Comfort Women Without Voices
Things happen during wars that leave people damaged as human beings for their entire lives and cost more than just money. This was especially true for the soldiers, granted these soldiers inflicted damage on others. The story of the comfort women is one that is appalling to say the least. In these times, there is human trafficking but it in no way is government instituted. These things in most countries would not happen today because of the media, social media, and the internet. Telling this story is important as the victims of these crimes are aging so many of their stories might die with them if nobody exposes it.
There were Japanese and Korean comfort women throughout the 1940’s and 1950’s. If you ask what exactly is a comfort woman? A comfort woman was a woman who was forced into prostitution by the government whether it was their own or a foreign government. The comfort women were required to commit prostitution to keep the morale of the soldiers in their territory up. The Japanese used these comfort women to keep their own soldiers calm and keep them following orders without any pushback. The Korean government used the comfort women for their own soldiers but mainly to keep the US troops who were occupying the territory happy. Not only happy, but some lawmakers proposed to have more comfort women where US troops were so they would not go to Japan and spend money on their prostitutes. This is such an egregious abuse of the government’s power for the economy even if it meant traumatizing their own citizens.
Comfort women came from a variety of different backgrounds. It was not uncommon for the women to be abducted from Japanese occupied territories in the middle of the night then have the girls be shipped to a comfort station. Other times, the women were promised jobs and instead taken to the comfort stations and forced to commit prostitution. Comfort stations were only supposed to consist of volunteers but this rule was ignored on an enormous scale. Many of these women endured physical beatings daily and feared for their lives constantly. The reason that they had feared for their lives is that roughly 75 percent of the comfort women died while they were working there. If the women refused to perform acts on the soldiers or refused to work in the comfort station, they were reprimanded severely. These punishments varied from brutal beatings to the more extreme executions. They military members who ran these comfort stations ruled with fear and it traumatized the women.
Obviously women who worked in the comfort stations have mental trauma. Even some 60 years after their participations in the government run brothels, women still have flashbacks and mental problems associated with their time there. Telling this story of the comfort women is more than important as these atrocities shouldn’t be forgotten. Recently, some comfort women are seeking retribution from their governments. In this writer’s opinion, there is no amount of money that could pay them back but they should be paid handily for their government putting them into sexual slavery.