The Okayama District Court has ruled [ja] that calculations of estimated lost earnings for a transgender man suffering severe aftereffects from a traffic accident be based on average wages for an adult male. The plaintiff is registered as a woman in the koseki, the national family registry, and the defendant claimed that calculations should be based on average wages for an adult female. The judge based his ruling on the fact that the plaintiff has changed his name to a common boy's name and regularly took testosterone shots.
Aoisora002 wonders about perceptions of this ruling:
Apparently, this is a landmark ruling because it focuses on daily life instead of on what's written in the koseki. If you think about it though, it seems kind of obvious. He lives as a man and his wages are that of a man's. Of course he should be compensated for what he would have earned as a man. The decision seems obvious at first glance, but I can't help but question the fact that it's being regarded as a landmark ruling.
Dorami views the news in the context of prejudice:
Sex/gender related issues are taboo in Japan, and don't receive much media exposure or attention in education. (Yes, gender identity and sexual identity are different things.) For example, homosexuality is deemed not very acceptable (=bad) but people don't state that it's bad outright. This kind of environment breeds prejudice. It's probably a good thing for Japan that we've begun to see cheerful gay men on television shows in the past two or three years. While racial prejudice remains strong in some parts of the United States, it's decreased to the extent that a black man has managed to become president. It's wouldn't be surprising if a homosexual person was next. I wonder if Japan will follow in this direction. The political make-up of this country might be a strong barrier, though.
Hino responds in a comment on the post:
The opposite won't happen, though – a transgender female asking for less because she lives as a woman. Now that would be complete equality.
Kyoko also refers to television trends in her blog:
The word 性同一性障害 (gender identity disorder) has become quite common. With the “onee boom” (‘Onee’ means older sister, and refers to effeminate gay men.), many men in drag appear on television shows. I don't know whether they're the real thing, though…
And goes on to say:
It's a shame that he's suffering from aftereffects, but I guess that he's proud of himself and how society has accepted him as a man.
In a post titled “The Value of Life”, Hiro questions the system itself:
In short, if the calculation had been based on average wages for women, he would have received a far smaller amount. While the underlying problem is that women earn less than men, this case reaffirms the fact that it's more important for rulings to follow reality rather than justice. For example, if this man had been a doctor or lawyer, he would have received more. If he'd been a NEET
or a freeter
, he would have received less. A society that blithely decides the value of life based on this type of disparity is frightening.