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back to article Japan gets to grips with train-grope websites

Japanese police are planning to "put pressure" on websites which offer pervs top tips on how to grope women on trains without getting cuffed, and the best packed commuter lines on which to fondle victims. Earlier this year, a 23-year-old man who was arrested in Tokyo for molesting a high-school student told police he'd "chosen …

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Anonymous Coward

Yay Bitchslap...

Let's have at it... ohhh wait... I have no such comments. Never really have.

They should just make male only and female only trains problem solved.

Though the end result I think would be bloody murder on both.

Hmm sounds like a good way of population control.

Anon just because I can

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Women only

There are women only trains? How does a man get onto one of these wonderful inventions?

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Coat

Is anyone else...

eagerly awaiting the appearance of websites where the ladies discuss the best commuter lines to grope the blokes on?

I predict commuter numbers skyrocketing when this information gets out. Of course, most of the newcomers will be male.

Mine's the one with the tube map in the pocket.

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Coat

12.53 service to Bitchslap.

Sounds like fine, but I think I missed it, when's the next service along? or is cancelled due to lack of staff or the wrong kind of weather?

Bit sad that the whole thing's so popular, but I guess their culture is a lot different to ours. Still, bloody weirdo's.

Getting my coat or I'll miss the rescheduled service....

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moderatrix

well, i wasnt going to comment at all, but loved the moderatrix footnote.

Several of my collegues should be on that train :)

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IT Angle

Miss Moderatrix...

I wouldn't say that female-only carriages were sexist. I would say the fact they are needed is sad, and that their existence can only further spur the attitude that male is a potential groper.

It's just a shame there's no easy way to identify and remove the perverts, because otherwise I would have said that being all crushed up on a train was a great way to break the ice and meet people in an otherwise cold and impersonal metroplex.

Well, it works in London anyway.

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Grenade

Male only carriages

There is some small pressure in Japan for male only carriages - motions at shareholder's meetings and the like - due to the the difficulty of defending oneself against such an allegation.

I have lived in Japan for 17 years : many Japanese men I have spoken to are ready to acknowledge that there is a problem - the existence of such websites rather speaks to it - but also believe that false allegations occur and innocent people are jailed.

Japan is not noted for the competence of its police force or the sophistication of its detection methods. The standard method of securing a conviction is to hold someone (for up to 23 days) and interrogate them intensively and remorselessly in a closed room without any video or audio record.

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Troll

And away we go,...

Cue rants from feminists who cry "rape" when a man looks at them sideways,..

Cue sniggers from pervs who look at women sideways,..

Cue sociology dissertations from Guardian readers who have never seen a woman naked,...

Cue cries of "eeeuuuuw" from middle-class women who you wouldn't touch with a barge pole,...

All the old cliches, and all the best ones.

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Anonymous Coward

Glasgow Underground

Glasgow Underground needs women only carriages with video cameras. They'd have to ban male staff from them otherwise it wouldn't stop the cleaner who likes to feel up young women. This guy is a repeat offender but because he only strikes when there are no witnesses and it comes down to victim's word against his SPT and the police refuse to do anything about it.

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Grenade

What are they trying to convey?

"more women-only carriages for the busiest times of the day"

That lesbisn groping is ok?

Okay so it is probably mostly men that do it but who would know if a woman accidentally did it? Would another woman automatically think it was an attempt to grope or would they think it was an accident and thus not report it?

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Pint

@Moderatrix

Because we all know there is no such thing as women on women groping....

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Women only carriages

How will "Woman only carriages" eliminate the problem with groping?

I've been groped on a crowed train by a woman.

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12.53 service to Bitchslap

dose that stop at oxford cos it is likley to be more relible and comftubale that first grate westen

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Flame

Women only carriages eh?

Does anyone have the URL ?

Oh, sorry, I misread the story...

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Grenade

Female only carriages

ANYTHING that gets them off the bloody road is a good thing...

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: What are they trying to convey?

Ahhh, brilliant, you found a way to get around it. First rate. "WHAT ABOUT THE LESBIANS INDEED? WOMEN ARE NOT SAINTLY HOW DARE YOU SUGGEST IT, YOU MISANDRIST!"

