Warning: This post discusses a mature subject matter and contains words and images that are not suitable for younger audiences. Reader discretion is advised.
Some of you have noticed my silence here on WordPress this past week. You may have concluded that I’m taking one of my regular breaks, since most of you already know that I’m a great supporter of taking breaks from blogging as I discussed in some of my previous posts “I Regularly Take Breaks From Blogging And Why You Should, Too” and “The (Un)Healthy Lives of Otaku Bloggers”. You’re correct. I took a break from blogging, but not for the usual reasons of burn-out or lack of motivation. You can say that I was forced into a break because, well. . .here it goes.
Last week, I narrowly survived an attempted sexual assault.
I don’t want to go into much of the details—I hope you all understand—but let me just make this clear. I wasn’t successfully groped or touched in a sexual manner, so I was technically NOT sexually assaulted. However, it was clearly an attempted sexual assault. The pervert trapped me at the back of a bus, and if it weren’t for my intuition and my previous Tae Kwon-Do training, I would probably now be wearing the label “Sexual Assault Victim”. I just thank God with all my heart that my training kicked in even when I already quit Tae Kwon-Do over a year ago, almost 2 years now, because of a severe injury that permanently weakened my right ankle, making it prone to potential future injuries.
When I say Tae Kwon-Do, you may be imagining me attacking the bastard with some fancy 360-degree kicks, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case at all. Although you don’t know how much I wish I could’ve kicked the dickhead blue, my position during that time prevented me from doing so—namely, I didn’t have enough space to move since I was trapped in a narrow space and I was wrapped in layers like a burrito (it’s Canadian winter, you know) and I was carrying a heavy backpack filled with textbooks. My movements were limited, but my eyes and my voice weren’t. I could hear my former Tae Kwon-Do Master yelling inside my head: “Show no fear! Look strong, act strong! Warn them that you can be dangerous.” And so I did. I glared, bared my teeth, shoved at him to free myself, and most importantly, I shouted at the damned dickhead. Long story short, I was able to scare the bastard away and he fled.
All of these happened within seconds. I was saved in the end, but there was a moment of about one second which felt like a long time that I was just frozen in fear. I couldn’t move. What snapped me out of this paralysis and pumped adrenaline into my veins was the damned bastard’s expression. He was smirking and silently threatening me at the same time! Can you imagine? The dickhead’s smirk pissed me off so badly that my face automatically contorted into what I felt like a wild animal’s and my body moved on its own accord to save myself.
What dismayed me the most about the incident wasn’t the pervert himself, but the useless witnesses. There were other passengers riding the bus but they might as well be non-existent for all the attention they gave on what transpired right in front of them. All of them, and I mean ALL OF THEM were engrossed in their own little worlds wearing earphones and eyes glued to their smartphones. Not that I blame them since I’m also usually like them whenever I commute, but they nevertheless pissed me off. . .well, they still piss me off whenever I think about what they did or rather what they did NOT do.
The Unfortunate “Through Life” Attitude of Modern Society
This reminded of an episode from Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei (さよなら絶望先生) where Itoshiki Nozomu explained to his students that modern society is suffering from a “Through Life” attitude. What this means is that when people witness something, may it be a crime or a person needing help right in front of us, we just let the situation go “through” us and move on. In short, we ignore and fail to take action, reasoning that it doesn’t have anything to do with us.
Personal Peace & Safety VS. World Peace & Safety
Similarly, this “Through Life” concept also reminded me of Mobile Suit Gundam 00 that I recently watched. One of the subjects that it tackles is the happy ignorance people from “peaceful” countries have. They’re happy as long as they have their own peace and safety. They couldn’t care less about war-torn countries and how children are being trained as soldiers to fight bloody wars orchestrated by forces fighting for power and dominance. As long as they’re enjoying their high standards of living, they’re happy to stay ignorant about the countless deaths due to wars in other countries.
Don’t you think these are similar to how most of us usually deal when hearing news about sexual assaults? Before I experienced what I experienced last week, I was already hearing about frequent sexual assaults in the news. I felt bad for the victims, but after a few seconds I forgot about them. Why is that? Because I didn’t know them, and I had never experienced what they experienced. I confess that I’m guilty of having this “Through Life” attitude. I reasoned that there wasn’t no immediate danger for me. . .until it happened to me. Now I know how frightening it is to be (almost) violated by some douchebag who can’t control his sexual urges and gets a kick out of sexually assaulting another human being.
Hentai Anime is JUST anime?
