Does being cute change the focus of an argument? Do men think little of their families?
The other day, Ryuchell’s first TV appearance in a while made online news.
I want to start out by saying that I like his way of thinking (I don’t know his preferred pronoun but will use the he/him pronouns in this article). His messages are filled with love and have lifted me up many times. I’m sure there are many others who feel the same way.
But the public attitude toward him has changed since his divorce. I guess that may be an unavoidable cost of fame.
Here’s the main topic of this article.
As I said earlier, his first TV appearance since the divorce was widely discussed on Twitter, online news, and various media platforms.
Many of the tweets I saw were about people’s gendered opinions of him, such as “I cannot tolerate him acting like he represents the LGBT community when he has given up on his responsibility as a father”, “irresponsible”, and “he’s acting like a man.”
These tweets got me thinking that he talked about such topics on TV. But in reality, he was commenting on the security and defense policy as he is from Okinawa. He didn’t touch on any topics about LGBTQ or family values.
I felt that something was off with this phenomenon. Or I should say that various uneasy feelings I have felt before all came together through this incident. I have many points to make but I want to focus on the following two points to keep this article organized.
Why did an unrelated topic gain much more attention than the actual point of discussion?
Prejudice that men are irresponsible.
1. Why did an unrelated topic gain much more attention than the actual point of discussion?
I understand that this might be a misleading way to frame my argument, but I hypothesize that the cause of the switch in the discussions was due to his recent “cute” transformation. When he appeared on the TV program, Ryuchell had a “feminine” appearance, wearing a ribbon-tie blouse and a tweed jacket. He had shoulder-length hair and wore cute make-up.
I think that from this fashion, the viewers falsely assumed that he wants to be a woman. Then it led to the narrative of him being irresponsible and a man, as expected. Some people believed that by becoming a cute, bright, happy woman, he gave up his responsibility as a father (man).
Men should be able to wear make-up, grow their hair, and wear a ribbon, to begin with. Everyone who dresses feminine doesn't necessarily want to be a woman. If people understood these points, they wouldn’t use a phrase like “acting like a representative of the LGBTQ community.”
Even if he wanted to be a woman (and this is just an example), his TV appearance was as a representative of Okinawa, so forcing a discussion on gender is nonsense. Also, putting aside the weird interpretation that dressing like a woman automatically means he is bright and happy, what is wrong with being bright and happy?
I feel that his cute, beautiful transformation was taken up by the public to carry out irresponsible analyses, which led to switching the focus of the argument.
2. Prejudice that men are irresponsible
Through this incident, I saw many comments along the lines of “He is irresponsible and selfish, so he is a man after all.” I’m a woman, and I feel sad and embarrassed to see other women making similar comments. These comments are based on an assumption that men think little of their families. But this assumption is definitely wrong. Whether someone thinks little of their family should be completely separated from their gender. It might’ve become easier to talk about women’s lower social status nowadays, but let’s also reflect on women acting inconsiderably toward men. Respect requires looking out for each other.
A celebrity’s TV appearance made me think about various social issues. What did you feel and think about? Was this a brand new topic for you? Whatever the case might be, I hope this article could provide some spark for your thinking.
About the Writer
Hi, my name is Yanagimoto. I've always to wanted to share my opinions so mustered up my courage to submit this article to blossom the media. I hope this article reaches as many people as possible.
Translated by Mutsumi Ogaki
Edited by Emiru Okada
Graphic by meitooso