I would think the huge-numbers-of-men-groping-women-on-the-subway thing is cultural, as in peculiar to that society as an issue. Women groping women has not emerged as a serious or widespread problem which needs to be addressed in this way, otherwise they surely would. Not that women never do it, nor that this doesn't happen elsewhere in the world, but it's a specific problem which...

Oh, I give up. Just grope amongst yourselves, or whatever.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: And away we go,...

"Cue rants from feminists who cry "rape" when a man looks at them sideways,..

Cue sniggers from pervs who look at women sideways,..

Cue sociology dissertations from Guardian readers who have never seen a woman naked,...

Cue cries of "eeeuuuuw" from middle-class women who you wouldn't touch with a barge pole,...

All the old cliches, and all the best ones."

Rants from feminists?

Barge poles?

What have they put in your trough today?

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WTF?

I'm all for women only carriages...

...because that means all the pushchairs would end up in there too. Really, is someone fondling your arse the worst thing that ever happened? When I was a waiter back in my uni days, I'd often get groped by mob-handed hen parties - not always to my taste but hardly the end of the world.

As usual, the moderatrix claims special rights for womenkind, perhaps because she has special needs herself.

Incidentally, is train-groping a particularly oriental pass time? I worked with a Chinese girl who was afraid to take the London Underground in case she got goosed. I tried to reassure her that it was pretty unlikely but to no avail.

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Ingrained

Armed this time with the type of 'knowledge' that the internet seems to convey best, 'ingrained' is my overriding observation as I reread the thousand-year-old, noblewoman-penned Japanese classic novel "The Tale of Genji" (Royall Tyler's 2001 translation).

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Anonymous Coward

interestingly

I heard that it was a problem on the underground in London.

But yeah more Female carriages would help, but seriously the rush hour tokyo metro is a thing to behold, and lads be sure to keep your hands up high lol, preferably emailing on your phone, watching tv, or reading a daily. Fortunatly as a tourist you can often avoid it up until you need to make the return trip home... Shinjuku station with luggage in the morning T_T not the one.

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Ahem...

women-only carriages is an outrageously sexist concept!

Now where does the 12.53 service to Bitchslap depart from? :P

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Pint

There is a part of me...

... that thinks El Reg's editorial team dreams these articles up to give the Moderatrix somewhere to vent.

Either that or as reward for moderating all the Apple vs. Windows vs Linux comment threads.

<- As you'll probably need one by 5:30 today.

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Troll

Whats in my trough? (fm AC McTroll)

A large dollop of rejection

Several tablespoons of enforced religion

3 ozs of "Fight Club" (sifted)

10 cups of alcohol (any sort)

Sprinkled with a healthy dose of alienation

And to think after all that, they trust me with your personal financial data. Mwah aah aaah!

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@ Dazed and Confused

Which one ... tell me ... i fel im missing out on valuble research here

more imortantly- hottie or nottie ??

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Women gropers

Yes there are women who grope men on Japanese trains. Little old ladies who like to pinch bottoms of young men. And they often travel in groups.

I wonder if it's revenge for all the men that groped them when they were young?

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Woman Only Carriages

All the Tokyo lines have these, or more accurately have specific carriages on each train that during specific hours (main rush period morning and afternoon) are women only.

If work would let me get through to Webshots I could post a link to a pictures of the signs.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: I'm all for women only carriages...

Do you people actually think about what you're saying? Ever? Don't you realise what it sounds like? Would you say it out loud to anyone, or is it a special internet-only type deal?

I don't think the right not to be assaulted is a 'special right for womankind', but if that's what you've decided then I'm not going to attempt to enlighten you. What 'special needs' are you suggesting I might have?

Here's a nice little story for you, stop me if you've heard this one before, etc. I had my arse grabbed in the street by some little idiot last year, in the early evening, when I was on my way out with my flatmate. I shouted at him. He shrugged and said he was "just askin'". There was a stalemate for a few moments - he didn't go away, and I didn't want to continue walking as he seemed to be going in the same direction. I started to feel frightened as I couldn't figure out what was best to do and whether or not he would try and do anything else. Eventually, he defiantly grabbed me again, and then swaggered off back the way he had come (to be greeted by his cheering mates).

