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Old 03-04-2016, 10:18 AM   #1
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Dissenting opinions are all it takes for the latest generation to crumble and cry. Free speech will soon be dead because of Generation Wuss. This topic needed its own thread.

Articles describing incidents of sniveling, emotional collapse, and calls for political intervention in the face of differences of opinion are growing in number at a rapid rate. Our participation trophy kids and special snowflakes are coming home to roost, and they look a lot like turkeys.


Pitt Students 'In Tears' and Feeling 'Unsafe' After Milo Yiannopoulos Event - Breitbart

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The University of Pittsburgh’s Student Government Board held a public meeting on Tuesday to discuss the traumatizing visit the night before from “dangerous” homosexual and Breitbart Tech Editor Milo Yiannopoulos, during which students described themselves as feeling “hurt” and “unsafe.”

“During his talk, Yiannopoulos called students who believe in a gender wage gap ‘idiots,’ declared the Black Lives Matter movement a ‘supremacy’ group, while feminists are ‘man-haters,’” according to the student paper The Pitt News, prompting a handful of twenty-something-year olds to feel upset.
“Just because we have to be neutral with our funding doesn’t mean we’re personally neutral,” announced board member Jack Heidecker at the meeting. “I hurt yesterday, too.”
“So many of us shared in our pain. I felt I was in danger, and I felt so many people in that room were in danger,” proclaimed Marcus Robinson, student and president of the Pittsburgh Rainbow Alliance. Robinson also suggested that councilors should have been provided in another room to protect students who felt “traumatized” by Yiannopoulos’s opinions.
“This is more than hurt feelings, this is about real violence. We know that the violence against marginalized groups happens every day in this country,” claimed social work and urban studies major Claire Matway. “That so many people walked out of that [event] feeling in literal physical danger is not alright.”
President of the College Republicans and fellow student Tim Nerozzi responded to the complaints by proclaiming, “I’m not here to rain on your parade. We put a trigger warning on our fliers for the event. We never claimed it would be a family friendly or a politically correct lecture.”
“I do realize that some people were genuinely hurt, and I’m not going to ignore that, but free speech should not trump safety,” he said. “We need to see the school work around that.”
Student Government Board President Nasreen Harun is reported to have “teared up” after “hearing students’ experiences as a result of Milo Yiannopoulos’ talk on Monday.”
“We’re very sorry people are feeling the way they are and it was not intended… and we’re sorry people are not proud to be at Pitt,” she expressed in deep remorse.
The public meeting was announced in a letter sent out to students by the Student Government Board, stating:
In light of yesterday’s event with Milo Yiannopoulos, we feel compelled to write to the Pitt community regarding Student Government Board’s stance on his views and the reasons for which the funding request for this program was approved. If you were in the audience and were disgusted and hurt by the speaker’s remarks, we understand and empathize with you. If you felt marginalized and disparaged by many comments he made regarding your identity and the opinions of others who disagreed with him, we understand your feelings. To the students of color in the audience, we can only begin to imagine how painful it was to hear what both audience members and the speaker said regarding race and social justice issues in this country. Finally, to the survivors of sexual assault, we undoubtedly support you[…]
SGB has funded and taken an active role in many events including the Undy 500: Race against Sexual Assault, lectures by Bernice King and Laverne ***, and has taken a major role in the implementation of the It’s On Us Campaign on Pitt’s campus. These are just some of the numerous events that take an alternative perspective from last night’s speaker on issues of race, gender identity, and sexual violence on campus. We as an organization wish to make something clear: the decision by Student Government Board to allocate funds for this speaker in no way represents an endorsement of his views or opinions[…]
We hope to move forward from what took place last evening, but understand the hurt and pain that it caused[…]
Students are welcomed to attend tonight’s Public Meeting at 8:45pm in Nordy’s Place to share their perspectives and viewpoints during either of our two Open Floors.
In an email sent out to Pittsburgh students, a joint event between the Rainbow Alliance, Campus Women’s Organization, and Black Action Society is also set to take place on Thursday to “respond to the hate speech and harmful events that have transpired as well as provide a SAFE SPACE for those who have experienced trauma, been triggered, or felt any kind of pain because of the events.”
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Old 03-04-2016, 10:38 AM   #2
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If you care to watch the event;
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Old 03-04-2016, 10:42 AM   #3
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Do I watch his speech, or continue watching House of Cards?
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Old 03-04-2016, 10:51 AM   #4
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They felt physically threatened in a room full of people because some guy up front was saying mean stuff. If these are America's future leaders, we are lost.

