Why We Are Anonymous

In this newsletter we are happy to present a translation of the article “Why do Tomorrow Girls Troop Members Work Anonymously” from the Japanese. This is a question we are asked frequently, and this articulates some of the nuances behind our decision to be anonymous.

Original article (in Japanese): http://ashitashoujo.com/post/127531992007/tokumei 

Why do Tomorrow Girls Troop members work anonymously?

Tomorrow Girls Troop works anonymously because of strategic reasons.

There are two reasons as to why we are anonymous activists.

Firstly, we wish for everyone to focus on the social issues we shed light on, instead of focusing on our appearance, titles, educational backgrounds, and origins.

Guerrilla Girls is a group of feminist artists that was founded in New York in 1985. The members wear masks resembling gorillas to work anonymously. In an interview, they explain their anonymity: 

“we wanted the focus to be on the issues, not on our personalities or our own work”

Guerrilla Girls encourage people at performances and events to work anonymously when dealing with issues regarding gender inequality. 

There has been a great number of people voicing their opinions against misogyny in Japan, as well.

However, a lot of the time, the issues people have raised were made unclear. That is because the media tends to report more on the appearance, fashion, age, title, etc. of the person speaking up, rather than on the issues.  

This tendency is often seen when women or LGBT people who are considered the minority speak up. It is also likely to happen when a man defends and supports the minority.

Although Tomorrow Girls Troop was founded in a different country and era than the Guerrilla Girls and we are not a women-only group like them, we decided that our members should work anonymously, too. Guerrilla Girls has dealt with issues regarding gender inequality for 30 years and we believe in their words. 

The second reason as to why our members work anonymously is out of consideration for members who have survived domestic violence, cut ties with their families, and prefer for their names to be hidden from the public.

We understand that it is a privilege to be able to make our birth names public. We think that people who do not have to worry about being threatened, disowned by their parents, deprived of their jobs, harassed, or chased by stalkers and abusers, and people who have people that support them and a safe place to go to if and when these terrifying things happen to them, are all lucky to some extent. 

We, women and sexual minorities, are more likely to be vulnerable in these situations. We decided to make the members of the group anonymous so that we can work together with people in such unstable positions.

We truly hope that the gender issues that this society faces gain more attention.