We went the other way, me shaking with rage. As luck would have it, we passed some police officers who had pulled over a car. But I didn't report it, thinking that they wouldn't think it was worth reporting, and they wouldn't be able to identify him anyway, and even if they did they couldn't do anything to deter him from doing it again, and besides all of that well really look at the way I'm dressed I could have expected it.

I will always regret not reporting it, as a matter of principle, but moreover I am always going to feel ashamed of myself that I felt even for a second that it was my own fault, and that I figured it wasn't worth reporting.

It was an upsetting experience - however, I'm not traumatised, not a bit, and it hasn't affected my behaviour or how I feel about men in any way at all, so no, it's not the end of the world, Frank. But no civilised society should tolerate it, and nobody should be afraid to use public transport for fear of being sexually assaulted in any way.

Anyone else got something hilarious and bravely non-PC to say? Can't wait.

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Ok, let's get this straight.

This is a moderated comments page.

The moderator accepts comments.

Then slags them off.

Wouldn't it all be a lot easier if all the usual pointless cr@p was modded out, leaving us only with interesting or thought-provoking stuff?

Alternatively, the moderator can just sit reading trashy novels all day and clicking "accept". Sounds like a great gig -- let me know when you're moving on so I can apply for the position of your replacement....

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: There is a part of me...

They do it to torture me, John. I'm convinced.

Stick a shot of vodka in that pint and then we're in business.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Ok, let's get this straight.

>>Wouldn't it all be a lot easier if all the usual pointless cr@p was modded out, leaving us only with interesting or thought-provoking stuff?

It would. There's just one small problem.

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@ By Ian Bonham

Best post of the day

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Joke

@ Measures to stop gropers

Surely this will just drive it underground?

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Elephant in room...

... in other news, trains are too crowded.

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Happy

Women only parking areas in Germany

They already have women only parking areas in Germany. Unfortunately, they still let them park in the rest of the car park without some sort of "parking license", so you're not completely safe from being reversed into.

On a serious note, it does mean less walking round the dark end of dodgy carparks late at night when wierdos are about.

Back on the Japanese problem :

Surely there's a market here for a outward pointing taser device? That would stop most gropers after a few jolts. An insulating layer on the inside of course and taser on the out.

Of course, it might make accidental contact a bit of a problem. Train stops suddenly and everyone crashes together like dominoes and the shock goes all the way down the carriage... Hmm, needs more thought.

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Alert

The groping is not just arse slapping ....

I'm not condoning just arse slapping/pinching, but I believe a major part of the problem is a lot of the gropers try to get their hands inside their target's underwear.

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FAIL

Mate in Japan has lived there for years...

... has mentioned on more than one occasion Japanese blokes can be a creepy bunch. They have a very very odd atitude to sex and an almost prehistoric* view of women's role in society.

Some bitingly clever and erudite comments on this page helping to put across the face of the modern IT man. Cheers lads. Lets smash those preconceptions.

*I would wager fair odds there is probably a manga about dragging women around by their hair and hitting them with clubs.

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Anonymous Coward

Purposely Avoid It

I ride the bus from time to time, and I make sure to sit next to another guy, even if there is a few open seats on the bach "couch". Whenever I ride the elevator, if a female is on it or one gets on, I move to the farthest corner and direct my eyes at my shoes. Can't get in trouble if you make sure you can't.

I myself became the object at an ill-advised party. Right after the divorce I was invited to a party at the exes house (longer story about that one). The one and only time I got drunk I ended up passing out. I woke up the next morning and found out I was the latest target of "Jabba the Slut". My divorce therapist told me I did not ask for it, even though I did go to the party with no one holding a gun to my head.

I know my place as a man in my home; my neck slightly flattened under my wife's heel.

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Elbow in the gut

It probably needs more women to be prepared to retaliate, although I can see that there are legal problems with this approach. "Sorry m'Lud, I slipped and my knee made contact with the plaintiff's nuts". I suspect a pair of stiletto heels would do a good job, you could accidentally step on the groper's foot, but once again there are the logistics of safely negotiating the public transport system wearing such awful footwear.