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snowflakes are coming home to roost
And staying home until Mom and Dad go broke supporting them. When I started my job, I was told (only half in jest) that I'm not an official employee until Lee(owner) "stands up in a meeting full of people and calls you a **********." Welcome to the world, kids!
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Old 03-04-2016, 10:53 AM   #5
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Watching speech
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Old 03-04-2016, 11:05 AM   #6
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An overall lack of discipline of the youth, mixed with parents not distilling a core set of values, morals into the children creates what we have today (mixed with a multitude of other issues) and we end up with a generation of self entitled, disrespectful little brats who feel their voice is far more important than everyone elses.

I also personally feel as if social media is heavily to blame for these issues as well.
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Old 03-04-2016, 11:31 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by shuiend View Post
Do I watch his speech, or continue watching House of Cards?
I'd do House of Cards...

I always find it comical to watch an American's reaction to European views and directness. I guess our profiling would tend to link being gay with being "liberal".
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Old 03-04-2016, 11:47 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by xturner View Post
They felt physically threatened in a room full of people because some guy up front was saying mean stuff. If these are America's future leaders, we are lost.
Universities are the bastion of new ideas and allowing opposing views... unless they are big meanies or republicans.
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Old 03-04-2016, 12:08 PM   #9
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I vote that Turbo Kitten be replaced by the ultimate Troll: Milo Yiannopoulos. He does, after all, nearly flawlessly represent the collective voice of MT.Net. At least his satirical rants do.

It's obvious that there was a bad case of "The Feels" going around that crowd, although, saying those things would be frowned upon anywhere that isn't a Trump Rally / Rush Limbaugh BBQ.

Milo Yiannopoulos almost never gives 100% of his actual opinions at speeches like these. Instead, he pitches hyperbolized fragments of his beliefs, in an obvious effort to stir the pot. In an actual discussion he's fairly reasonable, and acknowledges the shortcomings of the dramatized persona he offers the media.

Freedom of speech wasn't infringed, nor will it be. He was allowed to rant, and feels were allowed to be felt.

Being the tough guys that we are, I suggest we all cope with this impending injustice by taking our cats for a drive in our respective Miatas, in an effort to show solidarity.
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Old 03-04-2016, 12:14 PM   #10
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so he's basically like ann coulter?
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Old 03-04-2016, 12:23 PM   #11
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FWIW the biggest wusses get the most publicity. That's their main goal. There is still a large portion of this generation that doesn't give a **** what names they get called, and who still believe in free speech. As always the media is highlighting the "worst of the bunch".

I graduated in June from a state university and I can say with confidence that there is a large portion of the community who is against a lot of this bullshit. They just aren't as vocal as the ones who are. Spend time on the facebook page that people talk **** on and you will see both view points, and a **** ton of backlash. There was this hilarious post recently where someone made a diabetes joke, someone
"took offense with it" (something along the lines of diabetes sufferers don't think thats funny) and then someone with diabetes came in and said that joke was hilarious, stop being a bitch. Let me find the post.

So don't lose all hope yet.
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Old 03-04-2016, 12:27 PM   #12
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Old 03-04-2016, 12:28 PM   #13
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Found it

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Old 03-04-2016, 01:25 PM   #14
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Cameo Whitten is okay; Riley Evans needs to be bitch slapped until she stops wasting oxygen.
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Old 03-04-2016, 01:40 PM   #15
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As a 34 year old, I can't imagine growing up in the 2000's; it's a completely different world.

Cross-generational differences is a pretty basic concept, and it's certainly at play here. Your Mom didn't understand some of the things you experienced or were passionate about as a child and young adult, nor did her Mom, and so on. Now, consider that significant societal change occurs so abruptly nowadays, that you can experience a huge "generational" gap with only a 10 year spread between people, often even less.

As new issues arise and societal norms & expectations evolve or devolve, those who face them most directly will largely dictate the status quo. The feels felt, while completely absurd to some of us, are a result of many of these downplayed issues actually existing.

There is however one constant: Diabetes will always be gross and funny.
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Old 03-04-2016, 02:22 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by TheBigChill View Post
As a 34 year old, I can't imagine growing up in the 2000's; it's a completely different world.

Cross-generational differences is a pretty basic concept, and it's certainly at play here. Your Mom didn't understand some of the things you experienced or were passionate about as a child and young adult, nor did her Mom, and so on.

