In the latest instance of the West’s growing obsession with identity politics leading to the harassment of Japanese creators who disagree with them, Silent Hill series art director Masahiro Ito has found himself accused of bigotry by transgender activists for simply retweeting Matt Walsh’s definition of a woman.
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The discourse surrounding the veteran video game artist’s opinions began on March 9th when Ito retweeted Twitter user @my_yamamoto’s sharing of four subtitled screenshots from Walsh’s 2022 appearance on The Gender Pronoun Debate episode of Dr. Phil wherein The Daily Wire personality debated LGBTQ advocate Addison Rose Vincent regarding the proper definition of the word “woman”.
“A ‘female’ is a human female,” Walsh can be read telling Vincent, as quoted by @my_yamamoto in the body of his respective tweet. “The adherents of gender ideology cannot even define the word they wield. You have only privatized the word ‘woman’ and fashioned it into a changeable costume.”
In follow-up, Ito would also retweet a reply to @Mt_yamamoto_ in which fellow user @Mogjp2 opined (via DeepL), “It would be nice to live in a world where people with ‘gender identity’ as female/male/etc. are accepted as human beings without prejudice, on the assumption that the definition of gender is not broken.”
“Discrimination and prejudice are different from distinction,” they argued. “The locker room issue is also a strange one because it attempts to break down the definition of men and women. If we make distinctions, and then accommodate people with different gender identities, there will be no problems.”
Unsurprisingly, these retweets would quickly find the man behind the Silent Hill series’ infamous Pyramid Head design in the crosshairs of the West’s more vocal transgender activists, as they took his two retweets as evidence that he was supposedly transphobic.
One of the first to press Ito on the subject was @_PriceUltra_, who inquired of his first retweet, “I know the politics are different in Japan and USA, but I hope this RT doesn’t mean that you are opposed to rights for trans people? It would make me sad if you opposed the existence of me and people like me in public life, especially since your work is so meaningful to me.”
Realizing that the context of his retweets had been lost in translation, @adsk4 bluntly requested of his critic, “Don’t use Google-translator. Also read the thread in Japanese.”
“Very sorry if I’m misunderstanding,” apologized @_PriceUltra_ in turn, before going on to ignore his request and continue pressing him in English.
“I can’t speak Japanese so I’m just using the automatic translations,” they said. “The pics below are my understanding of what was said. Additional apologies if I jumped the gun, I got worried because Matt Walsh is a Theocratic Fascist who’s very bigoted”.
Understandably annoyed, Ito responded, “Don’t Use Automatic Translator!!! And Read the Thread! If you can’t read Japanese, please remove.”
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Following this brief interaction, the frustrated Silent Hill art director would vent proceed to vent, “I retweeted the 2 tweets as the definition of the word (woman). But many Westerners who can never understand Japanese and the context still despise me. lmao. Of course I’ll block all of them!”
From there, Ito would attempt to provide what context he could for his tweets, asserting, “I really don’t know who he is in the images of the tweet. The point of the tweets that I retweeted is the definition of the word ‘woman’.”
“Nowadays many people use the word as arbitrary in Japan,” he elaborated. “A woman actor was attacked on the net the other day [ostensibly a reference to the backlash faced by Ai Hashimoto over her opinion that public facilities should be separated by biological sex], but she was not wrong.”
Of course, Ito’s explanation did little to quell the fiery backlash that had already built up against him, as Western critics continued to accuse him of transphobia unabated.
One user, @WrahNylvid, begged Ito, “Can you just, please, explain in English your stance on trans people”, to which the artist directly exclaimed, “In the 1st place, I’m not transphobic. F–k!”
“You can’t get around any kind of transphobia,” another Twitter user, @whatthecroftt, separately criticized.”Equal representation is important. Maybe the reason trans rights bothers you so much is because you’re the one who isn’t educated on the matter, which is okay. You’re allowed to be in a position to learn from other people.”
@sluicecanalis likewise decried, “People are all too willing to overlook that he is siding with an actress who made a transphobic comment about trans women in women’s bathrooms.”
Frustrated by his critics, in response to @NurseScissor’s observation that it was “really weird to see people advocate for ‘BEING POSITIVE AND POLITE’ act so rude’, Ito would opine, “Their attitude makes me think that in fact they don’t have any interests in LGBTQ and just wanna attack someone who they don’t like.”
Facing a deluge of such bad faith attacks and disingenuous criticism, Ito would eventually offer a frank statement regarding his stance on the issues.
“Just to clarify, I’m not a transphobic,” he began. “Transgender should be treated equally like cisgender.”
“Also my point is to create a society where LGBTQ female and male live together equally,” said Ito.
“It seems like retweeting the Matt Walsh’s QRT misled you,” he acknowledged. “But I did it as one of the context about the definition of the word ‘Woman’. That’s all.”
Continuing his thoughts in Japanese, Ito further clarified, “I personally do not have a clear answer on the definition of ‘male/female,’ but the goal must be to create a society where LGBTQ, women, and men can live equally. However, in order to make an inclusive definition that takes into account the complexity of gender identity, I feel that the number of words used to describe ‘male/female’ is too large to be complete.”
“I always use ‘LGBTQ’ coz of the sake of convenience or for character limit,” he concluded. “But when we talk abt the definition of ‘Male/Female’, people tend to forget the existence of Non-binary etc. I think it’s not enough to bring only the two words ‘Male and Female’ to that point.
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