Updated: Dec 15, 2020
Column: Hidden Meanings
The show Banana Fish highlights how corrupt and controlled a government can be, mentions drugs and also details the violence within gangs. However, the show also mentions another essential problem that does not get recognized or taken as seriously as it should by society.
The main character, Ash Lynx went through this problem.
At eight years old, one day at practice, Ash Lynx was raped by his baseball coach. Unfortunately, the baseball coach was a very admired person and no one believed Ash. People went as far as accusing Ash, an eight-year old boy, of seducing the coach.
Ash’s mother left him at a very young age so he lived with his dad and his brother. His father was enraged at the fact that no one believed Ash and soon he started to believe what other people were saying, and even thought that Ash was selling himself for sex.
Due to the accusations, his father disowned him and made him live with his brother, but his brother soon died due to a drug the government made and this caused Ash to become an “orphan” since his father let society influence him to believe his son was a sex worker and did not get raped, but instead asked for it.
Eventually, without any other means of survival Ash had to sell his body against his will. He was continuously assaulted until he was seventeen years old. Over time, Ash believed that the only way to get rid of his trauma was death.
Now, why did I mention all of this?
Many people in our society believe that it is impossible for a man or a boy to get raped or sexually abused or harassed. But it is crucial that norms like “boys will be boys” or “he is a boy, he likes it” stop being normalized and taught to younger children.
Teaching young boys that there is no way for them to get sexually harassed by a woman or even a man is putting that child at risk. There are many children who go through what Ash went through. If people had not blamed Ash and would have believed him, Ash would have probably lived and would have had a better chance at life.
As a society, we need to be better.
We need to understand that a boy is also a human being with human feelings. Boys and children in general need to feel protected and safe, they should not be shamed for feeling uncomfortable in situations that can become traumatizing and unsafe.
Many men do not feel comfortable coming forward about what they went through because they constantly get shamed and invalidated. By growing as a society, we can help young boys and men grow and stay safe. Although it will not completely stop men from being raped or sexually harassed, it will decrease the chances of a predator roaming free and will make it so more men are comfortable talking about their experiences.
Once again, as a society, we need to be better.