Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I've got a quick question for you all...


I just read a post on an online forum that I frequent. It was written by a woman who was accosted by a total stranger earlier in the day. While she was waiting for a train, a strange man came up to her and picked her up and hugged her and kissed her on the top of the head. When security came over to see what was going on - her reaction had been to flail and scream and hit out at him - the man's excuse was that she was "cute" and "looked like she needed a hug".

Say what?

Maybe I'm the strange one, but in my universe it is not acceptable to run up and touch in any way, much less hug and kiss, someone you do not know at all. I have trouble with people who crowd up too close to me in lines at the grocery store. I just don't understand why anyone would think it is okay to run up and hug a complete stranger.

What I'm looking for here is an opinion. Is my attitude, that something like this man did is inappropriate, out of line? Should she have reacted differently? Is my admittedly very large personal space requirement typical? Or is it excessive?

The consensus over at the forum where these comments appeared was that, no, such behavior is not acceptable, but I'd really be interested in a larger sample of answers.

6 comments:

Steph said...

I lost my shit regularly on strangers who tried to rub my belly on public transportation when I was pregnant. Don't know you, never asked you to put your hands on my body. Think of the disturbance that WWII photo of the sailor kissing the nurse is now making, with respect to her clenched fist and lack of response. It is NOT COOL to actively touch someone in the ways we're talking about without their consent.

littlemissattitude said...

That's my feeling, as well.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Courtney said...

I have some of the same issues about the people with "Free Hugs" signs. I find it creepy and disturbing that someone I don't know wants to not only touch me, but touch me in a way that I consider fairly intimate. On the other hand, at least they let people come to them...

(beautysmuse from Rav)

littlemissattitude said...

I don't believe I've ever seen anyone with a sign like that. But if I did, I'd likely run the other way as fast as I could.

I'm with you in not understanding why someone would want to hug someone they don't know.

missattitude

LadyLazarus said...

I agree with you. For one thing, people have very different comfort zones and you never know what has happened in their lives. I like random hugs when I'm in the right mood, but sometimes I'll freak the hell out. It's ridiculous, the way people assume women are supposed to magically distinguish between threatening and non-threatening touch in public areas. It's also very infantilising and insulting, the 'you just need a hug' mentality. ...A sign that legitimizes random physical contact is just awful IMHO

littlemissattitude said...

Thanks for reading and commenting LadyLazarus.

You are completely correct about not knowing about individuals' (and not just women's, but men's as well) life experiences have been and what that might make them feel about phyiscal contact of any kind in general, and about hugging in particular.