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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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tit for tat: the art of proportional response
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
From the discussion here at sf_drama, context at bad_service screencaps here.

The discussion circled around one commenter in the original post stating that if a woman touched her belly while pregnant she'd grab her boob (paraphrased).

I'd started reading this with a Well, that was really inappropriate to do that (the boob grabbing), but you really shouldn't touch someone without permission, but you know, I was there like, when I started reading comments and the original entry and by the time I commented, I was kind of advocating for a knee-to-crotch, because this is really bothering me.

I think mostly because a.) my initial reaction was to kind of hierarchy the tit above the pregnant belly, and b.) a lot of the comments were suddenly just really horrified at the idea of boob-grabbing, but not so much with feeling up someone's pregnant belly. And I actually don't hierarchy like that with my body; when I was pregnant, I was draconian about bodily privacy. Actually, I was a lot more then than I was before or am now.

I had so little of my body that was mine then; I had doctors and nurses and family and stirrups and ultrasounds and I had to drop and spread my legs in the end every goddamn week to check for effacing and dilation and I hated it, I hated it. I'm not terribly modest like that (for those who have seen me at VVC, I am not one with the modesty), but pregnancy isn't like normal life. My entire body was given up to developing Child and there was nothing that happened to it that wasn't in the view of the entire goddamn world. If I felt better cutting all access to it that wasn't medically required, then that's what I was going to do. I'm not sure that helped per se, but it sure as hell didn't make things worse.

Thing is; when I go clubbing or to a bar or a dance or a restaurant and a guy I don't know grabs me because he is just that into my parts, I'm kind of okay using my knee or my hand to shut down that shit. (This has never happened with a girl that hit on me. They always ask. Even drunk, they always ask. I was once literally floored by that; wait, you want to know if I am okay with this? Really? Like, without a knee being involved? Revelation. YMMV.) I'm not picky on how; it does depend on how surprised I am, since my natural conditioning is to let it go, but surprisingly enough, if I don't have time to think of my social conditioning to be nice and allow it, I won't be nice. And in general, at least theoretically, most people think that's an okay reaction.

You know, here is where I'd usually say, but still, grabbing someone's boob for touching your belly is bad, but--I'm not, because I am seriously not comfortable with the idea that my tits are more sacrosanct that my hypothetically pregnant stomach, and one is unwelcome and wrong but retaliation to grabbing a tit is sexual assault. Which--no. Fuck that.

I think I understand the tone argument from the other side; I'm really disturbed that the tone seems to loosen up what should be absolutely proprietary restrictions on my body. Part of me thinks this comes from perceived power--woman to woman--because I'm not sure that if a guy came up and felt up my belly people wouldn't be cheering for a knee-crotch. If I'm okay with someone kneeing a guy for being appropriate--and I am--I can't tell why I shouldn't at least technically be okay with boob-for-belly being a proportional response. And as it turns out, I really am.

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/28735.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments

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If you're a human being, you have a dog in this fight. Everyone should be able to express an opinion, certainly on something as potentially invasive as touch, whether or not they actually have the various parts under discussion. Because it's not a far reach to go from touching a pregnant woman's belly without permission to touching ~anybody without permission; and from touching with interested curiosity to prurient intent. A progression of invasiveness, permitted by cultural expectations that we all join in.

It's like the interest people take in the weight of total strangers, and the oh-so-well-intentioned free ~advice they give. We're just supposed to shut up and take it, because our condition makes us deserve it. A more negative version of this kind of invasiveness, I think.


Actually (sorry Pesti, I followed you from your journal) having a dog in the fight may be just the answer. Nobody's going to grab a lady's belly when she's got a slavering German Shepherd on a short leash.

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