A few weeks ago, my mom and I visited Cracker Barrel with G$. Maybe I’m just an overly sensitive pregnant lady but when a complete stranger came up to us and commented that G$ is “almost too pretty to be a boy,” I was seriously pissed.
WTF is that supposed to mean? Are boys not allowed to be good-looking? Should I have birthed an ugly child to meet your taste level? In fact, I wasn’t aware I had a choice in how he looked. Personally, I’m just happy he was born with all his “pretty” body parts intact. Perhaps this is just another reminder of how much we slop on praise over little girls’ appearances as compared to boys? Or the fact that it’s somehow “ok” for boys to be running around dirty and disheveled (in fact, many consider it cute), but if a little girl had messy hair or a stain on her shirt, GOD FORBID. WHAT IS WRONG WITH HER MOTHER?!
I know this lady didn’t mean to be offensive; in fact, I actually think she intended it as a compliment…as bizarre and backhanded as that may be. But can we not just keep our thoughts to ourselves? Are we all so emboldened by social media that we really believe people want to know every thought that crosses our minds? (As I sit here writing a blog about all my thoughts and opinions…)
When I explained my irritation to my mom, she informed me that a Pennsylvania county is making the news for a harassment lawsuit filed by a pregnant woman after a (male) stranger rubbed her pregnant stomach more than once.
At first, I thought that seemed a little extreme. Pregnant women deal with rude and intrusive comments, unwarranted “advice” and much more, for basically the entire 9 months. None of that is a crime (unless being rude and extremely annoying is a crime, in which case I’d be filing suit left and right ;)).
ON THE OTHER HAND, I don’t even like it when people touch my arm while they’re talking. Seriously, stop it. Are you touching my arm to pull me back from an oncoming vehicle I failed to see? Ok. Touch away. Are you a friend or relative who likes to hug? Ok. Are you a stranger at Target who just can’t help yourself every time you see a pregnant stomach? Not ok.
According to my mother, this is a generational thing. For the sake of this blog we will call it “mom generation” or MG. Supposedly, people in “mom generation” did not mind this behavior when they were pregnant. Evidently, they also feel that pregnancy is a community event that should be celebrated, which is what they are doing when they touch stomachs of pregnant strangers…celebrating. According to her, people of the MG are starting to feel that all us “kid generation” members are too sensitive and don’t think anything is anyone’s business, which is why there is so much crime. Nothing is our business, so we don’t report child abuse, creepy would-be abductors and pedophiles, etc.
Maybe she is right. I probably am more sensitive about strangers touching me…because we were all brought up in the 80s learning about STRANGER DANGER. Remember that?! Guess who taught us all about it? The “mom generation!”
I don’t think she’s correct about it being our fault the crime rates are up. I call the police if I see someone left their dog in the car on a warm day, let alone if I witnessed someone harming or harassing a child. Give me a break! Though I see lots of creeps here in the Ridge, if I saw some truly whackadoo person lurking around my “neighborhood,” you bet your ass I’d be on the phone to someone! In fact, we’ve done it before!
My general feeling is this…if you repeatedly touched my hair, which isn’t even a body part, I wouldn’t like it. If I asked you to stop and you did not, that would be harassment and I don’t think anyone would find it odd that I’m upset. So why in the world are people soooo shocked that touching someone’s stomach, which IS an actual body part, might be offensive? I don’t get it. Whatever happened to common sense? If you do not know someone, do not touch them. Unless they are about to get hit by a car, stabbed, abducted, or otherwise hurt. I know I’ve blogged about this 5 gazillion times but becoming pregnant does not make your body community property (even if every doctor under the sun has seen every body part you’ve got!).
I understand the criticism that we “can’t have a law for everything” and that we’re all too “lawsuit-happy.” In a general sense, I think that’s true. No, you cannot legislate common sense. But at some point, don’t we have to draw a line in the sand between what is appropriate behavior and what is not? Isn’t that why we have LAWS? To inform citizens of what is legal and what is not? If you don’t like it, move.
Part of me wants to applaud this woman for filing charges against Mr. Touchy-Feely.