enter this industry.
“I didn't really get into it for reasons erotic. Rather, I wanted to do something somewhat technical and fun hence this job.”
It seems like women these days are not afraid to step into environments that may have been unsuited to them in the past. My coworker actually mentioned her parents work in the film business so media creation runs in the family. She did very well while working with us and I admired her dedication.
This was the situation about 10 years ago. If anything, the progression of women in the workplace has seen even more females become full-fledged employees of Japanese AV companies. I had a chance to talk with A-ko, a female employee of an adult video company going on her 4th year.
“Obviously my family was against this, but I really wanted to work here. I thoroughly explained this to them and they finally rested their case. Although I didn't have much experience watching AV, I've always felt nothing but respect for AV actresses since they seem so strong-willed. They have the guts to go naked in spite of what people outside of the industry may think about them and what they do. I'm nowhere near as cute as them, but I still want to help in some way. This is why I do what I do behind the scenes.”
For those that are wondering, A-ko with her pale skin and sparkling eyes is extraordinarily cute. Being this good-looking, is sexual harassment in a Japanese AV workplace an issue?
Written by Miyuki Nakagawara
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(Translator's note: a user on an online forum once commented how Japanese AV seems to be the perfect example of what porn would be like if teenagers ran the show: bizarre yet creative ideas with little thought given to detractors and non-fans. The way pseudo female employees are treated in AV productions is far from reality. Nudist workplace environments and strip rock paper scissors events do not exist.)
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