Anyway, it also reminded me of some of the ero anime—more known outside Japan as hentai anime—that I watched due to curiosity before. Now, now. Don’t be so surprised. I already wrote about this in a previous post “There Is No Anime That I’m Ashamed of Watching”. Yes, I watch hentai anime but that doesn’t mean that I enjoy them. Do you really think that I enjoy watching some poor student in a sailor uniform that for some reason have watermelon-sized boobs crying silently while a goddamned son of a bitch gropes her in the middle of a full train? Do you really think I enjoy watching perverts violate innocent people? Granted, there are good and romantic hentai anime with decent to even great stories but they are very few, in my opinion.
My point is that with hentai anime about unwanted gropings and even rape, most of us can still say that “it’s just anime”. What we don’t realize is that right at the moment that you’re watching that scene—and heavens forbid that you’re actually enjoying it—some poor person is experiencing that violation in real life. I narrowly missed being that poor person last week.
I Never Asked To Be Sexually Assaulted
After the incident, I wracked my brain for reasons why he chose me to be his “victim”. I looked for faults in myself. Do I look weak? Well, nobody would describe me as “fragile” but I’m a short woman (only 5″2′) so maybe that’s why? Do I look seductive? Absolutely not, especially not that day. My face was bare, no time for make-up, and I was a human burrito with all the layers I was wearing. My winter coat hid my figure. I spent quite a while looking at what might be wrong with me that made me a target that day, but then I realized something and stopped. I realized that there was absolutely nothing wrong with ME at all. I never asked to be sexually assaulted. Everything was that goddamned pervert’s fault and his inability to control his sexual urges, and trying to use intimidation and his natural male strength to violate a fellow human being.
“Asking For It”?
This realization reminded me of comments I often hear in the past when people discuss sexual assault/rape news. Most were decent human beings, sympathizing with the victims, but some were assholes who said that the women were “asking for it”, wearing seductive clothing and makeup, acting flirty and easy, so what was a man to do but follow what nature programmed them to do?
Whenever I wear makeup or wear nice clothes (I like figure-hugging ones), I NEVER EVER ask to be sexually assaulted or raped. I want to look nice to feel beautiful and confident as a person. I don’t do it to seduce perverts. I do it for myself. Those ignorant douchebags who carelessly say that sexual assault/rape victims “ask for it” can all go to hell. And remember that I was a bare-faced burrito when the attempted assault happened to me. Will you still tell me that I’m “asking for it”? What a thought. What pisses me off and also saddens me at the same time is that people who have this kind of “asking for it” opinion aren’t only limited to men but also women. Imagine yourself as a female sexual assualt victim and hearing a fellow woman say that you’re “asking for it”. How would you feel?
I also know that sexual assault victims don’t only include females. Males can also become targets, including gays, lesbians, anyone in between and unfortunately even children. Virtually everyone are targets of sexual assault, whether you’re young or old or even an animal, it doesn’t matter. As long as perverted scums exist in the world, this is going to happen. It’s a terrifying fact, but there you go.
The Most Difficult Post I’ve Written So Far
This post was very hard for me to write. I’m still rattled and dealing with the emotional stress and paranoia the incident caused me. I’m on constant full alert and it’s exhausting. I didn’t realize how deeply affected I was until I found myself sobbing to my dad that night when I told my family what happened. I always like to believe myself a strong woman, so there’s a small part of me that’s ashamed by this experience. Did this happen to me because I’m weak? But I have to constantly remember that I saved myself. That fact doesn’t make me weak. Who’s weak is the fucking bastard who made the mistake to target me.
Like I said, this post is the most difficult post I’ve written so far. It’s so serious. You know me. I usually write humourous pieces, evident in my Fujinsei Kempo Series. I didn’t write this post to ask for your sympathy, or worse your pity. I don’t need those. I wasn’t physically hurt anyway, although I am emotionally shaken. That I can deal. I’m already dealing with it and I know that I’ll eventually recover from this incident because that’s what I do.
I actually almost didn’t want to write this, but I felt that I have to, not only to get it off my chest but also to warn you, my dear friends, that this is reality and it can happen to you, too. I’m not just Arria Cross the aniblogger on the web. I’m a real, breathing, flesh and blood human being just like you. Please be careful. Be alert. And most importantly, if you see someone assaulting another, please don’t hesitate to intervene. Don’t be another “Through Life” person.
Before I end this post, I want to give my special thanks to my blog partner Becky (@pastelshion) for listening to my story and not hesitating to try and make me feel better. A huge ARIGATOU, Becky dear, and here’s my heartfelt wish that you dream of Kamiya Hiroshi tonight. I also want to apologize to Satoshi (@monogatarian). I feel bad that I wasn’t able to give more attention to you and your guest post earlier this week. I’ll surely make it up to you on your next guest post.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this loooooong post. I’m okay now. Just need a little bit more time to collect myself, but I’m sure you all understand. Happy & energetic Arria will be back soon. Here’s praying that you never experience what I experienced.
P.S. This is the current me. Fierce. Touch me and you’ll go down.
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