That’s the gist of this ridiculous article from the Guardian from someone who, apparently, has not read a thing regarding the social construction and enforcement of gender.
So, what are the “grass eaters” like? Let me count the ways (and the stereotypes):
I’m curious as to where the line is between appropriate concern for appearance and “too much”. But let’s move on:
Wait… they do not have material aspirations but go on shopping trips like girls?? Let me see. According to this article, real men drive fast cars, drink, are interested in sex or food (but grass eaters are not but they dine out, go figure) and don’t take baths.
And my favorite:
HA! What a bunch of wusses! Real men bang left and right until they find the right female to settle with and pass their corporate warriors genes to their offspring.
And now, a little bit of fact-free drive-by stigmatization disguised as quote:
Funny how neither “traditionalist employers” nor “some women” are actually interviewed and how the author does not note that the Japanese birthrate has been very low for quite some time.
What a load of drivel.
Just a touch of sociological analysis would have noted that gender roles tend to be rigidly enforced and any gender deviance is met with social disapproval and stigma (hence the nickname “grass eater”). Research has also shown that there is a clear relation between food and gender, ever since Lévi-Strauss and the raw and the cooked. Meat eating is clearly associated with strong masculinity and so vegetarian and vegan men are a clear threat to traditional masculinity. Vegan men are often perceived as deliberately (and shamefully) renouncing their masculinity by rejecting meat (and other stuff but mostly meat), especially when such veganism is based on animal rights concerns (rather than just dietary health, for instance). Hunting and killing animals is the ultimate mark of masculinity as well.
But rather than examining gender roles in Japan, the article preferred to just reflect the “grass eaters are sissies” trope.