to not like this, and what would you do?(29 Posts)
I've namechanged for this.
Yesterday I started a new activity for the first time. One of the men in the group showed me in, but as he was doing so, I suddenly felt his hand on my bum. It wasn't just momentary - it was almost as if he was guiding me in by putting his hand on my bum. At the time I was taken by surprise and didn't say anything - I was just shocked, and didn't want to make a fuss within 2 minutes of arriving.
During the activity I found out that the man is one of the organisers of the group and that his wife also attends the group.
I didn't like what he did and don't think it's acceptable, but am wondering if I'm over-reacting? Also, I don't think there's anything I can do about it. As he's a regular and I'm new, I think if I mentioned it I'd just come across as a trouble-maker (I'm assuming no one's complained before or he wouldn't have been given the task of showing new people in).
I wouldn't have to be alone with this man and don't feel in any danger or anything, but also don't feel it's acceptable that I'll be on edge and watching where his hands are if he's close to me.
So I think my AIBU is am I over-reacting and also what, if anything, would you do? Thanks.
Why didn't you just tell him to move his hand
No you aren't over reacting. I would stay away from him but if he does it again then push him off you and very loudly tell him to stop. What a sleaze!
Can I ask what the activity is? (Nosey icon needed) and no I don't think that was acceptable either! Only persons hand that is allowed to touch my bum is DH!!
He touched you in a totally inappropriate manner. The only socially acceptable place to touch a complete stranger is the area between shoulder and elbow, and even then, only in situations where it is unavoidable.
I'd like to think I'd have said, in a very loud voice, "Excuse me, that's my arse you're touching." However, sometimes social niceties overcome such reactions, so I'd probably also have been to shocked/intimidated in a new situation to have said it.
Floralnomad, I think I didn't say anything because I was so shocked. I'm quite a shy person who hates making any kind of scene, and I'd only been at the activity 2 minutes - I didn't want to start accusing someone of touching me inappropriately. I started wondering if it was something else brushing against me or if it could have been an accident. I just didn't want to cause any trouble!
Coffee, perhaps that's the best thing to do - I'll practise at home and be more assertive next time.
Fizzie, I don't really want to say what the activity is, sorry.
worldgonecrazy, yes, I completely agree with you. He showed another woman in just before me, and I noticed he put his arm around her shoulders to show her in - at the time I thought they must know each other, or that she was upset (highly unlikely in the circumstances) - but it seems he's just over-physical.
Fizzie, I don't really want to say what the activity is, sorry.
Well, if it was swinging, then his behaviour isn't really that surprising.
If he does it again, find your lady-balls and tell him to get his hand off your ass.
Haha, it definitely wasn't swinging! Or anything which involves touching the other people during the activity.
I know I need to tell him to stop if he does it again, but I know I'll find it really difficult. I'm also worried it will cause a bad atmosphere in the group, and also that everyone will side with him rather than me as I think most of them know him well.
You don't have scream it, just turn around and say it firmly while looking him in the eye.
I fear my natural instinct would involve violence. But I am a girl who kneed a guy in the crotch last week when he decided my knee was an appropriate place to grind.
Not directed at you specifically, OP, but why are we still in a place where we'd rather accept unwanted sexual contact than make a scene?
Steer clear, let him know you have his measure.
everyone will side with him rather than me as I think most of them know him well.
Also, if they do, say 'fuck you all' and leave the
swinging club activity, never to return.
Men like him rely on women being "too well conditioned" by society to react. Watch him like a hawk and if he so much as flicks your arse again, speak up LOUD and say "GEt your hand off my bottom now!" and then complain to the organisers.
MaidOfStars and TheHouseOnTheLane, I totally agree with you both.
I suspect this man has done it before - he's around 60, so it's highly unlikely that yesterday is the first time. And I guess he knows that most women just won't react. I'm actually annoyed at myself now, too, because I feel I let him get away with it. I find sleazy behaviour like this totally unacceptable, and yet I didn't say a thing.
