Post # 1
Hi Bees, I’m about 20 weeks pregnant with my first. One of my coworkers told me that at our department’s summer party last year, people would just come up and touch her belly without her permission. I was a little shocked, actually very shocked, because that’s just so rude. I will be just far along as she was at this year’s summer party. Then today, I was wearing a dress which made my growing belly pretty apparent. One of the paralegals, who’s a man, patted my belly! I was too shocked to say anything. I don’t want to make things awkward, but I don’t want people to think that touching my belly without my consent is okay. A bitch slap (which is what I really want to do) probably isn’t the best reaction, so what should I do? Advice or suggestions?
Post # 2
I straight up told everyone that I hated having my stomach touched. I did this preemptively in a “OMG, strangers keep trying to touch my stomach and I haaaaate it” way and then everyone was great about asking permission.
Post # 3
You may not want to do this at a work event, but I’ve found that touching people on their belly in response is a great way to get your point across and give yourself a chuckle at the same time. Especially if you smile in a strange way and say “Isn’t it weirdly intimate to just touch someone’s belly? It’s strange right? Seems like the kind of thing one should ask permission to do first, huh?” and then just stand there staring at them, patting their belly and smiling.
Depending on how formal the event is, I’d wear a Don’t Touch My Belly T-shirt. There are some really cute ones online, then you won’t have to say anything to anyone.
Post # 4
Just be upfront and tell them that them touching you makes you very uncomfortable!
Post # 5
Post # 6
I’ve nothing helpful to suggest, but just want to chime in and say I’m in my first trimester and if anyone touches me when I start to show I will lose. my. shit. I HATE physical contact (don’t hug people, intercept them with handshakes, etc.) UGH! The thoughts of it are making me feel extreme rage. I’ll have to report back what action I take in the moment if (when?) it happens.
Post # 7
Touch their bellies back.
Post # 8
breatheandrelax : I’ve had a few people do it. I will either move away or knock their hand out of the way. I don’t care if they see it as rude. It’s rude to touch someone else’s body without their permission. And I frankly hate it.
Post # 9
- Wedding: April 2017 - City, State
Not currently pregnant, but my plan is to just block their hand and tell them I don’t want my belly touched. There is absolutely no reason to feel timid or embarrassed about telling someone you don’t want them touching your body. They are not entitled to “feel” the baby just because you’re carrying one and they need to be made aware that touching people without permission isn’t okay. THEY should feel embarrassed by the situation, not you.
You can also wear this:
Post # 10
breatheandrelax : don’t worry about being polite to someone who is touching your body without your consent. Even in a work setting it’s fine to simply say “don’t touch my belly”. Add a “please” if it makes you feel better. Most people are smart enough to say “omg so sorry” and drop it; anyone who doesn’t would be the one making a scene not you.
Post # 11
My husband’s friend reached over to touch my belly (before I was even really showing), and I smacked her hand out of the way instinctively. Luckily, she immediately backed off and apologized. I think once you let people know it’s not OK, they’ll realize what an awkward thing it is to do. I personally plan to keep smacking, if it happens again 😉
Post # 12
Smack hand away or make a dramatic OOOOOF or wretch and keel over holding your belly. Dodge and yell NO TOUCHY. Touch their face. There are many options. But seriously that’s so gross that people do that. Blluughh
Post # 13
I just responded with a visibly awkward and uncomfortable, “please don’t.” I wish I was courageous enough to rip their arm out of their socket and beat them bloody with it, but alas, any words I can manage when a stranger puts their hands on me equal progress for me, since i’m already a pretty anxious creature.
Post # 14
skibeeire : I used to give off really unwelcoming vibes and I only once had someone try to touch me and even she asked! You may not have any issues at all.
Post # 15
breatheandrelax : I don’t want to make things awkward
The person making this awkward isn’t you – it’s a virtual stranger encroaching into your space. Feel free to smack their hands away, loudly inquire what their mental damage is, etc., etc. – whatever gets them to back away in fear.
I know that we’re conditioned to be “nice” to everyone, even when our boundaries are being violated. Fuck that noise sideways with a chainsaw.