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A vent about being a "polite" woman.


Carrie12345
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I was grocery shopping yesterday, and I left my purse on my cart (half buried by bread) on one side of the aisle while I was looking at products on the other side.  (So, 3-4'.)  I'm almost 40 years old, so I know this isn't the smartest habit, but I'm comfortable with the risk level.  In the past 8 years or so, there have been 2 purse thefts in our store.  I know this because EVERY incident (purse or otherwise) is published on Facebook and our local news outlets.  I don't really worry about it.

 

So I'm there, doing my thing, and I'm fully aware of an older man in my general vicinity, and he comes over and puts his hand on me. And then he starts telling me how it may be safe to leave my purse in THIS store, but that I would be robbed in the larger nearby town.  He knows, because he's lived there. Just because this place is safe, doesn't mean others are.  I should have a 7-shot revolver in my purse. All I need to do is get a permit. AND HIS HAND IS STILL ON ME.

 

And you know what pisses me off?  I was frozen, with a smile and a giggle. Because I'm a lady and he's an old man???  While trying to inform me of how to protect my cheap @ss purse with almost no value inside, a man was in my personal space, touching me, talking about guns, and I smiled and giggled instead of defending my right to not be touched by strangers.

 

How is this still a thing?  "Be nice, he means no harm" gets people killed.  And yet, there I was, freaking out inside, smiling and giggling on the outside.  :svengo:

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I'm sorry. You'll do better next time, though! Let's see, there's:

 

Back Off!

Stop touching me! (While moving away and giving him the "you are a total weirdo look")

Or the more "polite": Mind your own business (with look and moving away attached)

 

When he says he was just trying to be helpful, say thanks or just ignore him. Send out "foe" signals. Certainly no smiling. Misbehaving children don't get smiles but smirks.

 

Good luck!

(And yes, I have used the back off line in a grocery store. Practice your RBF so you remember what it feels like.)

Edited by momacacia
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DH and I have discussed random touching before. I've had strange men grab me as I walk across a room, put a hand on me to stop me from passing, or block my way when I'm walking down a sidewalk. When I was young, male friends would randomly pick me up. I've never seen a man do things like that to other men without confrontation.

 

DH doesn't do these things, but the conversation was prompted by parking lot behavior of all things. I never leave a store without keys in hand while he always waits until we're right outside the car. It makes me anxious when he's searching for his keys while I wait, especially at night. I was examining my feelings and it prompted the conversation. He can move through the world in ways different from me.

Edited by ErinE
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I would have wished I said, "Yes right about now a 7 shot revolver would come in handy."

 

 

I must be tired, because this is giving me the giggles!

 

I know exactly what you are saying.   Inside the danger signals are going off, and outside I am acting POLITE.   Because I am a GOOD GIRL.   

 

The guy was a little gross, IMHO.   He could have said something to you (even though I think it's none of his business), without touching you.   

 

Imagine if you went up to him in the parking lot and said, "You can park in THAT spot, but the one next to it is handicapped.  So, you will get a ticket if you park in the other spot."   And then you slapped him on the butt.

 

Just an excuse to be pervy.

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DH and I have discussed random touching before. I've had strange men grab me as I walk across a room, put a hand in me to stop me from passing, or block my way when I'm walking down a sidewalk. When I was young, male friends would randomly pick me up. I've never seen a man do things like that to other men without confrontation.

 

DH doesn't do these things, but the conversation was prompted by parking lot behavior of all things. I never leave a store without keys in hand while he always waits until we're right outside the car. It makes me anxious when he's searching for his keys while I wait, especially at night. I was examining my feelings and it prompted the conversation. He can move through the world in ways different from me.

 

Luckily nobody touches me.  I must give off a "I'll tear your face off vibe", but talk to me...yes I do think there is a very big difference in the way people talk to me verses my husband.  And that annoys me.  And what is difficult is I don't even think most people doing it even realize they are doing it. 

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Luckily nobody touches me. I must give off a "I'll tear your face off vibe", but talk to me...yes I do think there is a very big difference in the way people talk to me verses my husband. And that annoys me. And what is difficult is I don't even think most people doing it even realize they are doing it.

