Don’t Touch Me!

Don’t Touch Me!

© David Burton 2019

Don't Touch Me

     Well, we’ve come a long way, baby! Once upon a time, we were all encouraged to hug one another to relieve stress, make friends, and relax. Now, it seems, we’ve made a very rapid 180 degree about-face! The cry from our female guardians of morality and correctness is “Don’t touch me! Don’t even dare to approach me!”

     The match that lit the fire was the accusation in New York magazine by A former Nevada Democratic assemblywoman and candidate for lieutenant governor, Lucy Flores, that former Vice President Joe Biden had grabbed her shoulders from behind, sniffed her hair and then planted a kiss on the back of her head when he campaigned for her in 2014.[1]

     All that old-time campaigning and politicking is now apparently a thing of the past. Kissing babies on the campaign trail now appears to be verboten. Even the good old handshake would now seem to be off limits and certainly, the congenial slap on the back. What hath God Wrought? Where will this no-touching policy carry us?

     The accusations now being raised against old time politicians like Joe Biden reflect an age past – and who is to say that the actions of old time political figures like Joe Biden were not far better than the often abhorrent speech and actions of our modern day politicians. In the past, glad-handing, back-slapping and, yes, even hugging and kissing were the accepted norms.

     As a longtime “congressional reporter for the Monitor put it, ‘Anybody who’s ever been around Joe Biden has been touched by him – literally.’
     “Now the former vice president . . . is under fire for his physical style of interacting with others, a style that to some women comes across as ‘handsy.’ . . .
     “That was before #MeToo and today’s stricter societal standards for appropriate behavior, but by just a few years. Mr. Biden’s avuncular style long ago earned him the nickname ’Uncle Joe.’ Now, to some, he’s ‘Creepy Uncle Joe.’ . . .
     “{In response,} Mr. Biden issued a statement: ‘In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort. And not once – never – did I believe I acted inappropriately. If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention.’
      - - -
     “Now, in the year 2019, we may be about to learn if Uncle Joe can bring his style up to date – and still hold on to his essential political quality as a ‘people person.’ “ (Ref. 2)

     With all the fuss and fury raised by the Joe Biden incidents, where will this all end? The #MeToo movement may have unleashed a firestorm that will lead to a number of unintended consequences. Sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, and rape I understand. None of them is acceptable and should be denounced and appropriately punished. The “he said, she said” argument certainly clouds the issue, but common sense and an understanding judicial system are appropriate means of addressing the problems.

     So what do we want now? Do we want to ban all touching between a man and a woman? In today’s politically correct environment, if we ban all touching between men and women, then we need to extend the ban to all touching between men and men, women and women, along with unauthorized touching of gays, lesbians, transgenders, bisexuals, etc. In other words, all touching needs to be outlawed without prior written approval! Those of us who do not object to shaking hands, receiving pecks on the cheeks, being hugged or otherwise touched need to have a large tag or sign prominently attached to our clothes stating that APPROPRIATE TOUCHING IS PERMITTED!

     Is that enough? How about the person who says: “Don’t invade my personal space”? And, just what is someone’s “personal space”? How will we know what are the boundaries of that personal space? If we are to restrict anyone from invading someone’s personal space, then I recommend that every man, woman, child and other have a sign prominently attached to their clothing that clearly states the following:


     To further confuse the issue, some people insist upon specifying different personal zones. Such different zones have been defined as “intimate (touching to about 18 inches), personal (about 18 inches to 4 feet), social (4 to 8 feet), and public (8 or more feet).” (Ref. 3) If we adhere to this differentiation, then we will need to increase the information on our DO NOT INVADE MY PERSONAL SPACE signs to indicate the extent of these regions and to define who is entitled to enter each of these zones.

     How about those times at sporting events when one team wins it all – like the Super Bowl, the final Game of the World Series, the Stanley Cup, etc., when grown-up athletes rush out and jump all over each other to celebrate? Surely, such grossly inappropriate touching behavior deserves to be banned! How dare one person touch another without first obtaining written permission? The invasion of one’s personal space is obscene and our children need to be shielded from viewing such outrageous conduct on television or in subsequent news clips.

     And what about that outrageous behavior of pet dogs and cats who constantly invade one’s personal space without being invited to do so. They can’t read, so signs don’t work with them. Obviously, we need some way of discouraging pets from invading our personal space. Even more egregious is the fact that pets quite often come into physical contact with us without asking permission. My daughter’s Golden Retriever insists on licking my face (kissing in dog behavior) whenever I come into my daughter’s house. My daughter’s cat sits on my chest when I lay down on the sofa and insists on my scratching it’s head behind its ears. What’s to be done about such abhorrent politically incorrect behavior? Is this something that needs to be addressed by our politicians? Do new laws need to be enacted to stem the public outrage and outcry?

     It appears that we have now entered a new era where physical contact and even physical proximity have become major societal issues that extend into our modern day political climate. Joe Biden, what hath thou wrought?

  1. Former Nevada Candidate Accuses Biden Of Unwanted Touching, Which He Doesn't 'Recall', Jessica Taylor, National Public Radio, Inc., 29 March 2019.
  2. ‘Anybody who’s ever been around Joe Biden has been touched by him – literally’, Linda Feldmann,
    The Christian Science Monitor, 1 April 2019.
  3. That Dog Invades My Personal Space, Sam Basso, SamTheDogTrainer, Accessed 29 April 2019.

  3 May 2019 {Article 357; Suggestions?_21}    
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