Skip to main content

PERSONAL SPACE, RACISM, AND JOE BIDEN

I live in the south of France. When the local rugby team walks into our sports bar, there's a lot of kissing. Big, sweaty, bearded guys greet other big, sweaty, bearded guys with kisses on the cheeks. Then they hang out with their arms draped over each other's shoulders.

Nature or nurture?

I was curious. I googled: Do children have personal space? The answer? Apparently not. Page upon page of results lead to that conclusion. Why? Perform the exercise yourself and you will see.

Children must apparently be carefully taught about personal space. There are exercises, worksheets, activities, and publications promoting the teaching of personal space. When it comes to explaining the necessity for personal space, though, things get a bit fuzzy. Again, google: Personal space is vital to being oneself. Being able to engage in outside interests is a good way to develop a stronger sense of self, which leads to the discovery of one's desires and dreams. This is important because it fosters trust and communication between partners.

I parse those sentences and I scratch my head. Children who ignore the concept of personal space certainly have a sense of self and often demonstrate individuality at a high level. Children who ignore the concept of personal space are certainly adept at expressing their desires. And children who ignore personal space are certainly trusting and communicative. It occurs to me that problems in these areas exist after children have been taught the concept of personal space, not because they lack that concept.

Is there such a thing as unwanted touching? Absolutely. And we teach that No Means No. In fact, the young, smart, highly educated, professional women that have singled out Joe Biden as having made them uncomfortable have probably been taught that No Means No since childhood. But they didn't say No to Joe. They chose instead to speak to a microphone. Years later. I do believe that the women may have felt uncomfortable. I also believe that Biden did nothing wrong. 

Personal space is an artificial construct. And fluid. Studies show that it is effected by gender, age, climate, social norms, and other factors. Yes. You have to be carefully taught.




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

FRENCH VISA AND HEALTH INSURANCE FOR AMERICANS

The most expensive item in an American family's budget may be health insurance. But many Americans have no understanding of the true cost of their insurance because it's included in their employment package. Folks simply don't think about how much their employer may be reducing their salaries when factoring in insurance costs.

Before I retired, my employer paid for my health insurance but I had to pay to insure my wife. The cost, taken out of my every paycheck, came to about $6,000 annually. And even with insurance, there were co-pays and other out of pocket expenses. We were reasonably healthy (and still are, knock wood), but we each take a few common prescription medications - for blood pressure and cholesterol and the like, nothing exotic or costly. Even so, with regular visits to the doctor, periodic lab work, the drugs, and the occasional illness or injury, we normally spent an additional several thousand dollars annually in the States over and above the cost of the i…

SOLO WALK TO LES FARGOUSSIERES: RESISTANCE!

I enjoy walking in groups but I also enjoy walking by myself. Setting my own pace. Trying new paths. Getting lost. The sorts of things that you can't do in a group, especially when you are in the lead. So when no one took up my offer to lead a walk the other day, I wasn't disappointed. All spring long, I'd been wanting to see what a walk to Le Fargoussieres would be like. I particularly wanted to check out a memorial to the French resistance that I'd visited a year or so ago on a walk sponsored by the local historical society.

I began on the path to the Croix de Juillet, a walk that our group has taken a time or two in the past. Then I broke off, took the paved road to the hamlet of Les Fargoussieres, visited the memorial, then found me way back to the return path of the Croix de Juillet walk. It all worked well. With the help of my GPS mapper, I didn't get lost. But the route was a few of kilometers longer that I thought that it would be. Shade was scarce as the …