The touching has definitely tapered off over the years. It was pretty common all through high school and well into my twenties. I remember one incident in my early thirties where I probably looked at the grabby man like he was crazy. Why do you have your hand on me?!?

 

Maybe I give off a friendly vibe. I had a male friend claim he saw me on the street and I didn't look happy. Was everything okay? And I couldn't help but think: I was by myself! Probably thinking about all the things I needed to do that day! Do I need to look happy all the time?

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How much older was he? Maybe he had reached a point of no social filter. I was in a thrift store last week and an elderly woman came up to me and asked me if I still had my ovaries! I told her that was a highly personal question to be asking a total stranger. She proceeded to tell me the history of her ovaries anyway, apparently triggered by a hot flash. I also got advice as to my reproductive health. I smiled and listened non- committedly while continuing to browse the book shelves. My kids walked away.

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How much older was he? Maybe he had reached a point of no social filter. I was in a thrift store last week and an elderly woman came up to me and asked me if I still had my ovaries! I told her that was a highly personal question to be asking a total stranger. She proceeded to tell me the history of her ovaries anyway, apparently triggered by a hot flash. I also got advice as to my reproductive health. I smiled and listened non- committedly while continuing to browse the book shelves. My kids walked away.

 

holy frack...

 

that's really nuts...

 

(no pun intended...) 

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Am I the only one who thinks screaming like you're being assaulted is an ridiculous reaction to obviously non-threatening physical contact?

 

I can see being annoyed at being condescended to, though. Grown women don't need purse safety explained to them.

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Am I the only one who thinks screaming like you're being assaulted is an ridiculous reaction to obviously non-threatening physical contact?

 

I can see being annoyed at being condescended to, though. Grown women don't need purse safety explained to them.

I think it's equally ridiculous to feel like you have to stand there and take some stranger touching you.  At what point does it become "threatening"?         

 

Sure, going up to someone and talking about your ovaries is hilariously WEIRD.  BUT, touching someone is over the line.   We all know this, do not touch strangers without permission.   Basic social skills 101.   And yes, many people who do this are probably harmless, but many are not.

 

Taking a step back and very firmly saying, "Excuse me!" is completely acceptable.  Yet, people would think you were overreacting if you did even that, and that is what galls me.     

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Am I the only one who thinks screaming like you're being assaulted is an ridiculous reaction to obviously non-threatening physical contact?

 

I can see being annoyed at being condescended to, though. Grown women don't need purse safety explained to them.

 

I don't remember anyone suggesting screaming!  Yeah, I think that would be over the top in a public place like a grocery store.   Out in a dark parking lot... that would be different.    I guess it could also depend on how/where they were touching me. Hand on arm or shoulder, not restraining?  That's outside my personal space comfort zone, but not scary.  

 

Condescending and annoying behavior, yes. If a person was persistent in trying to talk to me and followed me around the store, I'd be nervous, and would take steps to ensure they didn't see me get in my car.   If young kids were with me, I'd keep them close.  

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After the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve (so, nearly 2 in the morning - in downtown) dh and I are loading up the kids and someone grabs me from behind as I was turning around. Before anyone could react the "poor" man sustained a left cross to the face and I was just about to apply my knee to his family jewels.

 

He managed to croak out that he was a parishioner who wanted a word with dh about some Knights of Columbus thing. Dh, who recognized him, told him the take home lesson is to never grab a woman from behind. Ever. Especially if she's worked on the streets in emergency services for two decades.

 

Apparently, he complained to the rector. Meh. Although, to be fair, when he heard what really happened, the rector sided with me.

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Ugh.  I hear you.  I have been groped in public before and responded with silence rather than sharp words or flattening the jerk. 

 

Sadly, this has happened more than once.  My best explanation is that shock immobilizes me initially, and then I can't break the momentum in my brain quickly enough.  To be fair to myself, these things usually seem much longer in my head than they probably are in real life.  I just wish my response time was faster.  

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I think it's equally ridiculous to feel like you have to stand there and take some stranger touching you.  At what point does it become "threatening"?         

 

Sure, going up to someone and talking about your ovaries is hilariously WEIRD.  BUT, touching someone is over the line.   We all know this, do not touch strangers without permission.   Basic social skills 101.   And yes, many people who do this are probably harmless, but many are not.

