If A Woman On A Train Tells You Not To Touch Her, Run!

The Waseda International Club put together an excellent presentation for new students, followed (of course) by a party in the cafeteria. Most of the content was pretty interesting, but my favorite was the section on sexual harassment. The topic at hand really wasn't funny at all, but the way it was presented made it hilarious.

I didn't think to photograph the slides, so you'll have to imagine this.

Setting: our protagonist ボッブ(bob), who has just visited Harajuku and Shinjuku, is on his way home on the train.
-[Sketch: a elementary sketch of a woman on a train. A speech bubble reads, "DON'T TOUCH ME!"]

Next slide: "Why did the woman say 'Don't Touch Me?"
(The presentation has been in the form of a quiz so far, so the question doesn't seem that out of the ordinary)

Next slide: answer choices
"Choice 1: Bob touched the woman."
"Choice 2: The woman pretended Bob touched her so she could get the money."
(I don't think the students ran their translations by an English speaker)

Here we pause, as a student explains to us that women sometimes accuse men of sexual harassment in order to extract money from them. Sexual harassment charges are difficult and expensive to fight, so men are often left with no choice.

Next Slide:
-"What should we do to avoid this situation?"
-"Choice 1: Attach your hands to a strap so everyone can see them" (presumably, the handholds on the train)
"Choice 2: Don't stand near women"

There was no "Choice 3: Champion education for both genders, stressing that while sexual harassment is a serious problem in Japanese society, frivolous claims do nothing but cheapen real assertions of harassment, hurting women in the long run." Hmm. They weren't too clear on which choice was the better one; the presenters seemed to think that either was a pretty good idea.

Next Slide:
"What should we do if a woman says "Don't Touch Me!" ?

Next Slide:
-"Choice 1: Settle out of court (ie give her the money demanded)"
-"Choice 2: Run!"

I expected to hear that the right choice would be to ask witnesses for help, to immediately go to the nearest police officer to explain the situation, so note the time and place to retrieve security camera footage, or something along those lines. Nope. According to the presenters, and apparently according to a general consenses of Japanse civil attorneys, the best course of action is to run away as fast as you possibly can. The presentation ended here, which was really the best part. I don't think I've ever seen a presentation on sexual harassment that matter-of-factly concluded that women will try to extort money from you by claiming you groped them, that there's no way to reasonably avoid or diffuse the situation, and that if it happens, you should probably run.

It was followed by a short presentation on the various turn-ons of Japanse guys and girls. If you're trying to pick one up, try the following:

Guy:
-Pulling his sleeve as he walks away
-Calling him "Baka (idiot)" or "Usotsuki (liar)"
-Asking him what he's reading
-Feeding him

Girls:
-Rolling up your sleeves
-Smoking
-Loosening your tie
-Backing up the car by turning your head to look through the rear window, turning the wheel with one hand, and bracing your other against the back of the passenger seat. I can confirm this one; the first time I drove a past Japanese girlfriend downtown, I started parking like I usually do, with two hands on the wheel, using my mirrors. She let me know that I was missing a major turn-on opportunity, and explained the exact method they showed in the presentation. I thought she just had some sort of odd fetish for particular methods of backing cars up, but I guess it's a universal thing across Japanese women.