The other day, while surfing a few links from the twitterverse, @saltypear posted a fun link to a list of “14 Skills All Men Should Possess.”
I joked with him about how you could easily reword the title as “14 Skills Japanese Men Don’t Possess.”
Asking my male students how to do anything with a car is as simple as them telling me “Call JAF.” I’ve taught entire cadres of engineers who not only could miserably fail at explaining how to change oil, but didn’t have the slightest clue as to how a car tire might be changed.
I must make a mental note to never travel on any bridges these guys build.
New entertainment systems are delivered and set up for men, and forget about doing anything around the house. When I recently suggested to my girlfriend that I’d be able to wallpaper the bathroom for her, she looked at me like I was a space alien. Professionals are supposed to do that! (You mean the guy who took a tour of our perfectly stable house to check on the wallpaper with a helmet on?)
The idea of a “handyman” is a fantastic world of dreams to my older females students. It’s a magical land where men could save them from roadside disaster, fix broken toilets, and perhaps even cook a dinner. My student told me of how she”d recently gone to Ikea, spinning tales of woe about her husbands failure to assemble Swedish furniture, something she eventually did for him.
The Handyman in Japan is like a Polar Bear. There are a on the verge of annihilation, clinging to distantly drifting sheets of ice, few and far between.
The Japanese man of today has mom for all his needs, and what mom doesn’t have covered, the modern conveniences of the most technologically savvy country on earth can save him.
Why learn how to cook a steak? There are robots for that kind of thing, or at the very least convenience stores.
Why show off and paint your girlfriend’s room as a gift to her? There are professionals for that kind of thing! Besides, no one ever taught you how to be romantic anyway!
Poor Japanese women! It’s no wonder their thoughts and dreams drift away to the strong and romantic men of Korean dramas. (Got news for ya, Korean Men aren’t all that romantic either, but that’s a topic for another time)
Now comes word that Japanese men are slowly giving up the idea of pursuing women at all. These “Vegetarian Boys” or Soushoku Danshi can’t even be bothered to put down the video game controller or take their eyes off their Gundam anime when a girl walks by, so caught up in their fragile little worlds.
Is manliness going the way of the dinosaur in Japan?
Has it already passed the point of no return?
Will there ever be a time when I don’t see school boys slowly positioning their extremely straight hair into proper alignment with mouses and gels for hours in a train station bathroom so that they look cool to other guys?
I come from a land where a man looks good with a bit of 3 day scruff, a ratty old tee-shirt, and some blue jeans.
We don’t give a shit about what other guys think, and after about 18, we don’t much give a shit what girls think either.
In a pinch we can change your tire and get you off that lonely road, and if the engine explodes, we’re still gonna get under that hood and stare at shit and bang stuff with our hands before calling any other man, even if we don’t really know what the fuck we’re doing.
We know which direction North is.
We can clean out those gutters and BBQ food.
And you best bet that if you’re drowning, we’re gonna be able to jump in the water and save you.
Japan, at some point, you really dropped the ball. If your country’s men are just going to skip out on any and all man skills and duties, you’re going to find a lot of “Vegetarian Girls” too, or perhaps “Carnivorous Girls,” looking for meat in other places.
Man up before you’re all extinct!