 

Taking a step back and very firmly saying, "Excuse me!" is completely acceptable.  Yet, people would think you were overreacting if you did even that, and that is what galls me.     

 

It becomes threatening when you perceive a threat.  Which is not the same thing as being annoyed because someone entered your "bubble space".

Of course you aren't obligated to just stand there and a I think a calm "excuse me" would be FINE.

I was more responding to the self-defense class reactions or talk about shooting the guy. 

.

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In different circumstances I have had very similar conversations with myself afterwards - I understand what you're saying.  I think I would only figure out a different way of reacting if I role-played those kinds of situations ahead of time.  I know how to be nice.  I might know how to act in a more threatening situation, but I don't know what to do when it's something else altogether and I don't "think on my feet," so to speak.  It's like I'm still processing the fact that they're not acting according to the normal script, so it doesn't compute.  I always figure out what I should have said a day later.     

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It is very frustrating to not be able to have the "strong, empowered woman" reaction you might have hoped for.  The reality is that an entirely appropriate but confrontational response can escalate the situation quickly and make it unsafe.  As a woman, unfortunately, you have to think about safety.  You didn't mention if your kids were with you.  

 

I had a similar situation at a grocery store when I was shopping with all five kids.  I did the smile and nod and back away response.  It felt weak, and I was a little bit disappointed with myself -- but I think it was the right thing to do under those circumstances.  I just wanted to get my kids away from the situation without any further confrontation.  

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Luckily nobody touches me. I must give off a "I'll tear your face off vibe", but talk to me...yes I do think there is a very big difference in the way people talk to me verses my husband. And that annoys me. And what is difficult is I don't even think most people doing it even realize they are doing it.

You and me both. I've literally never had anyone try to touch me, even when pregnant. However, I have had strange men tell me to "Smile!" Eff off, buddy.

Edited by Moxie
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Please keep in mind that I am in a PISSY mood right now, but I would have moved away, told him to get out of my business, and huffed off.

 

He would have gotten the wrath of my current mood.

 

Some days people just need to stay away from me.

 

Right now I am upset about some things happening at the school where I work, and I will take it out on someone.

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I'd be blaming it on the older gentlemen getting older mentally... and not thinking much about it personally.  I'd be feeling sorry for him though.

 

Perhaps this is due to having dealt with my MIL (severe Alzheimer's now) over the years and seeing her progression and lack of filter or perhaps it's due to listening to my dad telling me all about how much he tries to tell people (he meets) about safety, etc.  Both have mental issues and I feel for those they meet, but I also feel sorry for them as they deal with their aging brains.

 

There's a huge difference between someone coming up with evil intent and someone coming up with "good" intent (in their mind).  The first I would fight or flee.  The second I would listen patiently - as you did - while internally feeling sorry for them.

Edited by creekland
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And you know what pisses me off?  I was frozen, with a smile and a giggle. Because I'm a lady and he's an old man???  While trying to inform me of how to protect my cheap @ss purse with almost no value inside, a man was in my personal space, touching me, talking about guns, and I smiled and giggled instead of defending my right to not be touched by strangers.

 

How is this still a thing?  "Be nice, he means no harm" gets people killed.  And yet, there I was, freaking out inside, smiling and giggling on the outside.  :svengo:

 

If you were freaking out inside, and yet could only giggle and not break the physical contact, then I believe some self-defense and/or martial arts training would be really helpful. For you, this seems to have been more than feeling a little annoying, and you felt genuinely threatened, yet unable to do anything about it. I think this goes beyond being a "polite woman" and is actually into territory where you just do not know what to do. You can learn what to do, though.

 

Learning some simple techniques to deal with these and more threatening situations, would be really useful. Actually role-playing various possible moves is really good, as your body has a much better chance of actually responding in a situation when your mind is numb and surprised.

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I have had some older people ask me things in the store.  I remember one elderly man who was having trouble finding a jam or jelly he wanted.  I helped him find it even though I am not a store employee.  Then another time, an elderly woman wanted gallon water jugs which are on the top shelf.  I got it down for her.  But I have never had anyone touch me.  

