I was in the not unusually crowded train with barely a couple of centimetres’ space between myself and all other commuters around me when the girl in front decided to swing her hands around to the back to try to get her arms through the strap of her haversack when I felt her fingers brush past my left inner thigh. My defence system sounded and I was on the verge of shouting 痴漢！(chikan, which means “molest”— except I wasn’t really going to do it), when it struck me that no one’s going to do anything about it even if it were real.
Societal perceptions in parts of the world seem to have a genocentric inclination. As a former linguistic student, I’ve had my experiences with a number of lecturers who are known feminists. While there are some things which I feel are overdone, and unnecessarily read too much into, there were a number of well-formed arguments that made me agree with them on a considerable level. Considerable enough to make me write two papers on feminism in my final semester. And pro-feminist theses at that.
But the recent molestation case, I mean epiphany, made me realise that many women in the world today have no problem understanding and accessing what the feminists are preaching but still prefer and enjoy what the pro-feminists call being “framed” into pre-conceived roles and/or what society deems appropriate behaviour. But let’s face it, the world where feminists preach their stuff is liberated enough to accept both women and men who prefer to behave otherwise from what used to be convention. People nowadays are less constrained by their gender and their remaining in “traditional roles” are but a choice; a choice which happens to be made by more than the feminists are comfortable with. It would serve better that these ideas be proliferated to areas of the world where women still have very few rights.
But… sometimes I fear about being molested too, you know?