I initially considered Jon as another Noah, whom I also saw at the time. With his privilege and power, Jon introduced me to an illusion of the world where I had no concerns for the next month’s rent and bills. That’d have reduced anyone’s stress by 50%. He took me to Nobu, where the majority of customers were white men in dark suits. He ordered a cod with a sweet miso glaze, which tastes reminded me of my grandmother’s dish.
Jon treated me very well. He was a great conversationalist and listened to me without condescension. He was interested in what I had to say while he was full of interesting topics to discuss. I wasn’t romantically attracted to him, and he never mentioned his intention or tried to touch me, either, so I felt at ease with him and enjoyed his company. He was in his mid-thirties, and I was 22. I thought the age gap on top of the status gap made us incompatible as a couple. The mere fact that I had a “friend” who was rich and powerful was enough to make me feel good.
Jon sometimes talked of his ex-girlfriends. Most of them worked as assistants at his firm, so the girl had to leave the job when the relationship became known to others. I said that was unfair and asked him if he knew they had more to lose than you did, but he shrugged and said the firm would lose less if she left. I felt sorry for the women but also thought they were silly to sacrifice their job for a man like him. He was fun, but he looked like over 40, and sometimes 80 years old, and his wrinkly face had no attractive feature. And apparently, he was a prick, too.
In his narratives, Japanese women were crazy about him and his fellow white men. And by “crazy,” literally crazy. One woman tried to test his promiscuity by hiring a private detective to seduce him. Another woman showed up in a restaurant where he was having a business dinner to monitor him. One of his friends had a girlfriend who was so desperate to marry him that she tricked him into impregnating her, but he forced her an abortion and separation.
One-sided narratives are never the only truth. If the narratives were flipped, I could imagine the women who were overpowered by the men resorted to a desperate attempt to regain their power. Their relationship was not equal from the start. The men abused their power to take from the women, whose despair another white man would make an opera/movie/song about and sell for their profit.
It felt like my mission then to revenge these men in solidarity with my fellow women. I’d let the men give to me; their time, their attention, their monetary investment, while I keep all I have to myself; my dignity, my heart, my vagina. It wouldn’t probably do any harm to them, but what a triumph would it be for us if I didn’t let them “take” what they felt entitled to!
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