I found myself thinking "maybe he didn't mean to" or "perhaps he didn't realise that's where my bum was" (I was still wearing a coat) - ffs, why am I making excuses for him? I'll just have to grow a backbone and react differently next time.
It wasn't just momentary....maybe he didn't mean to
In my experience of accidental touching (thankfully, limited), the men in question have been absolutely mortified and apologised immediately.
My ex-boss once accidentally swatted my boob and I feared he might expire with embarrassment.
If a person (man or woman) doesn't mean to feel you up, they, well, stop feeling you up.
Personally I'm now a WTF do you think you're doing type of person, but I appreciate that not everyone is.
I have seen a friend handle something similar in a great way.
Same thing: She looked at the offender and asked in a quizzical tone 'Why is your hand on my bum?'
He denied it, but she just looked at him in the same manner and said very calmly, No it was, and I'm wondering why?
It put him totally on the back foot. He couldn't claim she was being hysterical, because she clearly wasn't.
When he then tried to claim she'd misunderstood she just asked
How? How did I misunderstand? You put your hand on my bottom.
He really didn't know what to do.
I think because she made it a statement rather than a question he didn't know what to do. He knew what he'd done, he was relying on her either not saying anything or doing the apologetic thing I used to to do, you know the 'Oh I'm so sorry but if you didn't mind could you not. . . .'
Putting it back on him straight away flustered him as he knew there was no right answer other than I'm a prick who thinks he has the right to touch women without their permission.
MaidOfStars - I agree. I can't really see how it could have been an accident, especially coupled with the over-physical way he showed the woman in front of me in.
Annihilated, that sounds a great way to deal with it. I think I might practise your friend's exact words before next week. One of my worries was what would happen if he denied it - I'd have probably just backed down and said that I must have been mistaken. But the calm way your friend handled it, without letting him wriggle out of it, sounds really good - thanks.
If most of them know him well then they probably know exactly what he is like.
Just tell him if he does it again.
A simple, quiet, through gritted teeth, get your had off my arse right now , will suffice.
People like him rely on women being conditioned to not make a fuss. Why wait until he does it again, won't that waiting just ruin your enjoyment of this hobby? I'd talk to the organiser, and say you were made uncomfortable by this persons behaviour. I strongly suspect you won't be the first, and if they don't react positively then at least you know to find a better group.
You're not overreacting at all, but this is a world where even on Mumsnet, there are drooling morons who couldn't care less about women being disrespected on LinkedIn but get very very cross indeed when said woman talks publicly about it, and accuse her of posting a provocative smiling head shot, or berate her for posting a photo at all on a sodding networking site. So it's no wonder men like him act like pigs and women ask if THEY are the unreasonable ones.
Listen to yourself, OP. You've spent more time elaborating on your fear of his response than you have on your own understandable anger at being inappropriately touched. That's your social conditioning talking, and the reason guys like this can continue to operate. Your right to determine the terms on which other people touch you trumps the other stuff. Get angry and practice assertive responses.
When I had my ass grabbed years back (as I was minding my own business walking down a street) by an idiot in a rickshaw, i managed to get his hand in one of mine and break his nose with a good swing of the other. The passing policemen looked away into the middle distance. Not my most eloquent moment, but one hopes the blood and the lovely crunch will make him think twice.
By the way, I'm not presenting my own response as textbook - it's probably better not to break people's noses in general! - or suggesting it's in any way your fault for not responding at the time, I'm just saying that anger is a perfectly appropriate reaction.
I read somewhere
probably on here about someone grabbing the offending hand, shoving it up in the air and loudly asking "does anyone know whose hand this is only I've just found it on my arse?"
To do this on the first meeting suggests he is testing you, and not in a subtle way. If it happens again you have to jump straight on it (now you've overcome the initial - understandable- surprise).
Practise saying - 'get you hand off me please'. I've done it a few times and it feels good.
Oooh I like Annihilated's questioning response one too.
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