The Posterior Problem

As we close out Women’s History Month, I thought this rant would be befitting as it has plagued me for at least the last ten years of my life. Something technically illegal yet so socially accepted that people are taken by surprise if you are angered by it. No, I’m not talking about jaywalking or speeding, I’m talking about the disrespectful act of slapping a woman on her butt.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines assault as the act of committing an unwanted or offensive physical or verbal attack. Altoug the laws vary from state to state on sexual assault unwanted touching of a sexual nature is usually involved. Most women (I won’t generalize) do not welcome getting slapped on the butt, particularly by a stranger, and the act of slapping is by definition an attack, therefore what we have here boys and girls is a common place sexual assault (at the very least harassment) happening to women on a regular basis. We accept it because, as in many situations of assault, we fear repercussion or ridicule.

And let’s be honest, it’s not really happening as we women walk down the local grocery store aisle or head to a work meeting (well not in this decade, although, wait,  there are some EEO cases…), we encounter it most often at social gatherings and night life. Therefore, maybe, in that environment, we are welcoming the possibility of such contact, at least that was what I was told by some very understanding males (please note the sarcasm!). Or perhaps we shouldn’t wear such tight fitting clothes or the short skirts that are in right now (hey J.Lo has a body guard, we don’t). Whatever, as if clothes were always the reason for attacking a woman.

And let’s be real, in an age where some men find it okay to grab a woman he doesn’t know by the hand or arm while she’s walking or ask her for a hug (please tell me I am not the only one this happens to) like it’s common place, there isn’t a big leap to sexual assault. Yet, who talks about it? I’m not a mother but if I ever have kids and have a boy it wasn’t at the top of my list to remind them along with opening doors for women that you shouldn’t grab them or smack them on the butt. But maybe we should say it. And maybe we should also tell our daughters (and ourselves) that it’s not acceptable. And while I won’t promote violence like slapping them back…we should report it if it happens at work or at the bar.

We live in a world where women’s bodies are too commercialized and, as a result, not made our own. However, in the great words of Detective Murtaugh from Lethal Weapon “I’m getting too old for this “s*&^”.
And in other words from the Dancehall reggae singer Patra “my property is my property”, so don’t touch!

Images from jonkstuff.blogspot.com and picturesof.net

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