This we know. If you are a woman in Japan, you are not allowed to do business. Until recently, Western businesswomen presenting work to Japanese clients had to employ a male front to substitute for her, like the blacklisted artists during the McCarthy era who hired fronts to present their work. Japanese men would simply not talk to a woman.
We know that marriage means nothing in Japan and that women sit at home with the children while businessmen and white collar workers go to Girlie bars every night of the week to smoke and get blindingly drunk and receive some unfathomable service from geisha-type bar girls – mainly, I have come to believe, being talked to flatteringly. (I lived for years on a street near the UN lined with private geisha/girlie bars for Japanese businessmen. I never wanted to enter, and as a gaijin would never have been allowed to do so, so I never could fathom the precise nature of the services provided there, though again, I have come to believe the obvious was not necessarily the case.)
So here’s this sweet Japanese tourist proudly wearing her SCREW YOU T-shirt. Does she know what it means? Does she mean what it says? Would she have worn this shirt in Japan, where conformity is the mandate and women retreat into the background? In my recollections, the young women of Tokyo wear pussycat pictures and surgical masks on the streets. No text.
So she actually may not know exactly what SCREW YOU means. Or she means it ironically, because of course she harbors no anger or frustration at America, this place she almost undoubtedly finds fascinating with freedom.
Maybe the T-shirt is her perverse love song to a land of boundless entertainment, utter freedom for young girls, and fashions of every description available at an exchange rate extremely favorable to the yen.
Sayonara, young sweetheart of Japan. And screw you too.