Mar 7, 2019

Snakes on a train!

I am now officially a victim of abuse.

It may not be big abuse. It may not matter in the long run. Compared to other levels of abuse around the world, this one probably ranks a 1 or 2 on the “scale”, depending on how squeamish you are.

But it's still abuse. And should be taken somewhat seriously.

(I apologize to anyone who takes offence from the wording of this article)

I got …futuristically flashed…. on the train.

A bit of etymology: a d*ck pic (or Phallus-photography) occurs when a member of society (usually male) records on a device an image of their genitals and sends them to an unsuspecting recipient.

The motivation for this action is unclear at this moment. A feeling of power, since the person receiving said image has no control over whether or not to see it, giving the sender a strategic advantage. It is also possible to view this action as a sort of “prank” and the reaction of the recipient (usually a mixture of disgust and surprise) is seen in the eyes of the sender as success.

The famous Japanese train pervert image comes to mind. The groping and flashing and whatnot. People taking advantage of the cramped conditions in the average Japanese subway car.

Whatever the reason for sending may be, it is clear that there are two people involved. The sender, who willingly and purposefully sends the image, and the recipient who unwillingly receives the image. An abuser and an abusee.

I was riding the subway in South Osaka on a normal Tuesday afternoon. It was the Yotsubashi line in broad daylight (at least outside). I had about three stops left until I had to get out of the train, so I was conflicted whether or not I should take a seat or not. I decided to stand. This, as it turns out, was a good idea.

I was browsing a website on my phone when suddenly it appeared. In all its “glory”. It filled up my screen, the image and two buttons on the bottom, asking me to accept or decline. That's it. That's what happened. This was an Airdrop! From someone on the train! Someone nearby did this.

Snakes on a train! photo

(That’s just a thumbs up!)

I want to believe my face looked unphased throughout this entire ordeal, but I've been told by many people that I have an extremely obvious face.

I only had a few seconds to react. I quickly pressed the “decline” button and was brought back to my chosen “reality” on my phone. I closed everything, went into the settings page on my phone and found that my airdrop settings were set on “accept from anyone”. I disabled it so fast I think I saw smoke coming out of my screen.

I remember seeing a news article about this sort of thing a few months ago, but didn't believe it was that common. In fact, I refused to believe it could ever happen to me. But it did. And I am stuck with the image branded in my head forever.

The thing I took from this experience is how vulnerable I felt afterwards. Some person took the time to do this act. For whatever reason, they take pleasure of sending people these pictures. The infamous “chikan” have come into the digital age and are abusing men and women equally!

Now, I am an adult. I can cope. But think of how many people have phones. How many young people are allowed to have iPhones. Children even!

Who checks their airdrop settings? I didn't And I paid for it with my innocence.

We all have to share our personal space on the train in Japan. It's cramped, often smelly and bumpy. Out of the hundred million people here, there are all kinds of personalities. Some of whom don't have your best interests in mind. We often don't know who they are until it's too late.

This is certainly not just a “Japan thing”, but since many of us spend an absurd amount of time on trains in Japan, the risk of these things happening go up substantially.

So do yourself a favor. Check out your phone settings. Disable your airdrop. You should be safe until those “chikan” find another way of exposing themselves.



European living the Japanese dream in Kansai