A fortyish section head at a manufacturing company is seated in an izakaya pub, watching as a group of younger guys and gals interact. The women all order mugs of draft beer. One guy asks for a glass of chilled oolong tea and his buddy goes with a cassis syrup and orange juice cocktail.
“The women do the ordering for the guys, and lead the conversation,” the older man observes bemusedly. “The fellows just sit and nod politely. It looks like the gender roles have become topsy-turvy.”
In current parlance, reports Nikkan Gendai (Nov. 26), such unassertive males have come to be referred to as “LED-otoko” (light-emitting diode males). In other words, they twinkle brightly without emitting any heat.
Women, on the other hand, are more analogous to incandescent bulbs that generate heat as well as light.
One 32-year-old woman managed to drag her younger male colleague to a love hotel, only to be sorely let down.
“He was a good looking guy from one of our sales agencies, and thought we’d hit it off, but he just watched the TV in the room,” she complains. “Didn’t even make a move on me. When I asked him, ‘Well, are we gonna do it or not?’ he just shrugged, saying, ‘Either way is fine by me.’ He made me so furious I felt physically drained.”
A personnel manager at a trading firm tells Nikkan Gendai that when exchanging views with his counterparts at other companies, they are in general agreement that a good man has become hard to find.
“The female candidates outshine them on the written tests and at the interviews. Women are more highly motivated too. We have no choice but to hire males as well, but the lack of the kind of human resources we had hoped to hire has become a real problem.”
The LED otoko seem to be good at coming up with limp excuses to justify their lame behavior.
“This 35-year-old woman in our section likes to push male subordinates around,” a male in his late twenties tells the newspaper. “If a bunch of us stay out drinking until late, she’ll ask a man to see her back home.
“Once she pushed me into a taxi and told the driver to take us to her condo. As soon as she walked inside she stripped down to a red bra and matching thong.
“When women come on so aggressively like that, it’s natural for men to draw back. It’s not a case of our being indifferent, but more like women these days are just too intense.”
It seems the senior managers at the above salaryman’s office are well aware of the woman’s predatory activities, but tend to look the other way. Apparently when she first entered the company she’d worked them over thoroughly. (K.S.)
Source: “Hakko daioodo otoko vs hakunetsu denkyu onna,” Nikkan Gendai (Nov. 26, page 13)
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