Tuesday, January 17, 2012
As a pregnant woman I have been forewarned about the possibility of people neglecting to respect common courtesy surrounding personal space when it comes to my belly. Over all, people have been really courteous about respecting my space and most people even ask my permission before reaching out and stroking my little pregnant stomach. To all those people and people who generally fit into this category with regard to pregnant women - thank you. There have been, however, some pretty rude people who think that just because I'm pregnant, they have a right to aggressively approach me and start rubbing my stomach. This makes me exceedingly uncomfortable and for the most part I have tried to avoid these people. I would like to make it abundantly clear that there is a major difference between reaching your hand out hesitantly for a quick little pat when we've already been conversing for a few minutes and basically rushing into me, squeezing my belly and obnoxiously cooing at it without even making eye contact with me. I would also like to say that for every one person who behaves in the way of the latter there are probably about a dozen people who fit much more firmly into the former category. Today after class when I was chatting with my friends, one of whom touched my baby bump in a very respectful way and was welcome to do so, I was approached by a classmate who, without saying a word, reached over and poked my breast. I was too shocked to say a word, but I'm sure my look said it all. The classmate was female, but I don't feel that the gender of a person who BLATANTLY disrespects what are pretty common and well known personal boundaries is of little to no consequence. I am completely infuriated. My assumption is that she was impressed by or curious about them because, quite frankly, they are pretty darn huge right now. I was also wearing a dress that was pretty low cut (although not scandalously so,) although I believe that, as with gender, what i was wearing has little bearing over what is deemed inappropriate in regards to touching somebody else's body. Despite the fact that I am carrying a child, my body is wholly mine. I reserve the right to all agency over my body. When even my mother makes sure that I am comfortable with her touching my belly, I don't think it is asking too much that others pay me (and my little one) the same courtesy and respect. I know that most people wouldn't even fathom breaching another persons personal boundaries in this way, but I am truly upset about this experience and I think it is important for people to be aware of how this type of activity makes a person feel. Thanks for reading!