Japan's Gay Ideal: Macho Matcha Man? (w/Dr. Thomas Baudinette)


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By Ollie Horn and Bobby Judo. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Author of "Regimes of Desire: Young Gay Men, Media, and Masculinity in Tokyo," Dr. Thomas Baudinette talks about Japan's young gay men and the emotional damage done by the pressure to act out their gayness in an unfortunate way, namely emulating straight dudes.

Ollie's recommendation is pretty worthless this week, because there's NO WAY you don't already know about it.

Bobby greats ready for Pride on a river boat and sets some google alerts for Hashimoto Kotoe and Sugita Mio.

Topics discussed on this episode range from:

  • Rochelle Kopp's Petition to stop the cutting down of trees in Yoyogi Park for the sake of the Olympics. Please sign it.
  • The first-ever Japan By River Cruise Drinking Game!
  • The problem with teaching "the problem of weeaboos" to weeaboos
  • How Thomas approaches teaching Japanese studies to people who are enamored of Japan for some of the wrong reasons.
  • Cringey Waifu comments
  • Why Thomas finds the Japanese culture that raises gay Japanese men problematic
  • Assumptions that interest in a culture equates to exclusive sexual attraction to members of that culture
  • The overlap between studying Japan and fetishizing it
  • PRIDE! (kind of)
  • What Thomas's goals were with his studies and the gap between what he thought he would find and what he found
  • How young gay men do or do not rely on media to make sense of their position in the world
  • How gay men in Japan react to Japan's particular issues with same-gender romance, and Japan's patriarchy/heteronormativity
  • What Thom expected from Shibuya 2-chome, Japan's most famous gay town
  • The dark-side of 2-chome
  • How gay men deal with not living up to the "norms" in Japan, especially the ヘテロシステム
  • The unfortunate way Japan has traditionally understood male homosexuality, and the way the gay community (and it's own subculture media) has evolved to diametrically oppose it
  • How reclaiming masculine stereotypes might sound emancipating, but can end up damaging the people who don't conform/want to conform to those stereotypes
  • The "curse of the beautiful boy" in Japan, and how gay culture was sometimes thought to have helped Japan recuperate it's masculinity
  • The overwhelming pressure to align with norms in all of Japan's gay media
  • How internalizing and aligning with those norms does psychic damage to people who fail to meet them
  • What Thom hopes for in the future of gay spaces in Japan
  • Where homophobia comes from in the West compared to in Japan
  • How queer Japanese activism predates the gay rights movements in the west and Japan can and does advocate for itself

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Topics Discussed on the Extras:

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Social Media Links:

Dr. Thomas Baudinette: Twitter | Wordpress| Regimes of Desire (pre-order)

Ollie Horn: Twitter | Instagram

Bobby Judo: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

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