San Francisco Approves Legislation to Create Memorial for WWII ‘Comfort Women’

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The San Francisco Board of Supervisors recently passed legislation recommending that the city build a memorial dedicated to the “comfort women” of World War II. For those of you who might not know, comfort woman is a term used to describe the women and girls forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese army during World War II. As far as titles go, I’ll say it right now: it’s a really misleading title used to put a positive spin on something that was horrifying for a lot of women.

The legislation serves as more a strong recommendation than anything–there is no funding provided right now. That would have to come from the city. There are also concerns that such a memorial could ignite anti-Japanese sentiment in the city. It’s worth noting that San Francisco recently dealt with a problem where graffiti saying “No More Chinese” was being painted in Chinese neighborhoods.

To address those concerns, the legislation has a line that reads: “Japan is not the only country that has victimized women.”

Whether or not this memorial actually gets built remains yet to be seen. Right now the ball is in the city’s court. Here’s hoping for the best.

(via Jezebel)

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Jessica Lachenal
Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (, and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters ( She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.