I was twelve years old the first time I was harrassed on the street.
I was walking down a road in my small neighbourhood in Ottawa with my friend, who was also Asian, when three men in their mid-20s in a car pulled up beside us and said “Hi Asian cuties. We’re looking for some kung pao chicken tonight. Me love you long time. Where you from? I bet you’re Japanese. Are you Japanese?”
I remember feeling shock, confusion and being completely frozen on the spot — not able to speak or move. We were only in grade seven after all. This would be the first of many encounters like this in the years to come. In the past two decades, I have had men come up to me at school, in the workplace, and on the street, sexually and verbally harassing me. Not just for being a woman, but of also being of Asian descent. Some days, I had men telling me of their desire for me to fulfil t
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