Recently I have found myself lying awake at night, racking my brains for the answer to a massive problem. I find myself struggling during the day, as I think back to the young women I have met, whose faces and tears are etched in my mind. I think of all those I have not yet met, but who are facing anxiety, despair and listlessness at the hands of selfish men.
The problem I am trying to tackle is an overwhelming one. It is the exploitation of young Asian women in our country.
As I have discussed in previous posts, Australia is a hotspot for the exploitation of young Asian women visiting our shores. Men’s forums openly discuss ways in which they prey on disadvantaged women and coax/pressure/push the women into providing illegal sexual services within massage parlours. While these forums are not conclusive of all Australians, the attitudes of many Aussie men are heartless, cold and selfish. I’ve seen men rate these women on their bodies, faces, and the sex acts they willingly/reluctantly perform (“average face, hj was too mechanical”) as if these women should feel PRIVILEGED to be handling their junk. I’ve seen men discuss how they’ve paid to sleep with an Asian woman only to find that she didn’t have the body they were lusting after (as many of these women are mothers) which they felt gave them the right to destroy this women’s reputations online.
“She was reluctant for me to undress her. I was thinking what a fucking waste of time and money….I got all the lights off and got her under the sheets…Her body was fucked after all these years. Separated from husband and came to aus. She was pretty fucking dumb and very immature. Talking about finding her prince, into disney… talking about other romantic bullshit. As a shallow gutless male I tapped her a few times (average root) and then made an excuse that I needed to travel for work and didn’t see her again. To reiterate, having kids can really fuck up a woman’s body.”
Meanwhile, others joke about how they hate our government allowing more foreign workers into Australia – unless of course, they are young Asian women that can be exploited.
“This will mean an influx of women coming to Aus, not being able to find work, and ending up in the brothels. More for us!” they gloat.
Reading through these wicked, selfish discussions often makes me so angry that I can’t do anything other than try to dissociate from the injustice of it all, and move on. It was during one of my daydreaming sessions that I suddenly realised: even if I couldn’t stop all of this, I could still make a difference. All I had to do, was one thing at a time.
To show love.
I thought back to a young girl I had met in a massage venue one night. Nervous, trembling and obviously distressed, this young woman showed all the signs of something ‘not being quite right.’ As she began to massage me, I tried to strike up a conversation to calm her nerves. As we were talking I asked her how her day had been…there was a pause, and then suddenly she burst into tears. With her hands shaking on my back, she tried to compose herself, eventually telling me that she had had a bad experience with a man just before me who got very upset and demanded his money back. Her manager gave staff no training, which made her a prime target for harassment. I hugged this young girl and let her know that it wasn’t her fault, and that she had every right to ask her manager for more training. She seemed so lost…so lonely.
I really felt for this young girl, and as the weeks passed I continued to think of her and wonder how things were. It was then that I had a brainwave…I could do something for this young girl and others like her…I could start small, with community funded projects that gave assistance to young women – whether it be something as simple as providing them with transport to/from work, or providing them with a ‘fun day out’, where they could experience something new in our city. Eventually I would like to be able to offer young women workshops where they can learn massage and shiatsu techniques from professionals, so that they can gain work in legitimate businesses.
A few days ago I returned to the massage parlour, where I was greeted by the young Asian woman with an excited hug. When she recognised me, her voice picked up and she instantly looked happier. As we chatted I told her I had a small gift for her, to which she excitedly exclaimed, ‘Oh! A gift? So sweet!‘ I explained that our little community group would like to treat her to a day out of her choice, where she could do anything she liked.
“I believe you deserve to experience the best of our country while you’re here, and I know it’s hard when you’re a student and you need to save money.
“So I’d like to give you this,” I said, handing her a voucher.
The young girl seemed somewhat confused. “How much will it cost?” she asked.
“No, no,” I explained. “It’s free. Whatever you’d like to do, we will pay for you to do.”
“Ohhh,” she said, beginning to understand what I was saying. “Oh, thank you. Thank you Sheenah!” her eyes looked somewhat teary, and she spoke 5 beautiful words.
“Thank you for remembering me.”
It was a great start to Operation Kindness, and really proves that you can make a difference in your community with just one small step at a time.
Even if the men in our community can’t see it yet, these girls are worth a million times their weight.