A classic rant by Beat Takeshi, taken from his book Dakara Watashi wa Kirawareru

August 8, 2011

(Written around 1990 after the ‘Madonna Boom’ in Japanese society. A scary time for Japanese men. This was really fun to translate!)

Could men’s dignity sink any lower?

 

As men are being told to “keep quiet”, the world has taken an outrageous turn for the worse. I don’t know if it was a mountain that moved or what it was but the women are getting their own way and all the men have become cowards. This is positive proof that our country has gone to the dogs.

Outrageous office ladies are calling us names like Mr money-bag (the man who she makes pay her way), Mr Wheels (her profligate son who has the car she can use instead of a taxi) and Mr Keep (the man she uses at will for carefree fun). They have multiple men wound around their little fingers.  And this is because young men are gladly playing along.

Male companions who, as the name suggests, fawn all over their female patrons have arrived on the scene in Hanahaku, and they’re even appearing in male beauty contests to be judged in their  swimwear. Male beauty salons are booming and it seems that men are flocking to their doors asking for their leg hair and chest hair to be removed. Why don’t you just go all the way and get your balls waxed whilst you’re at it?  

Well after all, in today’s society there’s no way of stopping women from making their advancement into every walk of life. Women are, by nature, shamelessly robust creatures. Just take, for example, shell divers; the wife takes on the hardest labour whilst daddy is in the boat sorting out the shells. Even in the marathon, wasn’t Ingrid Kristiansen steadily leaving the male runners behind?

There are women builders and even women dump truck drivers. In the world of cinema, women are even taking an active role as lighting engineers.  They’re holding up these massive lights and working on top of a tall crane which we men are scared of getting up onto.  The men are down below holding the cable whilst taking orders. It’s embarrassing. They’re being told off like “Oi! Over here!” When I see that, it makes me think that the only jobs I don’t want to do are ones where you get told what to do by a woman.

Nevertheless, women are all over the place. When I go to the golf course, I don’t know if they’re caddies or golfers, but the old women are hogging the green. When I go to the races, the area around the paddock is full of gyaru holding compact cameras. Don’t use the flash! What are you going to do if the horse flashes its hoof?

Half-drunk young women prowl around the nightspots too, acting like old men. Just when I was wondering where the hell the real old men were, there he was. He came staggering out of the door into the early morning back alley wearing a worn out sweater and mum’s sandals. He was holding a bin bag full of rubbish and when I saw that he was throwing out vegetable dregs I realised that that was it.

Back in the day, it was the child’s job to bring in the newspaper. Now the father does it. Then it’s the cleaning, then bringing in all the milk. Before, when we interviewed some fathers on our TV program ‘TV Tackle’, they were saying things like “my wife is the scariest” or “my kids are the scariest” without a hint of shame. They even looked happy when they were saying it. They’re expression was completely effeminate and it was like they were saying “if you give it a try, it’s quite good.” That’s what everyone’s like and that’s why the situation is hopeless.

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