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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #32)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 10:47 PM

57. I'm a woman. An older woman. A grandmother.

 

I hug people. I am small so I hug them above the waist.

When I lived in Europe, as did everyone else, I hugged and kissed people (in France sort of a symbolic kiss on each side of the face -- never really touching any skin -- kind of weird actually) all the time.

I have also been sexually harassed.

Trust me. There is a big difference between an embrace between friends and sexual harassment. The friendly embrace is very quick and done when it is done. The sexual harassment is done just enough to place the person being harassed in an embarrassing situation. The embrace between friends is done openly with a friendly demeanor. There is inevitably something sneaky about sexual harassment, and it usually is done in a situation that is not open to the observation of others -- not always, but usually. A knee rubbing the knee of the victim UNDER the table as opposed to a friendly hug that is one of a chain of hugs of people you know pretty well and who don't rely on you for jobs or favors.

I recall when I was in a European country and a friend of mine who was originally from India but had married a French citizen told me that we didn't have to hug when we met because I was American, and having lived in the US, she knew that I didn't really feel comfortable with all the hugs and kisses that are a part of the social life in many European countries.

I really appreciated the understanding of my Indian/French/had lived in the US (her husband was somehow involved in diplomacy or something like that), and the two of us didn't go through the usual hugging exercise when we met after that.

So different strokes for different folks. I hug people a lot, but not nearly as much as I would if I lived on the continent in Europe.

So much for condemning Franken for hugging people. Does he hug men as well as women? Does he hug a lot of people? Does he go beyond hugging? I suspect that what he did is totally different from sexual harassment. We need more details. I can't judge based on what I have read. That is what investigations and lawsuits are for -- establishing facts. We don't have them yet in Franken's case.

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LineLineLineLineLineReply I'm a woman. An older woman. A grandmother.
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