I just read an article written by Sarah Naomi Clark and shared on jennifermargulis.net titled “Go Ahead, Touch My Belly! 3 Reasons Why Pregnant Women Should Stop Complaining About Belly Touchers” and I was left with my jaw on the floor.
What this article did was give excuses why unsolicited touching of a woman’s body should be celebrated simply because ‘pregnancy belly’. That pregnant women need to “CHILL OUT” when someone touches her and that we shouldn’t complain.
No. Just no.
NO! NO! NO!!!
Sarah, You will not turn pregnant women into petting zoo exhibits. You will not give reasons why we should toss aside our privacy and our bodily autonomy simply because my belly is thriving with human life. ITS STILL MY BODY!!
Lets talk about the word “Permission”. Because no where in your write up did you mention it. Permission is defined as the “authorization granted to do something; formal consent: to ask permission to leave the room. 2. the act of permitting.”
When you tell women to “CHILL OUT” and let strangers or even family touch them, you are telling them that another persons inability to comprehend the word ‘permission’, overrides a mothers rights to not have her belly pawed by these strangers. Where did manners go now days? Boobs make men happy, they unite women who breastfeed, should we “chill out” when people walk up to us and touch? NO! You’d probably get smacked in the face if you did that to someone without permission!!!
And you are also forgetting the thousands of sexual abuse survivors (like myself) who have been working overtime to get our bodies back from being a petting zoo exhibit from someone else who didnt understand the word ‘permission’. Thats my biggest complaint! WE OWN OUR BODIES AND IF WE WANT TO COMPLAIN ABOUT PEOPLE TOUCHING THEM FOR WHATEVER REASON, WE WILL!! You dont get to tell us what we should and should not deem as acceptable behaviors from others. You didnt even take us into consideration before writing your insulting post!
I dont really care if “Not that many people touch the belly”. I hated being touched. Touch made me squirm like I was bathing in a pool of maggots.
I dont really care it “People are EXCITED about your baby”. They can be excited and not put their hands on my belly. Or at least until they ask permission.
I dont really care if “the joy of a new life united humanity”. So does the joy of having the rights to tell people when they can and cannot feel that life inside me through belly touches.
“How can we be irritated when people love that you are pregnant and want to touch your growing belly to acknowledge this miraculous cycle of life?” Im not irritated at being loved when Im pregnant and people wanting to acknowledge the cycle of life. Im irritated that people cannot respect my space and rights to be asked before they touch me.
You close your blog off with “Go ahead, touch my belly!” giving permission to the world to go ahead and fondle your beautiful pregnant belly. Go you! Thats what YOU are comfortable with.
I close my blog off with…
If you see me on the streets, and you want to touch my belly, ASK FIRST. If I say yes, Go ahead, touch my belly! But if you walk up to me and start to grope my stomach without asking, I will probably scream ‘STRANGER DANGER’ and embarrass the shit out of you!!