A kid at school beats you up. You’re locked in, and you bleed. You’re hospitalised. You’re paralysed for life. Then, the teacher comes and says “aw you just ran into a little bit of problem.” The kid mutters a tiny sorry. That’s it.
Now, think about this.
How would you feel if someone tricked you into sexual labor at the age of fifteen? If you’re forced into having sex with 50 or even 100 Japanese soldiers a day? At the age of fifteen, you were scarred for life. Your life as a young women was taken away. Fifty years after the forced sexual labor, Japan sends a small personal letter and names that an apology. That’s it.
Many may feel that the issue of enforced sexual slaves is taboo and delicate to be dealt with. However, this problem is a global issue that must be largely publicised. I, as a fifteen year old, learned about “comfort women” when I was in eighth grade. I personally didn’t feel as shocked or as uncomfortable. It didn’t strike a chord.
But I realised that the in reality, real meaning of “comfort women” was enslaved sexual slaves. I felt uncomfortable. The thought of a young child, just like me, being dictated into sexual labor was shocking. The phrase “comfort women” had been a single euphemism.
The phrase ‘comfort women’ actually mean 200,000 women who were forced to be sexual slaves during World War Two. Small children were coaxed and forced to follow the Japanese and was sent into Japanese armies, only to be raped. Young children, as young as 11 year olds, were kidnapped and forced into rape. They were sent to “comfort stations”.
Where they would be raped by Japanese soldiers and robbed of their innocence. Where they would be forced to have sex with 50 or more Japanese soldiers a day. Where only 25 to 35 percent of the young girls would survive their teenage years.
What does this phrase really mean?
The true meaning of the phrase is: women who gave comfort to men. Women who were dragged into comfort stations, only to be brutally raped, starved, tortured, and killed. This phrase originates from a Japanese word, called Iansho, 慰安所. Comfort stations.
So if this name’s origin is actually from the Japanese, who saw these women sexual slaves and placed them in comfort stations for the comfort of their Japanese soldiers: Why do we use the name ‘Comfort Women’?
The name ‘Comfort Women’ is just a euphemism made by the Japanese to lessen the horrifying truth lying behind the word ‘comfort’. The true definition of ‘Comfort Women’ is women who were forced to comfort Japanese soldiers through sex. Instead of the name ‘Comfort Women’, we need a far more realistic and accurate name.
Enforced sexual slaves.
Perhaps when you hear the phrase ‘Comfort Women’, you may think the phrase contains the connotation of enforced sexual slaves. However, this terminology of ‘Comfort Women’ is merely a euphemism; two words sugar coated into being polite. For people who have learned about the history of enforced sexual slaves, the issue of the name ‘Comfort Women’ and ‘Enforced Sex Slaves’ is a huge matter.
In order for the issue of enforced sexual slaves during the World War Two to be recognised, the first step is this:
The phrase we use to describe these women should show the pain, the terror, and the horrifying truth of the brutality they experienced. The phrase shouldn’t hide the truth below a euphemism. It should publicly show that these women were forced into sexual slavery.
This can be done by a simple act.
Enforced Sex Slaves, not Comfort Women.