Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Japanese herbivores

Is this the future of maledom?

Posted by Oped 46 minutes ago National Post| is future maledom All — From NPR, an article about "herbivores", i.e. young(ish) Japanese men who like women (sort of) but are "more modest, less demanding, kind of passive; they accept what they're told."
Away from the strutting [males] are the retiring wallflowers, a quiet army of sweet young men with floppy hair and skinny jeans.
These young men are becoming known as Japan's "herbivores" — from the
Japanese phrase for "grass-eating boys" — guys who are heterosexual but
who say they aren't really interested in matters of the flesh.
are drawn to a quieter, less competitive life, focusing on family and
friends — and eschewing the macho ways of the traditional Japanese male.
include men such as Yukihiro Yoshida, a 20-something economics student,
who is a self-confessed herbivore. "I don't take initiative with women,
I don't talk to them," he says, blushing. "I'd welcome it if a girl
talked to me, but I never take the first step myself."
According to the report, 60% of Japanese men in their 20s and 30s identify themselves as herbivores. It quotes Maki Fukasawa, "Japan's top expert on herbivores" who gave them their name and theorizes that that young males are reacting to Japan's "lost decade" -- the seemingly never-ending recession that began in 1991. Fukasawa "argues
that the herbivores are rebelling against the salaryman generation of
their fathers, consciously turning away from the macho mores and
conspicuous consumption of that era."
"They have some feelings of revulsion towards the older
generation," says Fukasawa. "They don't want to have the same lives.
And the impact of the herbivores on the economy is very big. They're
such big news now because sales are down, especially of status products
like cars and alcohol."
Hmmm, OK it's Japan, and they can be a little weird over there. But think about it: long-term economic stagnation, a rebellion against conspicuous consumption, turning against status products like cars.
Sound like anywhere you know?
Kelly McParlandNational Post

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