thoughts by carolynn luong
who am i?
Diversity is the main contributor to our world. Without diversity, everyone appears the same. It might satisfy society’s demand of ‘everyone must be equal’, but all we need to do is to accept that everyone is different and that is okay. Many young adults and even children have a time in their lives where they ask themselves: Who am I?
Interracial children struggle to fill out the boxes asking about their race during their standardized testing. There is an ‘other’ box that they can check, but who wants to be an other? How would you feel if you were classified something as vulgar as ‘other’? When their friends ask where are they from, or when people ask about their culture, they don’t know how to answer. These children don’t know where they ‘belong’. They don’t know that they don’t have to belong anywhere.
True, there are many ways you can identify yourself, but most children find it the hard way. Multiple individuals are often bullied before they find their way, becoming victims of the system. Others join clubs and activities, and even make real friends they can follow. They then become a Follower, that’s when they discover who they are.
The simplest thing is accepting yourself. This is the easiest road to identifying who you are. You don’t need to categorize yourself, and you don’t have to fit into a certain group. Children yet to have understood this, and I think that is part of a coming of age, and a passage of life.
Looking all around, you can easily recognize domestic violence and sexual assault, but what are they exactly? Domestic violence often means aggressive and violent acts towards your spouse or partner in your home. It can come in many forms, and may be disguised as ‘love’. Sexual assault appears to be an offense that someone takes towards another individual forcefully and may include threats. The most common form of sexual assault is sexual harassment. Work, School, public parks, shopping malls, subway trains, bus stops, you name it. Sexual assault can be done anywhere and it truly proves what a dangerous world we live in.
Everyone as a child has witnessed their own mother and father in an act of domestic violence. Some children even see it everyday. Children, often also get pulled into the domestic violence, then they become the target of the fight. Likely, the triggers that can cause domestic violence are influenced by the need to control someone, and jealousy. Alcoholism boots the emotions and causes less thinking, thus making the situations even more hazardous than it already is.
Almost everyday, you hear on the news someone got sexually assaulted, in worst cases; raped. In Japan, young schoolgirls must commute using the subway train. The trains in Tokyo are so crowded, you cannot tell if a girl is being groped. Some girls are even raped on the train. Of course, there are people who ride the train, but they decide not to help. Domestic violence and sexual assault are not things to joke about, yet people joke about it each day. Rape is ‘just another word’, and domestic violence isn’t taken seriously. Until people are either the victims or a survivor, they will not be able to understand the importance of domestic violence and sexual assault.