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First, your reaction is perfectly normal.  It's a trained female response, and any of us might freeze up like that.  Don't be hard on yourself!  No woman should get judgement for how she handled something - I say if you lived, you did great, ok? 

 

Second, responding with vigor, even verbally, takes practice!  You might like a women's self defense course, or even classes, to train yourself to let rip on cue.  If not, you can practice at home.  Have your teen or a friend grad your arm, and practice saying all kinds of things, ranging from "Get your hands off me!" to "Back off!  I said NO!"  Use your volume and your best command voice.   

 

It's a training and practice issue. 

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Once had an older guy literally corner me and insist I tell him which brand of Italian Ice I thought was better.  I said I don't know because I don't eat Italian Ice.  He would not let me not answer.  So I randomly named a brand and of course that was the wrong brand.  Talk about bizarre!

 

the first part made me wonder if he was asking for advice for what brand to buy - but the second part kinda negates that.  maybe he was having a bet with someone about which brand was better and you picked the one the friend liked?

some people are strange.

 

DH and I have discussed random touching before. I've had strange men grab me as I walk across a room, put a hand in me to stop me from passing, or block my way when I'm walking down a sidewalk. When I was young, male friends would randomly pick me up. I've never seen a man do things like that to other men without confrontation.

 

DH doesn't do these things, but the conversation was prompted by parking lot behavior of all things. I never leave a store without keys in hand while he always waits until we're right outside the car. It makes me anxious when he's searching for his keys while I wait, especially at night. I was examining my feelings and it prompted the conversation. He can move through the world in ways different from me.

it does happen.  it happened to my friend and her dh - she was in the car when the perp tried to get her dh.  (dont' remember if the idiot was armed with a knife or a gun.) friend's dh was FBI, so he didn't  play games.  and it was a perp, not "just" an idiot.

 

Luckily nobody touches me.  I must give off a "I'll tear your face off vibe", but talk to me...yes I do think there is a very big difference in the way people talk to me verses my husband.  And that annoys me.  And what is difficult is I don't even think most people doing it even realize they are doing it. 

 

I think i do too.  a "I know who I am and where I'm going and stay out of my way".

when I was younger and seriously lacking in self-confidence, I got a lot of strange guys singling me out to talk to me.  one was really creepy - but I think he was just lonely as he did prove otherwise harmless.  but one that sticks out is a guy (I'm in a  GROUP of friends, and I'm towards the back) who tried to sell me a broken gold necklace (which I strongly suspect he stole).

 

 

 

How much older was he? Maybe he had reached a point of no social filter. I was in a thrift store last week and an elderly woman came up to me and asked me if I still had my ovaries! I told her that was a highly personal question to be asking a total stranger. She proceeded to tell me the history of her ovaries anyway, apparently triggered by a hot flash. I also got advice as to my reproductive health. I smiled and listened non- committedly while continuing to browse the book shelves. My kids walked away.

 

*my mother* did something similar.  to me,  *in public*!!!!  and when I basically conveyed the message of "shut up mother!" (I'm not having this conversation), she only escalated.  I firmly believe it was complete lack of filter and a reflection of her mental state.

 

Am I the only one who thinks screaming like you're being assaulted is an ridiculous reaction to obviously non-threatening physical contact?

 

I can see being annoyed at being condescended to, though. Grown women don't need purse safety explained to them.

 

some of the stuff I've read said it's better to scream fire or such as then people are more likely to come running to watch the show.  vs potential assault they don't want to be there.

 

After the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve (so, nearly 2 in the morning - in downtown) dh and I are loading up the kids and someone grabs me from behind as I was turning around. Before anyone could react the "poor" man sustained a left cross to the face and I was just about to apply my knee to his family jewels.

 

He managed to croak out that he was a parishioner who wanted a word with dh about some Knights of Columbus thing. Dh, who recognized him, told him the take home lesson is to never grab a woman from behind. Ever. Especially if she's worked on the streets in emergency services for two decades.

 

Apparently, he complained to the rector. Meh. Although, to be fair, when he heard what really happened, the rector sided with me.

