Radiation Brain Moms and Citizen Scientists: The Gender Politics of Food Contamination after Fukushima
School Lunches: Science, Motherhood, and Joshi Power
This chapter examines the case of the safe school lunch movement (which was highly feminized) that demanded the government ensure the safety of the public school lunch program after the Fukushima accident. Food policing and the charge of fūhyōhigai made it difficult for women in the movement to speak up against the government position that no special measures were necessary in the school lunch programs. This chapter describes three strategies that the women activists in the safe school lunch movement used, emphasizing science, motherhood, and hegemonic femininity. Women activists in the movement framed their demands around good science and testing, and they also tried to authenticate their voices by emphasizing their identities as mothers and drawing on still-strong images of hegemonic femininity. Situating these three strategies in the context of neoliberalism, scientism, and the postfeminist gender settlement, I explore the extent to which the strategies were enabling as well as disabling of women’s activism.