No, really, do NOT fucking touch my children without permission

Several people have said, “Oh, but touching his clothed foot wouldn’t likely spread flu”. Or “You shouldn’t have swatted that man’s hand away.” Or “You could have been more polite about it.”

One person even suggested that not letting people touch my children in public might create problems for my children in being touched as adults.

You know what? I was raised to know that my body was my own, and that if someone I didn’t know tried to touch me without permission, I was absolutely within my rights to yell, “No!” and leave.

That I didn’t have to be polite about it.

It was a good lesson to learn. Would have been even better if it had included that if people I did know tried to touch me without permission, I was STILL within my rights to yell, “No” and leave, but regardless, it served me very well with strangers.

I can name at least three times in my life where that lesson got me out of a situation that could easily have turned into severe molestation or rape, ONLY having been touched once in a way I didn’t like.

On one occasion, a man reached out and grabbed me–my crotch–when I was nine, and I pulled away and yelled no and then ran. He sounded so surprised I wouldn’t just let him. Makes me wonder how many girls did.

Another occasion, a friend’s makeout buddy reached out WHILE MAKING OUT WITH HER and grabbed my breast while I was trying to sleep. I yelled, “No!” and threw my clothes on and left.

On a third occasion a boy ran his hand up my leg because I had the audacity to wear nylons, and I told him to stop and when he got snippy I got the teacher. Who was an ass but that’s another story. I made it stop.

My child learns about loving, healthy touch and boundaries by being touched in appropriate ways by people who love him and by having his boundaries respected.

So yes, when people violate my son’s personal space and mine (the guy’s hands were inches from my chest, he had to put his hand between me and the cart to grab Miles’ foot, and he was not holding it gently, I had to use some pressure to push his hand away) I will respond reflexively by telling them “No” and pushing them away, and then leaving.

I will NEVER apologize for that reflex.

And that, my friends, is why you should not touch strangers’ children without permission.

Because doing so, you’re violating boundaries.

That, and because you really do not want to trigger a defensive reaction in someone who may be a survivor.

It doesn’t even have to be about the germs. Bodily autonomy is plenty reason enough.

He’s lucky I didn’t slug him.

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2 Responses to No, really, do NOT fucking touch my children without permission

  1. Annabelle says:

    Yes. This. Miles is lucky to have parents the look out for his body rights before he can. Woot.

  2. Colleen says:

    You are awesome, and are within reason. It is always OK to tell people to back the hell off. Your kids are YOURS, and the peanut gallery of unknown strangers don’t know why you aren’t into touching. Maybe its for their own good, like your kid had a case of the ringworm cooties or the like, or tiny athletes foot. hrmph.

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