I wrote about the general stereotypes of Japanese women before, so I would like to talk about the Japanese stereotypes of American men. Obviously, Japanese people who have lived in America may have different opinions about American men but Japanese people generally see American men positively yet Japanese men often struggle with their own inferiority complex when they are compared to American men. These stereotypes are enforced by Hollywood movies and American TV shows which are broadcasted in Japan. I used to have these assumptions about American men and after living here for many years, my opinions about them have changed a lot.
Conclusion: America is very diverse and everybody is different and most men in America follow certain manners because it’s part of the social standard..similar to bowing in Japan.
Japanese people’s inaccurate stereotypes of American men
1) American men are Gentlemen: Well, most American men open doors for women and that includes car doors. wow..I know it feels great to be a woman in America. Japanese men don’t do any of that and when I visited Germany last year, I noticed immediately that German men don’t open doors for women either. Japanese men even feel embarrassed to do that because it isn’t part of Japanese culture but it doesn’t mean Japanese men aren’t gentlemen. Sure. I must admit that I love it when men here open doors for me and I especially love when two men in America open doors for me..I feel like a princess but however I know that they are doing that because it is customary and it doesn’t mean these men in America are true gentlemen.
2) American men express their love all the time: This is tricky. Because American people often say “Love you, bye” to their families when they hang up the phone or leave for school or work. Japanese family members don’t say “I love you” to each other and I actually have never said that to my family members and we just don’t say that to our family. But my family knows that I care about them and love them as my family. Japanese people relate the word “ai” with romantic relationships, and of course when couples in America start to say to each other “I love you”, it means that their relationship is more serious now. Then they often start to say “Love you” when they leave for work, hang up the phone..and it is very common to say “love you” without thinking too deeply. For Japanese couples who love each other, they often think that there is no need to say “I love you” several times a day because it is understood. It is true that American men and women are more likely to say “I love you” to each other in their relationships compared to Japanese couples but it doesn’t mean that they are really expressing their love every time they say “Love you”.
3) American men are generally cool: Well, there are cool men and not so cool men in every country and in every society. America is very diverse but Japanese people’s assumption about American men being cool is definitely influenced by the media. Not everybody is cool in America and it is the same with Japanese men. Some Japanese men are very cool and some aren’t.
4) American men are tall: It is true that American men are generally taller than Japanese men but once again America is a very diverse country in which people from different religions, ethnic groups and countries live in the same country. Some American men are taller and some are very short. It is ignorant to assume that American men are “tall” and they are taller than Japanese even though it might be true.
5) American men are white : Again I think this is because of the Hollywood movies but Japanese people often assume that your boyfriend is white when you tell him your boyfriend is American. This is interesting because this is a very diverse society and the word “American” is so broad and it really depends on how you define who Americans are. Technically everybody who was born in America are considered the U.S. citizens and they could be Hispanic, Asians, Pacific Islanders, Native Americans and African Americans. But for some reason, Japanese people tend to assume that he is white.
6) American men are affectionate: Sure. They do say “Love you” when you hang up the phone, leave for work but does it make them more affectionate than Japanese? Not really. Not all American men are romantic and affectionate and Public Display of Affection (PDA) is generally discouraged in American society. Maybe couples might hold hands in public and kiss on their partner’s cheeks or lightly on their lips but it is considered immature, inconsiderate and rude for grown adults to make out in public in America. But because of the Hollywood movies, Japanese people tend to assume that American men are VERY affectionate even when people are around. That is plain wrong.
7) American men are romantic: Well, this is linked to (6), but not all Japanese men are romantic and not all American men are romantic. We see ridiculous wedding proposals American men do to surprise their future wives on TV but it doesn’t mean all American men do that when they propose to their future wives. Japanese men are too embarrassed to have that level of show when they ask their girls to marry them in public but it doesn’t mean that they are less romantic than Americans.
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