 

:lol:   dh has a favorite line that fits.  "the crime is it's own punishment".  if the idiot hadn't grabbed you, he wouldn't have any aches or pains on his face.  he should consider himself lucky his family jewels were left intact! though,, I can just imagine how hard a cop would have been laughing had he called them.   my sil has a friend who was working store security who took down a large male shoplifter.  when she was SIX MONTHS pg.  (black belt in karate).   the cops made sure the other inmates in the jail knew he was taken down by a pregnant woman.

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Luckily nobody touches me.  I must give off a "I'll tear your face off vibe", but talk to me...yes I do think there is a very big difference in the way people talk to me verses my husband.  And that annoys me.  And what is difficult is I don't even think most people doing it even realize they are doing it. 

 

I have that vibe too.

Here, I'd just say, "Excuse me" while snatching my arm back (or whatever he was touching), and walk away saying, "Thank you for your concern. I'll keep it in mind."

 

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Well when something happened to me most recently, I scooted back (well, forward actually because he was behind me, but a chair was blocking me in the front) and said "get your hands off of me."

 

He kept talking.

 

I edged back even further and repeated "Get your hands off of me." **I speak super crystal clear english**

 

He paused but did not removed his body from my body

 

So, I said loudly, "I told you to get your f**king hands off of me!"

 

He called me a b word up real close to my face before he got off me. He came up later to tell me that he is a real nice guy and I got the wrong impression and, also, I'm a b-word s'more. I stared at him silently until he walked awa and asked an employee to walk outside with me when I left.

 

A PP is right. In other circumstances (less public for example) I might not have said anything at all because you have to always weigh the danger of escalation. I am a larger, strong woman who's not necessarily averse to fighting. Almost all men are still stronger and faster and more willing to FIGHT than I am, even if they are barely over half my size.

Edited by OKBud
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<sigh>  more and more I feel like I just don't belong in this world.  Touching someone on the forearm to get their attention is not public molestation.

Especially, if you're trying to help them.  I've left my wallet sitting in a grocery cart on purpose.  I've had it pointed out to me by strangers.  It didn't offend me.  I knew it was a stupid thing to do, I did it anyway.  I appreciated the concern and was a bit embarrassed by my willful lack of security.

 

Old people have asked my horribly embarrassing questions.  I have laughed and listened to their stories and hoped that someday some might extend me the same grace.

 

Thankfully the people I actually interact with in the real world don't seem as easily upset.  (It was great fun to sit in the X-ray area with four strangers all giggling about our paper clothing.  If we'd all been surly, it would have made a uncomfortable situation, much worse.)

Edited by Frosch
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Am I the only one who thinks screaming like you're being assaulted is an ridiculous reaction to obviously non-threatening physical contact?

 

Nobody suggested that - and you don't know what is "obviously non-threatening" to other people.

 

I was more responding to the self-defense class reactions or talk about shooting the guy.

 

You mean, when he brought up the need to carry a gun for "protection", snarking back that it would come in handy right now? That's not exactly the same as suggesting that the OP should just shoot first, like Han Solo.

 

And the discussions about self-defense classes were clearly more about learning to assert herself instead of freezing up - not about going full-on ninja every time somebody is a jerk.

 

Touching someone on the forearm to get their attention is not public molestation.

 

There is a difference between tapping somebody lightly - although you're running a risk with that one if you try it on me! - and touching somebody and then keeping touching them while you lecture them on and on and on.

 

With that said, this guy would be lucky if all I did was scream at him. I have an exaggerated startle reflex. I scream when I'm washing dishes, turn around, and see the dog has entered my space. I scream when I'm walking between my house and the next and the neighbor comes out of his backyard. I once screamed when I saw the UPS guy. I'm well aware that this looks silly, but it's not really in my control. And people touching me? Last time somebody touched me without warning, I immediately kicked back and screamed. Turns out it was my cat. Ooops. Sorry, sweetie. (She forgave me, thank goodness.)

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After the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve (so, nearly 2 in the morning - in downtown) dh and I are loading up the kids and someone grabs me from behind as I was turning around. Before anyone could react the "poor" man sustained a left cross to the face and I was just about to apply my knee to his family jewels.

 

He managed to croak out that he was a parishioner who wanted a word with dh about some Knights of Columbus thing. Dh, who recognized him, told him the take home lesson is to never grab a woman from behind. Ever. Especially if she's worked on the streets in emergency services for two decades.

