January 5, 2017

The "genderless danshi" — genderless young men — of Japan.

Featured in the NYT:
“At heart, I am a man,” said the petite-framed Mr. Sasaki, whose wardrobe of slim-fit tank tops, baggy jackets and skinny jeans evokes the fashion of a preadolescent girl. The concept of gender, he said, “isn’t really necessary.”...

“It’s just that you use makeup and dress how you want,” said Takuya Kitajima, 18. Mr. Kitajima, who goes by the name Takubo, said he believed men and women were fundamentally different in spite of any blurring of style distinctions. “I think men should protect women, and that principle won’t change,” he said. “Men are stronger than women, and a man should work because the women are weaker.”...

“In my generation, women were jealous of men because they could work and do whatever they wanted,” said Junko Mitsuhashi, 61, a professor of gender studies at Chuo University and a transgender woman. “But in the younger generation, men are jealous of women because they can express themselves through fashion.”

31 comments:

Mattman26 said...

I'm guessing none of those goes anyplace good.

eric said...

Work and do whatever you want vs express yourself with fashion.

This belongs in #winning.

Rob said...

In the younger generation, men are jealous of women because they can have sex with drunken frat boys and nobody tells them drunks can't give consent so the women are guilty of rape.

n.n said...

They are not genderless, they are gender-fluid. Their sex does not change. Their gender changes with their mood (e.g. crossover), with context (e.g. homosexual).

khesanh0802 said...

Really important shit from the NYT. They actually pay a reporter to cover this? Podesta's e-mails? "Pod....who?" quoth Dean Baquet.

mccullough said...

Another nation whose best men were killed in war.

Sydney said...

I thought the young man looked very Beatle-ish in the photograph. This idea that gender is changeable is so bogus. It's funny how those of a progressive bent are very concerned and respectful of the world ecology, but think it is possible to ignore the human ecology.

Sydney said...

“In my generation, women were jealous of men because they could work and do whatever they wanted,” said Junko Mitsuhashi, 61, a professor of gender studies at Chuo University and a transgender woman.

So one wonders why he decided to become a she, or does being transgender give you an advantage in the field of gender studies?

Billy Oblivion said...

Yeah, like that's never been done before.

Paging David Bowie...

R.J. Chatt said...

I like that the "gender-benders" in Japan are not consumed with self hatred about being "born into the wrong body" as our transgender youth seem to be. The emphasis there is on self acceptance not on transforming your body to conform with social stereotypes about masculinity and femininity. They know they are different and are willing to take flack for it from the older generation, because they are forward thinkers. Also, I noted there was no mention in the article of what bathrooms they use.

Original Mike said...

It would be helpful, Once-bot, if you gave us some kind of visual cue that a particular post contains something worth our time. Maybe all caps.

Ann Althouse said...

This is a post about fashion, makeup, genderlessness, and Japan.

I had to clear out some distracting stuff.

Bob Ellison said...

campy said, "Again I point out to all of you that there is an extension called Blog Comment Killfile available..."

Yes, that works, but it's like saying "Yay! I celebrate my echo chamber!"

It takes work to visit the other side, like democraticunderground.com, but it's worth the effort to see what's under discussion. The Althouse blog shows which discussions can withstand criticism and are worthy of exploration.

Bob Ellison said...

RE: genderlessness-- this seems like group-think. A clue-in, drop-out thing.

Wouldn't it be nice if we were sexless? Then we wouldn't have to work so hard.

Wilbur said...

I google-imaged "genderless danshi" because I don't blithely click on NYT links.

Some pictures are a little creepy, most aren't.

I perceive a hybrid of twinks and trannies. Trinks.

Bay Area Guy said...

On the one hand, I am reminded of the all-time great classic by Stevie Winwood of Traffic -- "The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys."

On the other hand, one should never go full Beta Male. These boys need some more beer and football in their lives.......

tcrosse said...

So they have no problem distinguishing gender from sex, thus obviating the need for a surgical solution.

walter said...

He said that he wore makeup to conceal his flaws. “There are many things I’m insecure about; I really don’t like my face,” he said. “But I also feel that who I am changes when I wear makeup.”
--
Gwen Stefani nods.
Seem to remember some U.S. market magazine promoting similar to men who might benefit career-wise by looking younger.

RigelDog said...

As I said, why can't Caitlyn Jenner be acknowledged as a man who wears whatever the hell he wants and is gender non-conforming/non-stereotypical?

Johnny Sokko said...

72 years ago, they were flying planes into aircraft carriers and cruisers and now we emasculated them so much we have this...

Hunter said...

Mr. Kitajama sounds like more of a man than many young American males. And as noted by someone else this whole scene sounds mentally healthier than its western counterpart(s).

Anyway, if you've watched any significant amount of anime in the last 20 years, this should be no surprise. Gender-bending (of the Bowie variety, not so much the Jenner variety) is a common theme.

Hunter said...

For one famous example, see the character Gren from Cowboy Bebop.

LarsPorsena said...

Japan is in a demographic death spiral.
I wonder why?

Jason said...

Genderless WHAT???

rhhardin said...

In Japan pregnancy lasts 10 months, which slows down the birthrate right there.

damikesc said...

This obsession over gender has made society incredibly narrow.

When I was younger, girls could be tomboys. Boys could like some "girl" things. It didn't mean they were the "wrong" gender.

Our society now has taken gender "stereotypes" and turned them into gender "realities". If a girl likes sports, she is now a man.

I don't see this as progress.

jr565 said...

Why does gender seem to mean "acting. Masculine or feminine"? How is that defining of men or women? If men want to wear dresses no one is stopping them. But why should that allow them access into a woman's bathroom? Or give them a spot on a woman's team? Your sex will always trump your gender. Therefore, if you were a man who thinks he has no gender you'd be a man who thinks he has no gender.

Despiser Despised said...

Anime has consequences...

wws said...

I'd love to see a real Samurai catapulted from the past into this sad society.

Better yet, a Toronaga.

Sergeant Pete said...

This has always been a thing in Japan. I forget the titles, but even back in the butch Samurai days, there were plenty of cross dressing "actresses" and courtiers. I think it has to do with how strict and demanding the codes for men are/were. If a man does not feel he can live up to those, he loses no face for simply accepting that he is a nancy boy. He would lose massive face if he tried to be a MAN and could not live up to it.

I'm not denying that this seems to be rampant in modern times. I'm just pointing out that it has plenty of historical precedent.

HondaV65 said...

Looks like China will be inheriting the women of Japan.