Haiku points to the Beeb article on Japanese men who are giving women a miss and immersing themselves in anime and the like.
Seems to be specifically a Japanese cultural thing or at least – eastern. The part which stood out to me, on the men, was:
They have taken on a mole-like existence and, worryingly, withdrawn from relationships with the opposite sex.
Decades ago, a Chinese boy of some 15 years took me aside and out of the blue, came out with, “Mr. Higham, have nothing to do with women. They are troublesome creatures who will make your life a misery.”
Much truth in it and it’s never been otherwise but why did he come out with that and from where did his wisdom derive? Also, seems to me – there are two sexes on this planet. We can live separate, parallel existences or we can “interface” and find a way.
Previous generations found that happy medium, so it’s up to us to be able to do so again, otherwise the consequences are grave. And increasingly these days, the factor of love and genuine admiration, one for the other, is seeping away. All we hear of is sex but the more gossamer like aspects such as the delicate nature of a relationship between two different species are put in the “too hard” basket and left aside.
It’s really dangerous for the soul to withdraw from reality into an idealized anime world and yet you could say these posts on women see some ideal 50s woman or one on a pedestal or a demure maiden – how is that any different, except for degree, from those Japanese men?
There’s a happy medium – I know exactly what it is but can’t explain it properly. The older generation of women know what it is too – it makes relationships possible, given that men are usually hopeless at them. It really is in the woman’s court, rather than the man’s, though he has his role to play of course.
But the catalyst is the woman – the happiness of the home is largely down to her behaviour and what she wants and if it’s all for her, whereas earlier it was a mutual thing, then the chances of success are near zero. I call it the Anne Boleyn syndrome.
In looking at the Victorian era, the amount of disinformation on the web is amazing – the first few pages of google are best avoided as they’re written by narrativists. However, if you persevere, you can find an unslanted look at the times. Men could divorce for adultery, women for adultery accompanied by cruelty.
It was certainly more difficult for the woman to prove but it needs to be noted that the vilified Victorian times were also the ones in which the emancipation of women began. No one I know wants to go back to a skewed situation but equally, surely this situation is just as bad:
Lucy Valantine was approaching her fortieth birthday when she made the seemingly bizarre decision to leave her husband of five years. “On the surface, life was perfect,” she says. “We had a gorgeous Victorian house in the Home Counties, I had a great job with a blue-chip company, and my husband was a lovely chap. He was kind and gentle and my friends all loved him. There was nothing wrong with him, but it wasn’t enough. I wanted to change my life.
It’s the spuriousness of her behaviour which was so highly destructive upon the family.
Decades ago I was approached by the father of a girl I taught and he said his wife had left him. I didn’t press it but he said to keep an eye on the child in the light of that.
Weeks later, the wife appeared and readily admitted to wanting more excitement. He was an excellent father but he was dull, too tied up in his work. I did not comment. She was going to get a rude awakening as she wasn’t anything to write home about.
A couple of months later they were back together. I’ve been in both places – protecting a relationship and as the other man. The number of married women prepared to do the dirty really shocked me as inevitably you reflect on the times you’ve been in a relationship – what the hell was going on behind your back?. I mean, where does this thing end?
There’s no room to move. He can’t afford to work late, can’t afford to go away, if she’s not given attention 24/7, off she goes. Some say the French have it right but I disagree. Ultimately, putting it about is destructive.
Seems to me that the adage about doing unto others is the prime directive to go by.And he’s not getting off the hook either. When the culture approves of his being a bit of a lad and it equates to notches on the belt, that’s always seemed wrong to me, which is why many of my male friends have been a bit wary with me – I mean, what are we going to discuss? Who am I to come on all moral anyway?
I think ultimately I just saw the destructiveness of it, as opposed to some thou shalt not morality. I know quite a few men who put it about – doesn’t alter the friendship but I’d prefer they didn’t, that they stuck to their own. They could point out it’s none of my business, which is why I say nothing. But they can see in the manner.
In the end, I suppose I’d just like people to stop doing things to each other. Wish I knew the answer.
Filed under: Society & human issues