Psst Gackt, your age is showing.

Outspoken celebrity Gackt found himself in hot water recently after writing a blog post about men’s relationships with cars. The post basically makes the claim that cars have become less of an enjoyable hobby for men and more of a mere tool to get from point A to point B. The core message isn’t much to get worked up about, but the opening lines are a great example off getting off on the wrong foot.

“I heard that men today are not interested in cars.
If that’s true then it’s the end of the world.
But I don’t think that’s the case.
Really, I sincerely think that men who don’t have an interest in cars don’t exist.
Are these guys I heard about queer?”

In the last line, the exact word used in Japanese is okama, which is probably more closely related to the English words “queen” or “fay” referring to a male with stereotypically female interests. Also similar to those words, it is somewhat dated and currently controversial, being both embraced and rejected by different segments of the LGBT community.

However, the word okama itself wasn’t really what got some people upset. More it was the sentiment that males are somehow hardwired to love cars. Therefore, to not be into cars, is to not be a “man.” Total reaction to his comment was mixed.

“Yes! Yes! He is exactly right.”
“I liked Gackt but this is disappointing. A lot of transgender women are huge gear-heads and military geeks.”
“It’s kind of offensive to stereotype men in general like that, but sure, a lot of men do like cars. However, parking alone in Tokyo is like 36,000 yen a month. Who would want to pay that in an area with solid public transportation?”
“I’m seriously disappointed in Gackt. If you have to spout out such an idiotic gender norm, couldn’t you do it without using the word okama.”
“Guys really aren’t into cars any more. It’s true. Gackt is telling it like it is.”
“I don’t know about Gackt, but I’m just glad people are putting their energy into things other than polluting and dangerous cars.”
“I agree with Gackt.”
“Status symbols are changing with the times. You can praise cars all you want, it’s not going to bring them back.”
“This all said by someone who looks like an okama himself.”
“All the guys complaining are just jealous because they can’t afford a car, so they get all angry and say they don’t need one.”

It is interesting to note the changes in people’s attitudes over the years. Had Gackt written the same thing 30 years ago on a hectograph – or whatever the heck people used to communicate before my technology-addled memory can remember – probably no one would have batted an eye.

In that way I can sympathize with the guy as someone getting up there in years too. Times are changing awful fast and ways of thinking and speaking that were once commonplace are no longer tolerated. I know I always catch myself in conversations unconsciously praising the virtues of the landed gentry over cottars and vagabonds before remembering that that’s just not cool any more.

But considering Gackt is a centuries-old vampire who managed to stay relevant in the 21st century, you think he would have figured all this out already.

Source: Ameba/Gackt Official Blog, Hachima Kiko
Top image: SoraNews24