OK, like, the way I feel about the Rolling Stones is the way my kids are going to feel about Nine Inch Nails, so I really shouldn't torment my Mom anymore, huh?
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Old 03-04-2016, 02:27 PM   #17
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« Generation Wuss » by Bret Easton Ellis | Vanity Fair

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In February I gave an interview to Vice UK to help promote a film I had written and financed called The Canyons—I did the press because there was still the idea, the hope, that if myself or the director Paul Schrader talked about the film it would somehow find an audience interested in it and understand what it was: an experimental, guerilla DIY affair that cost $150,000 dollars to shoot ($90,000 out of our own pockets) and that we filmed over twenty days in L.A. during the summer of 2012 starring controversial Millennials Lindsay Lohan and **** star James Deen. The young journalist from Vice UK asked me about the usual things I was preoccupied with in that moment: my admiration of Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street—the best film I saw in 2013 (not great Scorsese, but better than any other American film that year) and we talked about the movie I’m writing for Kanye West, my love of Terrence Malick (though not To The Wonder), a miniseries I was developing about the Manson murders for FOX (but because of another Manson series going into production at NBC the miniseries has now been cancelled), the Bret Easton Ellis Podcast (link), the possibility of a new novel I had begun in January of 2013 and that I lost interest in but hoped to get back to; we talked about my problems with David Foster Wallace, my love of Joan Didion, as well as Empire versus post-Empire (link) and we talked about, of course, The Canyons. But the first question the young journalist asked me wasn’t about the movie—it was about why I was always referring to Millennials as Generation Wuss on my Twitter feed. And I answered her honestly, unprepared for the level of noise my comments caused once the Vice UK piece was posted.

I have been living with someone from the Millennial generation for the last four years (he’s now 27) and sometimes I’m charmed and sometimes I’m exasperated by how him and his friends—as well as the Millennials I’ve met and interacted with both in person and in social media—deal with the world, and I’ve tweeted about my amusement and frustration under the banner “Generation Wuss” for a few years now. My huge generalities touch on their over-sensitivity, their insistence that they are right despite the overwhelming proof that suggests they are not, their lack of placing things within context, the overreacting, the passive-aggressive positivity, and, of course, all of this exacerbated by the meds they’ve been fed since childhood by over-protective “helicopter” parents mapping their every move. These are late-end Baby Boomers and Generation X parents who were now rebelling against their own rebelliousness because of the love they felt that they never got from their selfish narcissistic Boomer parents and who end up smothering their kids, inducing a kind of inadequate preparation in how to deal with the hardships of life and the real way the world works: people won’t like you, that person may not love you back, kids are really cruel, work sucks, it’s hard to be good at something, life is made up of failure and disappointment, you’re not talented, people suffer, people grow old, people die. And Generation Wuss responds by collapsing into sentimentality and creating victim narratives rather than acknowledging the realities of the world and grappling with them and processing them and then moving on, better prepared to navigate an often hostile or indifferent world that doesn’t care if you exist.

I never pretended to be an expert on Millenials and my harmless tweeting about them was solely based on personal observation with the reactions to the tweets predictably running along generational lines. For example, one of the worst fights my boyfriend and I endured was about the Tyler Clemente suicide here in the United States. Clemente was an 18 year-old Rutger’s University student who killed himself because he felt he was being bullied by his roommate Dharun Ravi. Ravi never touched Tyler or threatened him but filmed Tyler making out with another man unbeknownst to Tyler and then tweeted about it. Embarrassed by this web-cam prank, Tyler threw himself off the George Washington Bridge a few days later. The fight I had with my boyfriend was about victimization narratives and cyber-“bullying” versus imagined threats and genuine hands-on bullying. Was this just the case of an overly sensitive Generation Wuss snowflake that made national news because of how trendy the idea of cyber-bullying was in that moment (and still is to a degree) or was this a deeply troubled young person who simply snapped because he was brought down by his own shame and then was turned into a victim/hero (they are the same thing now in the United States) by a press eager to present the case out of context and turning Ravi into a monster just because of a pretty harmless—in my mind—freshman dorm-room prank? People my age tended to agree with my tweets, but people my boyfriend’s age tended to, of course, disagree.

