Wednesday, October 24, 2007

T-shirt tour, part 2

People often ask about my "Beware of perverts" shirt, which looks like this:

I really wasn't planning to play wardrobe docent, but oddly enough, an AP story today updates us on the long-running Japanese-train-groping phenomenon (that's groping on trains, not groping trains):

Cell Phone Message Warns Train Gropers

By HIROKO TABUCHI, Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) -- Did you just grope me? Shall we head to the police? That's the message women are flashing on their cell phones with a popular program designed to ward off wandering hands in Japan's congested commuter trains.

"Anti-Groping Appli" by games developer Takahashi was released in late 2005, but has only recently climbed up popularity rankings, reaching No. 7 in this week's top-10 cell phone applications list compiled by Web-based publisher Spicy Soft Corp.

The application flashes increasingly threatening messages in bold print on the phone's screen to show to the offender: "Excuse me, did you just grope me?" "Groping is a crime," and finally, "Shall we head to the police?"

Users press an "Anger" icon in the program to progress to the next threat. A warning chime accompanies the messages.

The application, which can be downloaded for free on Web-enabled phones, is for women who want to scare away perverts with minimum hassle and without attracting attention, according to Takahashi's Web site.

"I first downloaded this as a joke," said Spicy Soft official Michika Izumi. "But I think it could be a lifesaver if I get groped."


LadyBronco said...

Yes, because my cell phone will save me from the herds of wild groping hands that freely roam the subway line!

Uh, huh.

Jennifer Wilson said...

"Spicy Soft" sounds like a member of the Spice Girls. Or a new asian noodle dish.