 

Apparently, he complained to the rector. Meh. Although, to be fair, when he heard what really happened, the rector sided with me.

Dude really should have walked up to your DH and spoke his name loudly as he was doing so vs. coming to you and grabbing you. No matter what his "reason" (excuse) was, he just wanted to touch you. I'm glad you made him pay.

 

 

 

I was groped once when I was a waitress in a bar. I was just about to serve the patron his bottle of beer when he grabbed my boob. Instead of a beer to drink, he got a punch in the face with the hand holding the beer bottle (I didn't even spill my full tray of drinks :) ). When I told my boss what happened, the guy was not so kindly carried out of the bar by my boss and a bouncer and banned from the premises.

 

My fight or flight response is often fight.

Edited by fraidycat
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<sigh>  more and more I feel like I just don't belong in this world.  Touching someone on the forearm to get their attention is not public molestation.

Especially, if you're trying to help them.  I've left my wallet sitting in a grocery cart on purpose.  I've had it pointed out to me by strangers.  It didn't offend me.  I knew it was a stupid thing to do, I did it anyway.  I appreciated the concern and was a bit embarrassed by my willful lack of security.

 

Old people have asked my horribly embarrassing questions.  I have laughed and listened to their stories and hoped that someday some might extend me the same grace.

 

Thankfully the people I actually interact with in the real world don't seem as easily upset.  (It was great fun to sit in the X-ray area with four strangers all giggling about our paper clothing.  If we'd all been surly, it would have made a uncomfortable situation, much worse.)

 

It is unnecessary, and is certainly not polite or friendly, to touch a stranger's arm. Do you do this yourself? The polite thing is to use one's voice to get someone's attention. 

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Well when something happened to me most recently, I scooted back (well, forward actually because he was behind me, but a chair was blocking me in the front) and said "get your hands off of me."

 

He kept talking.

 

I edged back even further and repeated "Get your hands off of me." **I speak super crystal clear english**

 

He paused but did not removed his body from my body

 

So, I said loudly, "I told you to get your f**king hands off of me!"

 

He called me a b word up real close to my face before he got off me. He came up later to tell me that he is a real nice guy and I got the wrong impression and, also, I'm a b-word s'more. I stared at him silently until he walked awa and asked an employee to walk outside with me when I left.

 

A PP is right. In other circumstances (less public for example) I might not have said anything at all because you have to always weigh the danger of escalation. I am a larger, strong woman who's not necessarily averse to fighting. Almost all men are still stronger and faster and more willing to FIGHT than I am, even if they are barely over half my size.

 

rriiiiiigghhhttt ... 'cause "real nice guys" always hold onto a woman's arms after repeatedly being asked/told to "let go.  now."   I guess logic isnt' his 'thing'.

 

 

 

 

And the discussions about self-defense classes were clearly more about learning to assert herself instead of freezing up - not about going full-on ninja every time somebody is a jerk.

 

I think many don't understand that is one of the most valuable things about martial arts.  they help to develop attitude and diffusing skills so things don't' become physical.  but if they do - the ability is there.

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Hmmm. I think I'm finding myself on an unusual side of this discussion for me. That's weird! But the simple touching would not have bothered me. Like someone else said, the condescending tone would have bothered me, but the touching would not have, and I'm not a physical person. Maybe it's coming from watching my grandmothers grow elderly? I've found that so many older folks do the arm touch as well, both men and women. It literally just happened to me at Starbucks the other day, during an interaction I found rather heartwarming. I wonder if that's a "social filter" thing or if it's just a throwback to an earlier generation, when even neutral physical contact wasn't so taboo. It doesn't really faze me or make me feel threatened. 

 

Now, the lecture, on the other hand  :glare:  Only my parents get to do that to me and have me put up with it. Anyone else gets something like "I'm 42 years old now. I'm well aware of how to take care of myself, thank you." THAT is the part that would piss me off. I've had two older women lecture me about leaving my purse or wallet in the grocery store cart in the same way you did. Not happy!

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It is unnecessary, and is certainly not polite or friendly, to touch a stranger's arm. Do you do this yourself? The polite thing is to use one's voice to get someone's attention. 