But then again my reaction stems from the fact that I am looking at Millenials from the POV of a member of one of the most pessimistic and ironic generations that has ever roamed the earth—Generation X—so when I hear Millenials being so damaged by “cyber-bullying” that it becomes a gateway to suicide—it’s difficult for me to process. And even my boyfriend agrees that Generation Wuss is overly sensitive, especially when dealing with criticism. When Generation Wuss creates something they have so many outlets to display it that it often goes out into the world unfettered, unedited, posted everywhere, and because of this freedom a lot of the content displayed is rushed and kind of shitty and that’s OK—it’s just the nature of the world now—but when Millennials are criticized for this content they seem to collapse into a shame spiral and the person criticizing them is automatically labeled a hater, a contrarian, a troll. And then you have to look at the generation that raised them, that coddled them in praise—gold medals for everyone, four stars for just showing up—and tried to shield them from the dark side of life, and in turn created a generation that appears to be super confident and positive about things but when the least bit of darkness enters into their realm they become paralyzed and unable to process it.

My generation was raised by Baby Boomers in a kind of complete fantasy world at the height of the Empire: Boomers were the most privileged and the best educated children of The Great Generation, enjoying the economic boom of post-World War II American society. My generation realized that like most fantasies it was a somewhat dissatisfying lie and so we rebelled with irony and negativity and attitude or conveniently just checked-out because we had the luxury to do so. Our reality compared to Millennial reality wasn’t one of economic hardship. We had the luxury to be depressed and ironic and cool. Anxiety and neediness are the defining aspects of Generation Wuss and when you don’t have the cushion of rising through the world economically then what do you rely on? Well, your social media presence: maintaining it, keeping the brand in play, striving to be liked, to be liked, to be liked. And this creates its own kind of ceaseless anxiety. This is why if anyone has a snarky opinion of Generation Wuss then that person is labeled by them as a “douche”—case closed. No negativity—we just want to be admired. This is problematic because it limits discourse: if we all just like everything—the Millennial dream—then what are we going to be talking about? How great everything is? How often you’ve pressed the like button on Facebook? The Millennial site Buzzfeed has said they are no longer going to run anything negative—well, if this keeps spreading, then what’s going to happen to culture? What’s going to happen to conversation and discourse? If there doesn’t seem to be an economic way of elevating yourself then the currency of popularity is just the norm now and so this is why you want to have thousands and thousands of people liking you on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumbler—and you try desperately to be liked. The only way to elevate yourself in society is through your brand, your profile, your social media presence. A friend of mine—also a member of Generation Wuss—remarked that Millennials are more curators than artists, a generation of “aestheticists…any young artist who goes on Tumbler doesn’t want to create actual art—they either want to steal the art or they want to BE the art.”
Quote:
I forgot about the Vice interview but was reminded of it due to a minor explosion that occurred after it was posted and the term Generation Wuss received an inordinate amount of press and I was immediately asked to appear on talk shows and podcasts and radio programs to discuss “the phenomenon” of Generation Wuss. The people who agreed with my casual, tossed-off assessments skewed older but I was surprised by the number of young people who agreed with me as well, Millennials who also had complaints about their generation. The older people wanted to share examples: a father related a story how he remembered watching in frustration as his son participated in a tug-of-war game with his classmates on the field of his elementary school and after a minute or two the well-meaning coach announced the game was officially a tie, told the kids they did a great job, and everyone got a ribbon. Occasionally there were darker stories: guilt-ridden parents chastising themselves for coddling kids who when finally faced with the normal reality of the world drifted into drugs as an escape…from the normal reality of the world. Parents kept reaching out and told me they were tormented by this oppressive need to reward their kids constantly in this culture. That in doing so they effectively debilitated them from dealing with the failures we all confront as get older, and that their children were unequipped to deal with pain.

