Don’t Touch!

I Stumbled across this today, and was incredibly saddened by what this tells us about our society. Anyone who works with children, but especially men, is subject to both outside scrutiny and internal self consciousness when it comes to the matter of touching children. As a society we have internalised the idea that to touch a child is somehow perverted. We are also wary of taking photos of children, even when in a public place, and I know that I am always very careful when speaking to children I don’t know that their parents can see very clearly that I don’t mean their kiddies any harm.

Touch is important for everyone, not just children. In the TV show ‘Pushing Daisies’ which I watched for the first time yesterday, one of the characters refers to a hug as an ’emotional heimlich’, as a way of releasing pent up emotions and making you feel better. The writers and directors of this show clearly shared my view of the importance of touch, as the main character, who grew up wary of touching people (or even his dog) for fear of killing them is very clearly emotionally crippled as a result.

It depresses me that society has got to this stage, where young children may only be touched (and by this I mean in a friendly, nurturing way rather than a sexualised or fetishised way) by their parents and family members and older children are vilified by the media as hoody wearing thugs.

I might even argue that there might be some connection between children who are not touched and the thugs they grow up to be.

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2 Responses to Don’t Touch!

  1. The Razzler says:

    Plus, not all kids who wear hoodies are thugs! Society often just thinks they are because they are different. Different = wrong. Has our society moved on at all in the last 40 years? But that’s a rant not entirely related to your original rant.

    I am also saddened by the lack of physical contact in our society. I can see why people are wary – particularly men in positions such as teachers, one wrong move and they can be done. It seems like our society is dominated by fear.

  2. missbhave says:

    As Brits we’ve always been known for being stand offish, but now it’s more than a cultural feature, it’s a dominant way of life.

    You’re right about the hoodies things. I’ve been known to wear them myself. A friend of mine (24, PhD student) was asked to leave a shopping centre because he was wearing a hoody (with the logo of the choir we are both members of on it). He was on his own and no threat to anyone. A perfect demonstration of the culture of fear we are breeding.

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