 

 

Wow, really? If I'm absorbed in something and someone wants to get my attention, I'd much prefer a gentle touch on the arm than someone raising their voice to me. Someone raising their voice to me startles me and automatically gets my defenses up. I've done the gentle touch on the arm before to let someone know they've dropped something or that the line has moved ahead or whatever. That's not polite or friendly?

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Wow, really? If I'm absorbed in something and someone wants to get my attention, I'd much prefer a gentle touch on the arm than someone raising their voice to me. Someone raising their voice to me startles me and automatically gets my defenses up. I've done the gentle touch on the arm before to let someone know they've dropped something or that the line has moved ahead or whatever. That's not polite or friendly?

 

Maybe this is a regional difference.  I am not comfortable with arm touches from strangers, and would certainly not do that to anyone else.  But I grew up in New York.

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I'm sorry. You'll do better next time, though! 

 

This response sort of bugs me because it feels like it puts the onus on her to stop the guy from touching and mansplaining in an uncomfortable way. Like, if you had only developed your rbf then you wouldn't have this issue. And yeah, those are good suggestions for her for next time, but I felt like part of the point of the post was that society trains women to respond in situations like this by letting it happen because they should be "nice." And that sometimes situations like this feel very threatening, like if you respond by telling him to back off even politely, you might be risking an assault or a much more serious interaction because such is the way of encounters like this.

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<sigh>  more and more I feel like I just don't belong in this world.  Touching someone on the forearm to get their attention is not public molestation.

 

You're right it is not. Which is why no one is complaining about a light touch on the forearm.

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Am I the only one who thinks screaming like you're being assaulted is an ridiculous reaction to obviously non-threatening physical contact?

 

 

 

Did someone do that?

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Did someone do that?

That is how I read the post that suggested she say 'Back off! Stop touching me!" while glaring at him like he is insane.

 

Sorry on phone can't quote .

 

I think I would react to a old man grocery store touch basically the same as my husband would. (Be polite-ish to a possibly addled elderly annoyance . ). Not like a woman alone in a dark parking lot would. No rape whistle seems necessary in this scenario to me.

Edited by poppy
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I think there is a difference between a slight tap on the arm or shoulder to get someone's attention, and some continuing to touch you/hold your arm/shoulder WHILE you lecture them about something you think they are doing wrong.

 

You think that because there is a clear and obvious difference between these two separate actions.

 

If you are hugging someone you WANT to hug, and they just don't let go, at a certain point you're not hugging, you're wrestling.

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 Some one is.  Read above. 

 

The above read tells me that someone was explaining to you and others  that they have different personal boundaries than you do.

 

The *OP* is about someone getting in and staying in a stranger's personal space, which is self-evidently NOT the same as a light touch on the arm. THAT some people do not like light touches on the arm has no bearing on the original scenario being discussed. You deliberately muddied the waters by equating your arm thing to what the OP experienced, which i condescending to the OP in its own right.

 

HEAVY SIGH  :glare:

Edited by OKBud
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I don't know.  I can't see that this man was threataning in any way, so I tend to think being polite was the rational response.

 

I'm not sure when or why touching became so very anti-social or improper in our culture.  North Americans do tend to have a larger personal space margin than many others, but that hhasn't excluded all touching.

 

I'm not convinced that a no-touch culture is actually very healthy.

 

The man reminds me a bit of a person who goes to our church - he would totally give a lecture like tat, while standing in your personal space and touching you.  What you don't realize until you've talked to him for a while is that he is both very kind and not all there mentally - anything like a safety issue or a purse left out will set him off and make him quite anxious.  That kind of thing also makes up the bulk of his social interactions and there is probably no other human touch in his life at all.

 

It's ok not to be a touchy person, but that doesn't mean you won't have to suck it up from time to time and just smile and be nice, or that telling the person to bug off is some kind of evidence of strength.

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Maybe this is a regional difference.  I am not comfortable with arm touches from strangers, and would certainly not do that to anyone else.  But I grew up in New York.

 

I was going to suggest that.  larger cities - you *might* tap, you would never ever grab. (and if you do, you deserve what you get.)

I can't think of the last time I was touched by a stranger in a store.

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