It seems that the very same brand of abusive transgender advocacy that has the West firmly in its grips has finally come for Japan, as actress Ai Hashimoto recently found herself the target of widespread harassment from activists after voicing concerns towards the concept of transgender and biological women sharing the same bathroom facilities.
The uproar against the Sadako 3D and 21st Century Girl star was first sparked on March 4th when, in a post made to the her personal Instagram ‘Story’ (as translated by Twitter user @seri3ma and Yandex and further refined by Bounding Into Comics for clarity), she expressed her opinion that “it would be better to have public places like bathing and restrooms separated according to one’s biological sex.”
“Perhaps for LGBTQ+ people, they may feel like they are forced to endure and this makes my heart hurt to imagine,” acknowledged Hashimoto. “But as a woman, I would be very wary and fearful if I were physically encounter a male person in a public facility where I would not be able to talk and communicate with the other person. No matter what gender of mind they are. I don’t even want to hurt them with that kind of attitude.”
“The LGBTQ+ community has been very supportive of this issue, especially women,” she added. “I hope that you raise your voice that there is a high risk for sexual assault. I am deeply grateful for that support because I see it.”
Unsurprisingly, this post drew Hashimoto the ire of Japan’s transgender activists, many of whom subsequently took to social media to decry the actress as a transphobic bigot. of the night.
“Last night, I was really shocked to see that Ai Hashimoto’s (actor) Insta story contained transphobic content,” wrote @waka_chang, before admitting, “I found out in the middle of the night and sent it to the contact at the office and to the DM of Ms. Hashimoto’s insta-story asking her to see and read this, and praying that she would ‘please stay in her lane..”
Another activist, @h_a_t_b_d, claimed that Hashimoto’s post was transphobic because they believed that the discussion regarding transwomen in women’s public-private spaces was based on lies.
“Seriously, do I have to say it persistently: Don’t get involved in discussions about transgender in women’s spaces because the discussion on the topic itself is complicit in trans discrimination (because the argument itself is based on false rumors),” they disingenuously argued. “Hashimoto is on board with trans hate and it’s hard to do nothing.”
“Even someone as aware and sincere as Ai Hashimoto and speak out with sincerity can make mistakes, or at least that’s how clever she is in the debate over transgender people in women’s spaces that is going on right now,” they added. “I’m sure it’s even more hateful for ordinary people who are just going into it with little more than a sense of human rights and a little bit of small talk.”
After facing even further backlash and accusations of transphobia, Hashimoto eventually followed-up her initial post with an apology to those she offended.
“This was a situation where some people criticized this post as transphobic,” Hashimoto announced on March 5th. “I received a lot of very helpful feedback, and since last night I have done a lot, lot of research on transgender discrimination, in order to never again make ill-considered comments, and most importantly, to never further hurt anyone in this world, I now promise that I will continue to update, learn, and act on them.”
“I am so, so, so sorry,” she concluded. “I am so sorry. I am sorry that I have unknowingly hurt people even though I have no feelings of hate at all, even though I have considered the feelings of many people from all perspectives and finally put them into words. I have learned a lot. Thank you for teaching me. I am sorry to those I have hurt.”
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Hashimoto’s browbeating by activists would subsequently set Japanese Twitter ablaze with discourse – during which her supporters, a majority of whom were confused as to why she apologized for what they felt was a legitimate issue, even managed to get the #SolidaritywithAiHashimoto hashtag to trend.
Among those in the actress’ corner were numerous members of the LGBTQ community including the president for the general incorporated association LGBT-JAPAN and transgender man Ryo Tatsuki, who not only expressed support for the actress but directly challenged her activist harassers on their rhetoric.
“Regarding Ai Hashimoto, as the president of the general incorporated association LGBT-JAPAN, I support her statement,” Tatsuki declared on Twitter (translated via DeepL). “As a transgender person, I would like to ask the transgender people who are criticizing her, ‘So, can we ignore consideration for cisgender women? Isn’t consideration only based on fairness?'”
“As a general association, LGBT-JAPAN supports Ai Hashimoto’s statement,” he continued. “If this situation continues, no one will be able to say anything about LGBTs.” Tatsuki warned. “Such a society is not a society where everyone can live comfortably. Opinions that demand an apology are not the consensus of LGBTs. Please send us your opinions via our website or DM.”