Oh, and @John Macintyre, you missed the obvious reason for cancellation, although as it occurs regularly I guess they could timetable for it.

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@ dapprman

"I'm not condoning just arse slapping/pinching, but I believe a major part of the problem is a lot of the gropers try to get their hands inside their target's underwear."

when I was young and foolish I rember seeing some p0rn movies about this that looked quite scary and "graphic"

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Anonymous Coward

Personal surveilance

All it needs is a fish eye camera mounted on the back of the blouse or a shoulder strap. That'll give the evidence for court.

Honestly ... being Japan, I'd have thought that someone would have thought of that already. Something easily fitted to the shoulder strap of the handbag would do the trick.

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Pint

The Italians do it, too

They call it mano morta - dead hand. A woman's chair interface gets groped by a hand in the bus but that hand belongs to no one, it's a dead hand.

Groping is not purely a Japanese habit, definitely

As to the women only parking areas. I know it says "Women parking" but all I ever see parked there are cars. Not like the "Men parking" areas they have in some clothing/shoe shops where you can park your hubby in front of a TV while you spend his money along with yours.

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Grenade

Witnesses

One thing that would help greatly would be if women who have been groped, or who believe they have been groped (and, according to my Japanese wife, who I turn to for practical experience in such matters, it sometimes really isn't clear, given the intensity of the overcrowding) said so immediately, in front of the whole carriage.

In a "her word against his" situation, witnesses are important. If the women/girl waits until the next station and reports the incident to the police, any witnesses will have gone.

I don't doubt that it takes a certain amount of courage to do that - although with the exception of the groping, Japanese trains are extremely safe places with physical violence almost unheard of - but the fact that many women don't - and instead make allegations after the fact, is, on a practical level, not helpful.

Lest anyone get the wrong idea about Japan, my wife tells me she would be quite happy to travel on almost any Japanese train, at almost any hour of the night. They are pretty safe. "Chikan" - gropers - are an occasionally distressing nuisance - and there is no reason why women should have to put up with them - but they tend to operate alone, in crowded carriages, are usually easily frightened off and rarely seem to pose any more extreme sexual threat.

Incidentally - many men have told me that they prefer to stand on trains, with both hands on the overhead straps, as it is safer. Any allegation, of any kind, and they may well lose their jobs and their reputations - regardless of the outcome of any court case.

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Konichiwa

Having been to Tokyo recently i was chatting with a friend their and he was telling me how his Japanese girl friend had similar problems when she was younger (10 -13 ) and that it went on for a number of years before she went to tell a police officer about it. As she approached him the man who was molestering her offered her a wad of cash which she accepted instead of trying to get a conviction.

Another incident that I noticed was that I was in the technology district and was going down the side streets when I noticed a few japanese biker types walking behind a girl there making grunting noises and laughing and joking in japanese. The girl was obviously scared and walked into a bar to avoid them but its unbelievable that people just allow this sort of thing to occur on the streets. Being in a group of English and Scottish lads (around 6 of us) we stopped to make sure she was okay but the bikers didn't seem to care that they we're being watched at all.

On the surface all seems good but I think that Japan's seedy side is growing and is all very well hidden away, oh coupled with the civilized racism (such as japanese only bars) what seems to be a great country on the surface has some skeletons in the closet!

Have to say I still loved the country as whole and would love to live and work there if possible, this shouldn't detract from the positives!

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Rob
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Unhappy

RE: Re: I'm all for women only carriages...

I remember when I was younger going down an escalator with my Mum to catch a Tube and some bloke gropped her, it was late at night and there was no one else around, my Mum did similiar and let loose with a load of verbal. I've always thought that situation could have gone the wrong way, I was far too young to do anything about it, scary.

You have my sympathies and yes in future report even if the fuzz are completely useless at least you'd feel a lot better for doing the right thing, it's always the next person who they've got it in store for you have to worry about as well.

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Anonymous Coward

Women only parking - My tuppenceworth

Rather than a taser, how about a mechanical hand that points down over the head of the groper and goes "Kwaaark" loudly?

