I was on the train headed to Yokohama for a training for work. At one point, I had to transfer to another train. I did so and boarded the crowded train and smooshed in as far as I could. I held on to the bar above my head and prepared for the 20 minute ride until my transfer.
Immediately I noticed a boy standing next to me and he wasn’t holding on to anything and began to stagger as the train moved. The mother in me reached out for his arm and grabbed him. He, in turn, grabbed onto my book bag strap for stability I assumed. We exchanged a nod and I went back to looking at my phone to occupy myself.
As the train continued to move, I began to feel the boy’s hand touch my stomach. I thought he was again trying to maintain his stability and I again offered my hand for support. He just looked at me and grabbed my bag strap again. I went back to my phone. I then felt his hand again on my stomach and move upwards. Shocked, I moved my bag in front of me, still giving him the benefit of the doubt.
But it was when I noticed his hand creeping up my bag, in an attempt to touch my hand, that I realized what was happening. At the next stop, I got off and moved to another car.
Now, this boy couldn’t have been over the age of 10. I initially thought he was special in some way, but it wasn’t until after I made attempts to prevent him from touching me that I realized that all of his actions were intentional. This is the culture in which I live.
Already I have talked with students who have encountered creeps on the train who have tried to feel them up or have done so successfully. There is even a website showing pedophiles how to get away with it on the trains. There is porn glorifying this sexual abuse online and even in convenient stores.
It’s absolutely sickening.
But as a woman, this is the type of thing we deal with, right? We just learn how to accept this form of harassment and avoid slapping the shit out of someone and getting arrested and possibly deported. Because I would then be in the wrong…
I just wanted to share my frustration with the awakening that I have found myself in a sexually repressed culture that does nothing to protect women from being sexually abused on public transportation.