I despise arrogant and abusive old men who look down on others

The Japan News

Dear Troubleshooter:

I am a woman in my 20s who works as a receptionist. The attitude that men in their 50s and older have has left me disgusted with them. They make unreasonable claims and complaints, yell and look down on others.

Most of the unreasonable demands we receive at the reception desk are from men in that age range. They shout when they don’t get what they want or unabashedly insult others.

I’m aware not all old men are this ridiculous because a respected former teacher of mine and my trustworthy boss both are men in this age group. Even so, I can’t help but feel disgusted with old men I don’t know well. For instance, I avoid them when they come near me on the train.

I don’t want to harbor discriminatory feelings, but having to accept their unreasonable attitude makes me furious. They seem to think behaving this way is acceptable. Why do they believe their despotic attitudes should be allowed?

—F, Kanagawa Prefecture

Dear Ms. F:

Your aversion for older men isn’t discrimination, but something that stems from a psychological defense. If you come to understand more about these arrogant and abusive men, you may find dealing with them a little easier.

I once wrote a book after observing older men with volatile tempers.

Many of them always judge others through a lens of whether someone is superior or inferior to them and behave aggressively and domineeringly toward anyone they consider to be the latter. They belittle all women, looking down on young women in particular.

Having their perceived power go unrecognized by those around them makes them unhappy and they feel that more respect should be shown toward them. So, they throw their weight around by blaming those below them who don’t or can’t fight back. These are such stupid and immature men.

When you consider that the man yelling at you is a person of that level, doesn’t that make you feel a bit better?

As a man in my 60s, I was a bit pleased to read your letter because you are conflicted about the idea of judging and avoiding people based on their gender or age.

I’m sure this emotional conflict will help you grow. Your world will never expand as long as you see people through colored spectacles, distinguishing them as men, women, young, old or foreigners. I hope you will continue to try to understand the hearts of others.

—Tomomi Fujiwara, writer