Slate recently ran a piece about soushoku danshi or “grass-eating boys,” the Japanese men who are rejecting sex, materialist consumption, and competitive careers, all of which defined the popular image of Japanese manhood in the ‘80s. Grass-eating boys are not only viewed as undesirable by many Japanese women; these beta males are blamed for contributing to Japan’s dwindling birthrate and slumping economy.
The piece continues,
[grass-eating boys are] often close to their mothers and have female friends, but they're in no rush to get married themselves, according to Maki Fukasawa, the Japanese editor and columnist who coined the term in NB Online in 2006.
Why do these guys seem so familiar?
I’ve got it! They’re like baby boys, the hopeless man-children who are considered unsuitable partners for black women and who have long been blamed for hindering the black underclass. Let’s give this comparison a more thorough treatment:
As is clear from this scientific approach, grass-eating boys and baby boys are surprisingly similar, with the exception of their dispositions toward sex.
Let’s conduct a little thought experiment: What would happen if we switched the two populations, i.e., sent our black baby boys to Japan and brought the grass-eating boys to the U.S. to live among black folks? Since this is simply an exercise in thought, we could disregard the many practical obstacles (apparently, grass-eating boys don’t like to travel outside of Japan, and baby boys would need clearance from their parole officers to leave the States).
So let’s say black baby boys go to Japan:
1. Japanese women would get their hypermasculine alpha males.
2. Japan’s birthrates would soar (we all know how fertile these baby boys are)
3. The Japanese economy is boosted by the increased consumption of goods (just think about the amount baby boys would spend on shoes alone).
4. Baby boys would get to have fun with unfulfilled Japanese women.
5. America would shed a largely unproductive population.
6. There would probably a spike in Japanese crime rates and fatherless children.
This last one is troublesome, but the benefits would outweigh the drawbacks.
Now let’s imagine the grass-eating boys coming to the U.S., where they would encounter a wealth of single professional black women. Nothing would happen because these black women and grass-eating boys wouldn’t date each other.
First of all, we would have to pretend that professional black women are as open to dating non-black men as they claim to be (in tones that make their interracial dating sound like either an ultimatum to black men or a consolation prize).
Grass-eating boys have the same major flaws as baby boys, namely limited career ambitions and indifference to marriage. Sistas have been there, done that. And while it's probably not a big deal that grass-eating boys won’t buy nice things, it’s definitely a problem that they aren’t really about sex. Stereotypes aside, a meh attitude toward laying pipe simply won't fly with sistas, despite how much they lament black men's supposed oversexedness.
Damn, even in a thought experiment sistas can’t win .