I didn’t appear on any of the talk shows because I don’t pretend to be an expert on this generation any more than I feel I’m an expert on my own: I don’t feel like that old man complaining about the generation supplanting his. As someone who throughout his own career satirized my generation for their materialism and their shallowness, I didn’t think that pointing out aspects I noticed in Millennials was that big of a deal. But in the way that the 24-48 hour news cycle plays itself out I briefly was considered an “expert” and I kept getting bombarded with emails and tweets. What the Vice interview didn’t allow was that because I’ve been living with someone from this generation I’m sympathetic to them as well, remembering clearly the hellish year my college-educated boyfriend looked for a job and could only find non-paying internships. Add in the demeaning sexual atmosphere that places a relentless emphasis on good looks (Tinder being the most prevalent example) in such a superficially nightmarish way it makes the way my generation hooked-up seem positively chaste and innocent by comparison. So I’m sympathetic to Generation Wuss and their neurosis, their narcissism and their foolishness—add the fact that they were raised in the aftermath of 9/11, two wars, a brutal recession and it’s not hard to be sympathetic. But maybe in the way Lena Dunham is in “Girls” a show that perceives them with a caustic and withering eye and is also sympathetic. And this is crucial: you can be both. In-fact in order to be an artist, to raise yourself above the din in an over-reactionary fear-based culture that considers criticism elitist, you need to be both. But this is a hard thing to do because Millennials can’t deal with that kind of cold-eye reality. This is why Generation Wuss only asks right now : please, please, please, only give positive feedback please.
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Old 03-04-2016, 02:29 PM   #18
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Old 03-21-2016, 09:51 PM   #19
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It turns out that the GenWu phenomenon isn't limited to America, or even to Euro-Caucasian states. The phenomenon of adults in their late teens or 20s retreating back into an isolationist childhood form because they can't deal with real life is so prevalent and well-documented in present-day Japan that there's a name for it: Hikikomori.


Hikikomori: Why are so many Japanese men refusing to leave their rooms?
By William Kremer and Claudia Hammond
BBC World Service




As many as a million young people in Japan are thought to remain holed up in their homes - sometimes for decades at a time. Why?

For Hide, the problems started when he gave up school.

"I started to blame myself and my parents also blamed me for not going to school. The pressure started to build up," he says.

"Then, gradually, I became afraid to go out and fearful of meeting people. And then I couldn't get out of my house."

Gradually, Hide relinquished all communication with friends and eventually, his parents. To avoid seeing them he slept through the day and sat up all night, watching TV.

"I had all kinds of negative emotions inside me," he says. "The desire to go outside, anger towards society and my parents, sadness about having this condition, fear about what would happen in the future, and jealousy towards the people who were leading normal lives."

Hide had become "withdrawn" or hikikomori.

In Japan, hikikomori, a term that's also used to describe the young people who withdraw, is a word that everyone knows.

Tamaki Saito was a newly qualified psychiatrist when, in the early 1990s, he was struck by the number of parents who sought his help with children who had quit school and hidden themselves away for months and sometimes years at a time. These young people were often from middle-class families, they were almost always male, and the average age for their withdrawal was 15.

It might sound like straightforward teenage laziness. Why not stay in your room while your parents wait on you? But Saito says sufferers are paralysed by profound social fears.

"They are tormented in the mind," he says. "They want to go out in the world, they want to make friends or lovers, but they can't."

Symptoms vary between patients. For some, violent outbursts alternate with infantile behaviour such as pawing at the mother's body. Other patients might be obsessive, paranoid and depressed.

When Saito began his research, social withdrawal was not unknown, but it was treated by doctors as a symptom of other underlying problems rather than a pattern of behaviour requiring special treatment.

Since he drew attention to the phenomenon, it is thought the numbers of hikikomori have increased. A conservative estimate of the number of people now affected is 200,000, but a 2010 survey for the Japanese Cabinet Office came back with a much higher figure - 700,000. Since sufferers are by definition hidden away, Saito himself places the figure higher still, at around one million.

The average age of hikikomori also seems to have risen over the last two decades. Before it was 21 - now it is 32.

So why do they withdraw?

The trigger for a boy retreating to his bedroom might be comparatively slight - poor grades or a broken heart, for example - but the withdrawal itself can become a source of trauma. And powerful social forces can conspire to keep him there.

One such force is sekentei, a person's reputation in the community and the pressure he or she feels to impress others. The longer hikikomori remain apart from society, the more aware they become of their social failure. They lose whatever self-esteem and confidence they had and the prospect of leaving home becomes ever more terrifying.

Parents are also conscious of their social standing and frequently wait for months before seeking professional help.


"I don't want to talk to anybody. I don't want to do anything. I don't even have the will to pick up the phone. Just what am I supposed to do?"
Welcome to NHK! was a novel, comic book and cartoon about the life of a hikikomori.
(Copyright Tatsuhiko TAKIMOTO 2004, Kendi OIWA 2004. Published by KADOKAWASHOTEN.)


A second social factor is the amae - dependence - that characterises Japanese family relationships. Young women traditionally live with their parents until marriage, and men may never move out of the family home. Even though about half of hikikomori are violent towards their parents, for most families it would be unthinkable to throw them out.

But in exchange for decades of support for their children, parents expect them to show respect and fulfil their role in society of getting a job.

Matsu became hikikomori after he fell out with his parents about his career and university course.

