Radiation Brain Moms and Citizen Scientists: The Gender Politics of Food Contamination after Fukushima
“Moms with Radiation Brain”: Gendered Food Policing in the Name of Science
2016. "“Moms with Radiation Brain”: Gendered Food Policing in the Name of Science", Radiation Brain Moms and Citizen Scientists: The Gender Politics of Food Contamination after Fukushima, Aya Hirata Kimura
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This chapter analyzes food policing through the discourse of fūhyōhigai and its gendered mechanisms. Originally a concept to help food producers gain compensation for reduced sales due to the fear of contamination, the concept had a wider influence, often equating consumer worries with irrational fearmongering. As evident in the post-Fukushima neologism “radiation brain mom,” the implicit target of fūhyōhigai policing was women, understood as having an irrational “radiation brain,” being antiscience, and overreacting. With its strong shaming effects, such food policing made many women’s struggles with contamination a private problem that had to be dealt with in a highly secretive...