Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Confidential Confessions

Confidential Confessions is a 6 volume manga by Reiko Momochi. While fictional it deals with some very real issues that most people would rather not think about. The manga dealt with getting aids, becoming addicted to drugs, rape, bullying, sexual harassment, stalking, prostitution, and more. It tells these in a very realistic way showing the real negatives, though it does more often than not end each story on a positive note.

The manga is well written and well drawn but the very nature of the subject matter makes it a very depressing manga. While reading this manga series I tended to put myself in the character's position (which is something I have a tendency to do when I read anything) and wondering what I would do in the situation. Some of the situations are extremely unlikely but quite a few of them are possible (or a variation on them). I could talk about some of these types of things that did happen to me or people I know in some form but I will not. I'd rather not spend much time dwelling on those types of things (part of the reason I read so much is likely escapism -real life is far to depressing).

The thing that bothered me the most was not the act/thing itself, terrible as they maybe. Rather what bothered me the most was how the people not experiencing it would lay the blame on the person who was the victim. In the story about rape for example some of the classmates others would say things like it's not big deal it's not like she was a virgin, look at the way she was dress she was probably asking for it, she probable enjoyed it why else didn't she fight back, etc. In addition to that it bothered me how the victims would receive additional hardships for example in the story with the stalker the stalker had altered her website to make her look promiscuous and put digitally altered pictures of her up. Since that was done the school blamed her for that and basically said she was an embarrassment and that it would be best if she were to take the rest of the year off. In another story the one about sexual harassment the school blamed one of the girls for it and transferred the girl to another school instead of blaming the person who was doing the sexual harassment. In an earlier post, I talked a bit about the casual cruelty people have. I really do not understand it. Why do so many people have so little empathy and compassion? Why do people blame the innocent victims instead of laying blame where it is deserved? Why do they rationalize it to make the victim (of others or just circumstance) look at fault? I think in part it is because people really do not believe that these things could happen to anyone even them. As a means of not accepting that it could happen to anyone, they rationalize that the victim must have done something to bring it upon themselves.

Another thing that saddens me is that in the manga as well as in real life, the people who have these things happen to them quite often do not go to others for help. There are a lot of reasons for this. A lot of times the person knows the person who is doing the stalking or what not and protects them since they try to rationalize that the person isn't really bad or what they did must not be so bad (in the case of stalking for example rationalizes that stalker loves them and is doing it out of love). Other times they fear other peoples reaction like in rape they fear how other people like boyfriend/friends/associates will react to finding out, or the rapist may take pictures and threaten to post them somewhere if they tell, or that if they tell they will kill them, or next time it will be your younger sister, etc. Peer pressure; for example in the manga story about sexual harassment thing no one would join her against the guy and actively told her not to make a big deal about it and told her it's not a big deal. They feared consequences to themselves. Pride - they don't go to others for help because they are to proud to ask for help or don't want to admit they need help.

It also saddens me that even when they do go to people for help. They don't always get it. The people they go to are unable to help them. Occasionally unwilling to help them or blaming them (see two paragraphs up). Don't believe them. In attempting to help makes things worse or gives the wrong type of help. Become over protective which can be just as bad.

Of course sometimes there are only victims. In the case of a sexually transmitted disease or something there are only victims if neither knew they had the disease. Other times say a stalker for instance could in their own way be as much of a victim as the person they are stalking. They let obsession over run their life and they are in need of help as much as the person they are victimizing.

Here is a link to Tokyopo's website on this series that has summaries: Tokyopop Confidential Confessions

No comments: