I noticed, yet again, how it was only women cooking and serving in the restaurant I ate lunch at today.

I was asked if I needed a straw for my “to stay”, hot cappuccino which came in a mug.

It’s rare that I get to hear from other students—about their lives or their work. Critiques are not a part of my education here. There is no opportunity to confide in others to bounce ideas off of.

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Today we had a class discussion about gender roles in Japan—one of the many topics I was curious to talk to my peers about. It was interesting to hear their perspective on it. One female student said she thinks that women are too protected. Her argument was, if women have women only cars in the train, shouldn’t men?

I asked them if contemporaries were making art that raised questions or stated opinions or shared experiences about or pertaining to social and political issues, specifically about art that would could be considered “feminist art”. They didn’t know what feminism was. It got me thinking how different my life would be if I didn’t know there was a community of others standing up and fighting for equality and human/female/trans/gay rights. It made me really grateful to be living in a time and place where these discussions are even happening. It made me miss the progressive young, inspiring thinkers I'm used to be surrounded by.