Seriously, I don't know how people can get off on groping a stranger, by definition without consent. I have the same problem understanding rape though. I can't see how the idea of trying to have sex with someone who is fighting you off is a turn on. I guess some people are wired differently. That said, those people should not be free to menace others (women or men, hetero, gay or transgendered, before anyone starts!).

As usual we seem to be focussing on the wrong problem, when perhaps more frequent or longer trains might resolve the issue. I'd imagine it's a bit tricky to grope when you are both seated.

But then, as longer or more frequent trains are unlikely to be made available I guess all we have are options like women/men only carriages. Sadly, this plays to the view that "all men are predators and not to be trusted" mentality that seems to behind a lot of policy making these days.

Re Sarah's experience, the jerk needs stopping, but I can completely understand why you wouldn't want to go through the palava of reporting it, ruining your night out further etc. The ensuing drawn out proceedings would have a worse effect than the original crime.

I don't know what can be done here though to make it easier to report such events, without opening the door to potential malicious accusation.

There is a point at which not wanting to ruin your night/not wanting to make it official etc is outweighed by the perceived seriousness of the crime. That point is probably different for individuals, and possibly different at different times for the same individual. There must be a median somewhere between "all men are predators and should be locked up" and "all women cry rape falsely". I'm not convinced we currently have it in the right place but I don't know either how we can protect both sets of "rights" simultaneously and to the same degree.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Women only parking - My tuppenceworth

There are always going to be malicious accusations, but men shouldn't live in fear of them - you still have to be incredibly unfortunate, and getting paranoid about it and making a big deal of staying away from women to avoid accusations is ridiculous. In fact, just as ridiculous as the assumption that all men are potential molestors - but I honestly don't know any women who feel that way. It's all paranoia about other people's paranoia.

I don't think it could have been easier for me to report it, the police were right there. I just didn't for various reasons, all of which were wrong. Like I said, it's the principle of the thing, and I think I owed it to other women to report it even if it meant I was a bit late going out. Hey ho.

The bloke was just a kid, egged on by his mates, didn't see an issue with it. I don't think you can educate that out of people once they've decided that's their worldview. But you have to hammer the message that it is just not acceptable, and that it shames you, etc... shame of course used to be a very powerful motivator, and as all the oldies lament (quite correctly for the most part) it isn't so much any more, but I think you can still make it work.

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Anonymous Coward

Was it Black Rain...?

...or some other film with Michael Douglas in Japan with a particular scene that highlighted this issue...?

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Anonymous Coward

@Sarah Bee: Re: I'm all for women only carriages... #

You should have kicked/kneed/punched him in the jimmy.

Women (at least in most societies), have the disadvantage of being objectified by men (and women). This can lead to being groped int he street and feeling helpless about it.

Men (no matter the society) have the disadvantage of having external genitalia. This can lead to great pain.

I believe these are meant to compensate for each other. In fact I feel it is one of the few appropriate times to take advantage of this physical frailty.

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Boffin

A reversal of the sexes

(WARNING: the content herein may contradict puerile expectations of smuttiness, or jokes about sex most people lost interest in roundabout the age of 14. Proceed with caution.)

Shame? I can't say I felt it. When working as at IT support person at a large hospital a decade ago, a time when I could drink at the weekend and still keep trim - I experienced what some might call sexual harassment.

During my spell in an environment stuffed to the gills with female nurses, female secretaries, toxologists, oncologists, urologists (you name it) - I'd been wolf-whistled, brushed against in a sexualised way, and received several of the ubiquitous arse-grabs.

Thing is, not once did I feel threatened; but I most certainly felt annoyed.

Is a matter of control? Not once did I feel I could not talk my way out of a situation, nor physically incapable of dealing with it. But I suspect if you'd replaced my 6-foot, 210-pound toned (...at the time!) frame with something smaller, I may have felt differently.

Regardless, it was a tiny crack showing through to how women may feel when this happens to them; a good deal more vulnerable, I would think. Consequently, talk of this sort of thing makes me certain I'd intervene, should I see it happen.

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Unhappy

Ok, I'll bite, here goes ...