"I was very well mentally, but my parents pushed me the way I didn't want to go," he says. "My father is an artist and he runs his own business - he wanted me to do the same." But Matsu wanted to become a computer programmer in a large firm - one of corporate Japan's army of "salarymen".

"But my father said: 'In the future there won't be a society like that.' He said: 'Don't become a salaryman.'"

Like many hikikomori, Matsu was the eldest son and felt the full weight of parental expectation. He grew furious when he saw his younger brother doing what he wanted. "I became violent and had to live separately from my family," he says.

One way to interpret Matsu's story is see him as being at the faultline of a cultural shift in Japan.

"Traditionally, Japanese psychology was thought to be group-oriented - Japanese people do not want to stand out in a group," says Yuriko Suzuki, a psychologist at the National Institute for Mental Health in Tokyo. "But I think especially for the younger generation, they want more individualised or personalised care and attention. I think we are in a mixed state."

But even hikikomori who desperately want to fulfil their parents' plans for them may find themselves frustrated.

Andy Furlong, an academic at the University of Glasgow specialising in the transition from education to work, connects the growth of the hikikomori phenomenon with the popping of the 1980s "bubble economy" and the onset of Japan's recession of the 1990s.

It was at this point that the conveyor belt of good school grades leading to good university places leading to jobs-for-life broke down. A generation of Japanese were faced with the insecurity of short-term, part-time work. And it came with stigma, not sympathy.

Job-hopping Japanese were called "freeters" - a combination of the word "freelance" and the German word for "worker", arbeiter. In political discussion, freeters were frequently bundled together with "neets" - an adopted British acronym meaning "not in education, employment or training". Neets, freeters, hikikomori - these were ways of describing the good-for-nothing younger generation, parasites on the flagging Japanese economy. The older generation, who graduated and slotted into steady careers in the 1960s and 1970s, could not relate to them.

"The opportunities have changed fundamentally," says Furlong. "I don't think the families always know how to handle that."


University graduates at a job-hunting fair in February... but freeters, neets and hikikomori find themselves on the periphery of Japan's labour market

A common reaction is for parents to treat their recalcitrant son with anger, to lecture them and make them feel guilty for bringing shame on the family. The risk here is that - as with Hide - communication with parents may break down altogether. But some parents have been driven to extreme measures.

For a time one company operating in Nagoya could be hired by parents to burst into their children's rooms, give them a big dressing down, and forcibly drag them away to a dormitory to learn the error of their ways.

Kazuhiko Saito, the director of the psychiatry department at Kohnodai Hospital in Chiba, says that sudden interventions - even by healthcare professionals - can prove disastrous.

"In many cases, the patient becomes violent towards the staff or the parents in front of the counsellors, or after the counsellors have left," he says.

Kazuhiko Saito is in favour of healthcare professionals visiting hikikomori, but he says they must be fully briefed on the patient, who must know in advance that they are coming.

In any case, the do-nothing approach has been shown not to work. Tamaki Saito likens the hikikomori state to alcoholism, in that it is impossible to give up without a support network.

His approach is to begin with "reorganising" the relationship between the patient and his parents, arming desperate mothers and fathers with strategies to restart communication with their children. When the patient is well enough to come to the clinic in person he can be treated with drugs and therapy. Group therapy is a relatively new concept to Japanese psychology, but self-help groups have become a key way of drawing hikikomori into wider society.

For both Hide and Matsu, the journey to recovery was helped by visiting a charity-run youth club in Tokyo known as an ibasho - a safe place for visitors to start reintroducing themselves to society.

Both men have made progress in their relationships with their parents. Matsu has been for a job interview as a computer programmer, and Hide has a part-time job. He thinks that by starting to talk again with his parents, the whole family has been able to move on.

"They thought about their way of life in the past and in the future," he says. "I think that before - even though they were out working - their mental attitude was just like a hikikomori, but now they're more open and honest with themselves. So as their child I'm very happy to see them change."

Many parents of hikikomori visit the ibasho even though their children may never be well enough to come with them.

Yoshiko's son withdrew from society very gradually when he was 22.

At first he would go out to buy shopping, but she observes ruefully that internet shopping means this is no longer necessary and he no longer leaves the house. He is now 50 years old.
"I think my son is losing the power or desire to do what he wants to do," she says. "Maybe he used to have something he wanted to do but I think I ruined it."

Hikikomori: Why are so many Japanese men refusing to leave their rooms? - BBC News
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