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Avoiding unwanted intimacies ?  [message #68277] Sat, 25 January 2014 16:07 Go to next message
NW is currently offline  NW

On fire!
Location: Worcester, England
Registered: January 2005
Messages: 1555

There's been a lot of stuff in the news recently about men paying unwanted attention to women, and especially unwanted and/or inappropriate touching. Obviously, no woman should have to put up with that kind of thing.

But I think there's a danger of double standards. I find myself dreading the kind of women who expect to be help and air-kissed on the cheek ritually three times whenever I meet them. It's something I feel really uncomfortable with: it's an assumption of intimacy that I don't buy into.  And then there are the large number of women who find it necessary to hold on to my arm while talking, or touch my arm (or knee, if we're seated next to each other) to emphasise every point they make.

It's not women as such (it's anyone doing it that I don't feel is a very close friend, and so happy with the touching thing), but somehow men never seem to do it.

Am I alone in feeling this? If not, how do other people manage to discourage such unwanted intrusions?

"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. ... Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night devoid of stars." Martin Luther King
Re: Avoiding unwanted intimacies ?  [message #68278 is a reply to message #68277] Sat, 25 January 2014 19:20 Go to previous message

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13678

I decided to tolerate cheek kissing after being invited to a wedding in Sicily of a Sicilian lass to a lad form the Netherlands. The kissing rituals were easier to join in with than to avoid. It was most interesting watching dark suited Sicilian men cheek kissing dark suited Sicilian men. It was very obvious who was in an organised hierarchy and at what level from the ritual kisses. Some of these gentlemen we chose not to photograph.

I do not like the familiar touch by the unfamiliar person. I simply do not react to it in any way. Amusement sometimes tempts me to knee patting in return, but I never have. I suspect it's a type of assertion of unavailability when a woman persistently touches a man's knee. "Look, I am NOT available and I am in charge of this situation." is what I read into it.

The pure air kiss with cheeks not touching, though, that is banal and affected in the extreme!

Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
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