Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Pregnancy doesn't make my body public property

I don't know why people assume that because a woman is pregnant, they have the right to touch her body UNINVITED. They do not. So far, this has only been a problem with male friends (maybe the female ones are smarter?). If it isn't appropriate when I'm not pregnant, it certainly doesn't magically become so when I am. It is doubly inappropriate from friends with whom you do not have a friendship that is physically expressive. Now, everyone has some friends who DO express their affection physically (in the NICE way - hugs, etc.), but the belly is not even part of that. If everyone was touching my shoulder because I was pregnant, it wouldn't bother me. But the belly (especially the lower belly) is not an area that is normally handled by anyone but my GP and my husband. I can understand people might want to feel a baby kicking, but honestly, I am very obviously parked in the first trimester right now, and I can tell you that the baby is only just starting to form bones. Even if I had a giant belly complete with motile baby, I would expect that friends would have enough respect to ask before touching, and to accept whatever answer I gave. The next person who greets me by hunting for my uterus with their fingers, will get their fingers broken. I am dreading running into people that I have told on the phone, because I am worried they will try to take liberties when they see me in person. My patience is wearing thin, and I know that the next person who crosses this line will be the recipient of my frustration, and perhaps also the aforementioned shattered digits.
There was a little ditty we learned in grade school that goes something like this:
"My body's nobody's body but mine/You run your own body/Let me run mine". There was also an accompanying video (and a set of steps like "Say no, go, tell someone!"), but I think the song is sufficient.

1 comment:

T said...

I wonder if being short and long-haired has prepared me for the lack of personal space that seems to be involved in pregnancy? What is it about people that they think it's a good idea to pick up, poke, and otherwise physically molest people just because there's something different about them? My sister recommends clawing people periodically. Not so polite, but way more effective than anything I've tried.

My sympathies on the unwanted touching, anyhow. If you need some T-shirts or buttons that say "DON'T TOUCH ME" I'm sure we could work something out.