No one would ever consider placing a hand on the stomach of another man or woman without permission under normal circumstances. Yet for many people, a noticeably expecting woman is often considered as an open invite for unwanted and non-consensual touching.
It’s a phenomenon so common that pregnancy message boards devote threads to it and lines of maternity t-shirts warding complete strangers off have actually been spawned because of it. Now, finally, one expecting woman in Pennsylvania has actually had enough and called it exactly what it is– harassment– and has acquired police involved.
After a Pennsylvania guy came over to visit and apparently offered his expectant next-door neighbor an undesirable caress, followed to by a belly handling in spite of her objections, the mother-to-be called the police to have him charged with harassment, specified as an “activity a person takes that has an intent to harass, annoy or alarm an another person,”.
The issue, in this situation, appears to be the repeated offense of the lady’s physical freedom, as described by legal representative Phil DiLucente that although not involved with the situation itself described the circumstances to CNN. ” Here was a woman who was pregnant and (a) man had touched her belly area, which women have to go through all the time, and she didn’t permit him to do that, and then he repeated it, so she decided to file charges.”
We do not have any problem with the idea of pressing charges if an individual does other inappropriate touching, be it strangers or friends. In fact, no means no in other type of physical scenario. Why do we find the line obscured when it involves an expectant belly?
Companies spend hundreds of dollars per company doing considerable sexual harassment training seminars, of which the fundamental principal is undesirable contacting is never ever appropriate, sexual jokes and remarks that make other individuals uncomfortable are inappropriate, and the act of either in the workplace is taken into consideration as an offense deserving of employer reprimand or even termination. . Few people would certainly consider the concept of a lawsuit against a colleague or work setting that allows such behaviour to be ongoing after an individual has asked for the harassing behavior to be addressed and relinquished.
Yet for some reason, pregnant women are addressed in a totally different realm, as if their bodies belong to everyone. Strangers on the street actually feel welcome to talk about a lady’s body, ask her when she is due or if she is having twins as a way of telling her that she literally looks too large. At a time when quite a lot of pregnant women are feeling vulnerable and anxious, their behavior is up for public analysis as well, from just what they are eating to their exercises, such as the expecting woman who ended up being the focus of national attention after a picture of her lifting at 8 months expecting hit the net. In the storm, critics accused her of being prepared to injury her baby “simply to remain in shape.”.
If charging strangers with breaking the law is what it requires to finally persuade the general public that all unnecessary touching is still unwanted and that an expecting body is still the sole property of the individual who is pregnant perhaps it is time. Your body belongs to you and whomever you give permission to share it with. That right stands for all people, especially those who are pregnant.