While the US embroils dealing with undocumented immigrants, even to entertain the plan to erect a wall on the US-Mexico border, some Asian countries are experiencing a huge exodus of their men to Venus. Unlike the uninvited and inimical situation in the States, the Asian men, who used to reside on Mars but decided to learn the habits of Venusians, are very much welcomed by many residences in Venus. Actually, some Venusians have solicited the move. Thanks to their ever expanding financial resources, Asian females are now demanding more from their men, not just their money but their look. They don’t hesitate anymore when it comes to what they expect from a boyfriend or husband. As Time magazine (Asia Edition) reported last October, they want a more sensitive partner who is well-moisturized, groomed and accessorized. It has noted: “Men who possess only the characteristics of the traditional male’‚¬”strength, reliability or trustworthiness’‚¬”are not attractive anymore.”
Thanks to their ever expanding financial resources, Asian females are now demanding more from their men, not just their money but their look.
To meet the demand from the Venusians, the Martians are adopting a new custom that has been traditionally considered as exclusively Venusian. According to the Time article, following is a partial list to which they accommodate in the process of the emigration to Venus.
+ Haircut with highlights $200
+ One-hour facial $95
+ Hydrating lotion by Shiseido Men $26
+ Foundation by Somang $16
+ Manicure $50
+ Pedicure $65
+ Moisturizer for crow’s feet $60
+ Eyebrow trimming kit from Shiseido $13
+ Hair removal $69
Can this new trend be what the comedian George Carlin called, “pussification” or be a byproduct of the evolutionary process toward androgyny? Before we make a judgment, let’s outline several reasons for the recent mass expatriation to Venus. First of all, as aforementioned, it is an effort to meet the newly found challenge from Venusians. According to Michael Kimmel, professor of sociology at SUNY, Stony Brook and the author of Manhood in America: A Cultural History, definitions of masculinity have evolved in response to women’s movements. In other words, when women act, men react. Witnessing the Venusian’s heightened bar in selecting a mate and crescendo independence from men, the Martians had no alternative but to react by navigating the uncharted road flooded with the personal care and beauty products.
This gear shifting has been confirmed in the ivory tower by recent research, led by Fhioona Moore at the School of Psychology at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, which found that financially independent women are starting to mimic men: choosing looks over money when selecting a mate. This finding is echoed in the street by Ivana Trump, the first-ex-wife of Donald Trump, when she said: “I love having financial independence. I love being paid for what I know, for the ‘‚¬Ëœbrand’ I am. And yes, I can really understand that a woman’s net worth reflects who she chooses to be with. It’s worked that way with men all these years’‚¬¦now, it works just as well for women.”
Second, historically speaking, the current Asian men’s emulating women is nothing new. The Time report says that during China’s Ming and Qing dynasties, men were depicted in paintings as ethereal, feminine creatures. Also in Japan, during Heian period (794-1185), both men and women powdered their faces white. Today’s ostensibly new trend is nothing but a historical deja vu of what their predecessors have done in the past.
Third, it’s a male narcissism. Freud says “On Narcissism” that a person may love himself according to four narcissistic types: (1) What he is himself, (2) What he once was, (3) What he would like to be, (4) Someone who once was part of himself. Probably, the current Asian male’s narcissism is based on the case number two, thinking that they were once androgyny from the beginning as Aristophanes addresses about the nature of human gender in Plato’s Symposium: In the first place, let me treat the nature of man and what has happened to it; for the original human nature was not like the present, but different. The sexes were not two as they are now, but originally three in number; there was man, woman, and the union of the two, having a name corresponding to this double nature, which had once a real existence, but is now lost, and the word ’Androgynous’ is only preserved as a term of reproach. Again, as in the case of the historical replay of men behaving like women in Asia, their existentially challenged life in Mars might have created a narcissistic desire to go back where they really belong, the androgynous state.
Fourth, riding on this narcissism, the fashion and cosmetics industries didn’t miss the opportunity to grasp the lucrative market of beauty products for men. Until recently most personal care product companies targeted women for their marketing ploy. One of the advertisement agendas for female customers was to make the customer feel weak, insecure, vulnerable, and even inferior so that they can create a desire to buy a certain product because they know that women wanted to keep looking young and sexy. Once they were successful making women vexed about their corpulent thighs, lax breasts and unwanted wrinkles, they applied the same principles to the Martians.
Fifth, looking from the global village point of view, the new trend among Asian men might have been a copycat from the West. In the West, back in 1994 the new trend that aesthetically conscious straight men have interest in the latest fashion, hair care, moisturizer and spa treatment has been noted by Mark Simpson in his article “Here come the mirror men” in a British daily newspaper, The Independent. He coined the term “metrosexual.”
Prompted by the above reasons, an increasing number of Asian men is taking the risk of being ridiculed either by their peers or opposite sex. Whether the recent phenomenon, Asian men camping in the Venus, is a process of pussification, or evolutionary (or retrospective) iteration, I can’t judge. I can only judge by the surface outlook which copies from the Venusian vanity. It is because I remember what Antoine de Saint-ExupÃƒ©ry’s fox in The Little Prince said: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” From the endeavor to concern about their look, the Asian men can be considered emasculated, effeminized or even pussified.
However, considering their relentless effort to meet the demand from Venus and unbending wish to be attracted by its residence, they might be the most courageous Martians in terms of what Nietzsche had to say about manliness: “The true man wants two things, danger and play. For that reason he wants woman, as the most dangerous plaything.” Since still desiring woman, it can be assumed that they kept their masculinity in tact somewhere inside of their heart.
looking from the global village point of view, the new trend among Asian men might have been a copycat from the West.
Regardless of the sign of losing manliness, with their frontier spirit which fearlessly penetrates the exclusive world of Venus, there is no going back to Mars since they have tasted already how glorious it is to be exfoliated. Besides, each individual has the freedom to choose whoever he wants to be. Thus, only concern that I have in this trend is toward those who are trying to obstruct the mass emigration at the Department of Immigration in Venus and Mars. My only wish is that they don’t become like the current Bush administration which plans to build a 2000 mile fence along the US-Mexico border. Hold a second. Do you really think that they can erect the wall without the help of Mexicans?
If we the people of Venus and Mars are antithetic of each other, a wall might be a necessary thing. But as the new trend dictates, it looks like the Asian-Martians are heading to complete the evolutionary process which has started in ancient time, that is, to become an androgynous figure which can be the very possible final synthesis of woman and man. Besides, in reality, Venus and Mars are not our permanent residence. We have emerged from neither places and it doesn’t really matter where we came from. It is because our permanent residence is the Earth where men and women are thrown into alienation and lonely isolation. The Venusian and Martian Immigration Department needs to realize that we are here together as victimized fellow citizens of the Earth, suffering unnecessarily from our antiquated ideas of masculinity and femininity.
Daniel Hong was born and raised in Korea. He studied psychology and philosophy at UCLA and Oxford University (UK), respectively. He has owned and operated his own business, and taught in college. He currently works as a freelance researcher in Seattle.