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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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(続)Economistから学ぶ基本の重要性

 
Briefingは日本の女性の社会進出について語られています。3月は国際女性デーでもあり、ひなまつりもあるので特集されたのでしょうか。



Japanese women and work
Holding back half the nation
Women’s lowly status in the Japanese workplace has barely improved in decades, and the country suffers as a result. Shinzo Abe would like to change that
Mar 29th 2014 | TOKYO | From the print edition

日本についての記事を読む際に、日本の事象についての説明があるので英文記事は表現の勉強になります。個人的には「飲みニケーション」なんてのはちょっと古臭く感じてしまいますが。。。

Yet Ms Kawabata sees obstacles in her path. She is acutely aware of the difficulties she would face at traditional Japanese companies, should she find herself joining one. Ferociously long working hours, often stretching past midnight, are followed by sessions of “nominication”, a play on the Japanese word for drinking, nomu, and the English word “communication”; these are where young hopefuls forge connections and build reputations. Nowadays women trying to impress the boss are allowed to drink plum wine mixed with plenty of soda instead of beer, says Ms Kawabata. But that is hardly a great improvement.

ひな祭りについても簡単に説明があります。

For the prime minister, who belongs to the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), this is quite a turnaround. In 2005, when a previous government was taking steps towards greater equality, Mr Abe and his fellow conservatives warned of the damage to family values and to Japanese culture that could result if men and women were treated equally. They worried that rituals such as the hina matsuri, or Festival of Dolls, an annual celebration of young girls and the state of matrimony, could be endangered. Their concern was not just based on tradition; keeping women out of the workforce, conservatives thought, made economic sense too. If the country’s “baby-making machines”, as a former LDP health minister put it, stayed at home then they would produce more babies, and thus more workers.

ひな祭り(Festival of Dolls)に触れたからでしょうか。記事最後のところでbreak out of their dolls’ houseという表現がありました。

At a private dinner in Davos Mr Abe listened to a small group of senior women, including a former head of state, discuss what Japan should do differently. An awkward moment came when one of the guests, Miki Tsusaka, a partner at the Boston Consulting Group, told him she had dreaded returning to Japan after a successful career spent mostly in New York. Yet increasingly, behind their soft tones and feminine demeanour, many Japanese women are getting ready to break out of their dolls’ house. If the country’s policymakers can find the right ways to help them, those women could boost the economy and reform corporate culture. Both they and their sararimen stand greatly to benefit.

ロングマンなど辞書をひくと「おもちゃの家」ぐらいの意味しか載っていないのですが、今回のように女性問題が扱われるようなトピックではdoll’s houseはイプセンの作品が意識されていると思います。最近ではLean inのような言葉にあたるでしょうか。

(ロングマン)
doll's house [countable] British English
a small toy house with furniture inside [= dollhouse American English]

Cultural Literacy辞典には載っていましたので、外国語として英語を学んでいるものには頼りになりますね。

(Cultural Literacy)
A Doll's House definition
(1879) A play by Henrik Ibsen about a woman who leaves her husband, who has always treated her like a doll rather than a human being, in order to establish a life of her own.

(ウィキペディア)
『人形の家』(にんぎょうのいえ、Et Dukkehjem)は、1879年にヘンリック・イプセンによって書かれた戯曲。同年、デンマーク王立劇場で上演された。弁護士ヘルメルの妻ノラ(ノーラ)を主人公とし、新たな時代の女性の姿を世に示した物語。全3幕。
世界的にイプセンの代表作とされている。この作品(あるいは前作の『社会の柱』)をもってイプセンの社会劇の始まりと見なすのが一般的であり、彼はこの後ほぼ2年に1作のペースで作品を書き上げることになる。しばしばフェミニズム運動の勃興とともに語られる作品であり、この作品の成功がイプセンを一躍世界的な劇作家とした。

(英語版ウィキペディア)
A Doll's House (Norwegian: Et dukkehjem; also translated as A Doll House) is a three-act play in prose by Henrik Ibsen. It premiered at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 21 December 1879, having been published earlier that month.[1]
The play is significant for its critical attitude toward 19th century marriage norms. It aroused great controversy at the time,[2] as it concludes with the protagonist, Nora, leaving her husband and children because she wants to discover herself. Ibsen was inspired by the belief that "a woman cannot be herself in modern society," since it is "an exclusively male society, with laws made by men and with prosecutors and judges who assess feminine conduct from a masculine standpoint."[3] Its ideas can also be seen as having a wider application: Michael Meyer argued that the play's theme is not women's rights, but rather "the need of every individual to find out the kind of person he or she really is and to strive to become that person."[4] In a speech given to the Norwegian Association for Women's Rights in 1898, Ibsen insisted that he "must disclaim the honor of having consciously worked for the women's rights movement," since he wrote "without any conscious thought of making propaganda," his task having been "the description of humanity."[5]


まあ、教養的な知識の重要性を叫ぶのは野暮ったいですし、TOEICkerとやらに涙目でTOEIC以外には興味ないもん!って反論されるのがオチでしょうが、こういう知識もあるにこしたことはないのは確かなんですよね。一番残念なのは「本格派英語教師」も教養的な知識に興味がない人が多い印象であることですが。。。

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