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(5,737 posts)
Fri Oct 14, 2016, 01:06 PM Oct 2016

As my wife and I were watching some of both MSNBC and CNN last night, something hit me.

I recalled that over the years, I have seen men (usually in management positions, but not always) walk up behind a female and start rubbing her shoulders; sort of like a massage. I always felt like that was like him crossing a certain line. I have even said something to a couple of guys about it afterward and they brushed it off saying the women "liked" it or they would have said something. My reply was always "don't count on that". I even asked them if they wanted some guys rubbing on their wives, and both said that was harmless. My reply was always that I wasn't raised that way.

I've seen this same thing in others places, and it always made me feel uncomfortable for the female. We really do ALL need to have THIS conversation.

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Mike Nelson

(10,110 posts)
2. I think...
Fri Oct 14, 2016, 01:14 PM
Oct 2016

...George W. Bush may have done this to Angela Merkel during some German conference. I might be "misremembering" (a GWB word), but recall something like this - and it startled Ms. Merkel. I think it's wrong - and sexist.


(45,806 posts)
3. You know, I worked for 40+ years and NEVER had anyone do that to me.
Fri Oct 14, 2016, 01:15 PM
Oct 2016

Sure there were passes, sometimes unwanted leers, but never touching of any kind. Maybe it was because I was an accountant, or because the "woman's movement" began just as I entered the workforce. OR maybe because I spent 28 of those years working in Pgh. Pa. It does seem to me the southern culture is different and more inclined to ignore legal warnings, like when GWB rubbed the shoulders of Angela Merkel.

Maru Kitteh

(28,420 posts)
5. They do it to show dominance, your discomfort is justified
Fri Oct 14, 2016, 01:16 PM
Oct 2016

It's not okay to touch people without permission.

It's REALLY not okay to approach women from behind and start handling them in any way without permission.



(15,832 posts)
6. Yeah I had a manager that used to do that.
Fri Oct 14, 2016, 01:19 PM
Oct 2016

We found it inappropriate as hell. I didn't let him get near me. One woman was too polite so he rubbed her shoulders often.

He's no longer here. If he came back, many people would quit. I've run into him professionally over the years and I still struggle with being nice to him.


(15,696 posts)
7. Your post is what keeps me coming back to DU.
Fri Oct 14, 2016, 01:19 PM
Oct 2016

I know we women don't say this enough here, but we're not including DU men when we rant about sexism in general. This has always been a safe place for everyone, and I thank you and all men here for proving it every day!


(8,168 posts)
8. There was a guy who used to work in our office who did this all the time
Fri Oct 14, 2016, 01:20 PM
Oct 2016

He was known to be a whore and I always found the practice lead to an uncomfortable work environment (I'm a guy, FYI.) Nothing like this should be allowed in the work environment because it's almost always a form of flirting and hardly ever an 'innocent' thing.


(15,430 posts)
9. I've had it done to me by a male manager
Fri Oct 14, 2016, 01:58 PM
Oct 2016

And I'm a guy.

It was done in what is supposed to be a more playful, male way... like a couple steps down from getting a noogie or snapping towels in the locker room, if that makes sense. He literally snuck int my cubicle and put his big meathook hands on my shoulders (and I'm by no means a small guy) to ask me if I was joining everyone else for drinks after work. Which I never did since I don't drink, and aside from a couple of fellow programmers, I didn't care to deal with my co-workers more than I needed to. Not that I wasn't friendly, etc. but once work was over, I had better things to do.

And I'm not saying, "Oh, boo-hoo, men also suffer," but to agree that it's a dominance thing, and it happens to women waaay more. This particular manager was a big guy and big on physical dominance - he had no problem with bloodying your nose during a friendly game of basketball over lunch and would often lose his temper if other managers (especially the women ones) didn't let him have his way. He was eventually fired, but it took too long in my opinion, and I'm sure whatever business-lingo excuse they put in his file translated to, "Total dickhead."



(55,129 posts)
11. Guy was probably closeted.
Fri Oct 14, 2016, 02:33 PM
Oct 2016

I had a guy in a golf group once who whenever I road in the cart with him would always find a way to squeeze my thigh as a form of praise for a good shot.

I would pull his hand off me and finally made sure not to ride with him again.

I didn't expose him to the others, though I thought about it. Decided not to in case I read the situation wrong but I do know straight guys usually just touch each other in a handshake, or fist bump or shoulder hug and handshake after not seeing each other for a long time.


(15,430 posts)
14. No, I don't think he was closeted. Just used physical intimidation on both sexes
Fri Oct 14, 2016, 02:43 PM
Oct 2016

Plus he really hate me and my neighbor. We were the office clowns, and the only people not afraid of him (we were young and stupid) and would openly mock him to his face, call him out on BS, etc.



(34,156 posts)
12. I hate having anyone get physically close to me
Fri Oct 14, 2016, 02:40 PM
Oct 2016

Most of the time I avoid crowds but even - or especially - in less crowded areas I don't want people getting too close to me.

One time at work (the one job I had in an office setting) I felt someone come up behind me so close I could feel their body heat all along my back. I stuck my elbow out from my side and turned sharply which plunged my elbow into the man's soft abdomen. He never got within five feet of me again.

I do the same think in crowds if I feel too pushed. It's not as if I am sticking my elbow out very far, just at an angle that would hit anyone within six inches of me when I turn. In crowds if I hit someone with my elbow I immediately apologize and say something like, "I didn't realize you were THAT close!"

If anyone ever started massaging any part of me without my permission - even my husband - they would regret it immediately.

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