There's a new Japanese meme in town. It's a four-legged critter that's hardly innocuous. Some might even call it offensive. Say hello to the crawler.
In Japan, the meme character doesn't quite have a name yet—it's that new. In a pure visual sense, the character is cute, but this isn't a purely visual character. It's portrayed as a four-legged crawler, who goes around saying "Homoo..." or "Gimme Homoo" Here, have a look: ┌(┌^o^)┐ホモォ...
The crawler was born on Twitter in Japan and was created to parody "fujoshi" (腐女子) or women who dig boys' love comics. Boys' love, or "BL", depicts relations between male characters. That's why the crawler is going around, looking for gay men.
Many view the word "homo" as a slur—not just in the West, but in Japan, too. Sure, there are people who don't think it's a slur (gay or straight). However, it is a loaded word, even in Japanese.
Moreover, the character and its depiction of fujoshi isn't exactly flattering, either, with this four-legged critter, crawling around, looking for gay men. Sure, it's a parody, and those propagating the character would just brush off it off as a joke.
In Japan, gay people might appear on television on a regular basis—they might even voice characters in Pokémon movies. But the country isn't exactly leading the way on gay issues.
This "homoo" crawler appears to have captured the imagination of the Japanese internet, much like the Yarnaika Guy before it. You see the character pop up in threads, tweets, and all over Japanese cyberspace. Companies are even attempting to cash in, releasing cell phone trinkets and pen stands later this month. But cash in on what, exactly? And at whose expense?
(Top photo: ケジメあんてな。(β) )
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