@Sarah Bee and everyone: I don't know if it'll help you to understand why they behave the way they do, but as they say, knowledge is power. (Just don't say it to their faces, but maybe it'll help you to just smile knowingly to yourself after they are gone).

"Eventually, he defiantly grabbed me again, and then swaggered off back the way he had come (to be greeted by his cheering mates)."

Some guys show this lack of empathy but not all guys. The ones who arrogantly behave like this are showing strong signs of a Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and the irony of that is they are actually insecure fearful characters on the inside, but that's the last thing they will ever show. Its why their act is an overcompensation of normality. All their bluff and bravado they try to show is all part of their act, as is them performing in front of their cheering mates as they often want to be the centre of attention as well. (NPDs are 1 of 4 so called cluster B personality disorders, and when you find one, you often find aspects of the other 3 as well, in the case of attention, its Histrionic personality disorder, combined with narcissism).

This last part about the act of performing like this is something most guys are subjected to by the narcissists, who want everyone to behave like they do and they often repeatedly condemn any guy who chooses not to behave like them or follow them. Which is why many but not all guys perform this ritualistic bravado style joking behaviour. It gets an ingrained behaviour as they often feel they need to perform like that otherwise they risk being labelled weak or even at times gay. The irony is its the narcissists who are really troubled by such thoughts. So behind the act, the narcissist is actually a weak and pathetic person, its just they cover it with a very vocal arrogant act. They also lack empathy towards others. That's because they are too busy focused on what they want, plus they are often preoccupied by distracting troubling thoughts about themselves which they attempt to suppress with their bravado act (and when that fails to work, they resort to heavy drinking and drugs to suppress their troubling thoughts).

All these gropers with their total self interest and complete lack of empathy are narcissists, but thankfully they are a minority of society. All cluster B disorders are a problem to every society (statistically the worst are less than a 10th of the population, but sadly they are a very vocal and hostile10th that forces its views on to the majority of the human race). Sadly most people don't learn enough about cluster B disorders to learn which people to avoid in life. If all cluster B disorders were finally isolated in the world, we would finally no longer have so many of the problems we have today and around the world.

But sadly these narcissist, revolting, arrogant and often attention seeking scum bags so often fight to get into high places just so they can continue to laugh and put down all around them. Yet in their words and their needy behaviours, they show they are still just as troubled and as tiny and as weak and as pathetic as they have always been and they know this more than anyone. (They need professional help but few seek it and even fewer tell the truth even when they do seek help). Lies are also all part of their game to win over and manipulate everyone around them for their own gain. (Its hard to give summaries of all 4 behaviours in such a small space, but I would say, once people see through their pathetic acts, it really changes peoples view of celebrities and politicians. It also explains why they are so troubled even when they appear to have everything. They are not role models although they want everyone to believe they are and people like them hold them up as role models).

The briefest summary I can give is as follows:

NPD – shows greedy self interest, takes what they want, needs control, power, fears showing weakness – Caused by never wanting to suffer being controlled the way they were unfairly controlled as a kid. Extreme cases were treated violently.

HPD – Often relentless need for attention, caused by lack of parental attention, in extreme cases parental neglect.

Borderline – unresolved sexual orientation in conflict with themselves, (key word is unresolved), they are often information control freaks fearing leaking their true thoughts and fears. Then they extend this control to all parts of their life. They also attempt to suppress others showing signs of what they fear. They also all try hard to show the opposite of what they fear they are. (These have multiple causes, some naturally that way inclined (But some of the most extreme behaviour are from the result of abuse and so are very troubled and mixed up).

Antisocial – The most extreme. Often showing signs of combinations of other 3 disorders and characterised by hostile attitude to all around. Short fuses. They are at war with the world. More likely to be the result of abuse.

The more extreme the suffering (as a child), the most likely they are combinations of these disorders. While its possible to feel sorry for them, once they cross the line of abusing others they need to be kept at a distance and not at all trusted. Plus the most extreme rarely fully change. But none of them are role models yet they fight to be the highest up in society and so is it any wonder we have so many problems in society and why the people in power fail to see their own attitudes are part of the root cause of so many problems in society.

The only advice I've found that works, is don't judge anyone by what they say, only judge them by how they treat other people.

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