There is nothing more annoying to an expecting mother than when a stranger approaches and touches her pregnant belly out of nowhere, as if it's socially acceptable and an okay thing to do!
Seriously, what is going through peoples' minds???
This goes double for touching babies soon after their born, but we're focusing on the fact that it can totally be ILLEGAL to touch even a baby bump, and we're hearing that that's the case in Pennsylvania for strangers with wandering hands!
Why do the common sense rules of personal space disappear around pregnant woman??
A Cumberland County man reportedly faced possible harassment charges after touching the belly of a pregnant woman whom HE DIDN'T KNOW, and here's what a lawyer not connected personally with the case had to say:
"There was a woman who was pregnant and (a) man had touched her belly area, which women have to go through all the time, and she didn't permit him to do that, and then he repeated it, so she decided to file charges."
"Any time you harass, annoy, alarm another and there's touching involved without consent, someone can be charged with harassment."
Is this going overboard, or the right kind of stand against an affront to a soon-to-be mother's personal space??
It's sooooo weird that this was previously acceptable behavior! We are just fine with it no longer being tolerated, because if it isn't a close friend/relative or someone who has asked permission, it's super creepy!
There IS the flipside of this, such as this mother's example:
"Elderly grandmother that exclaims excitedly and touches your belly for the briefest of moments? Maybe mildly annoying but not a crime. Scary woman or man that grabs at your belly and continues to jiggle you around long after the first no? Crime."
We see no reason why it shouldn't at least be on a case-by-case basis! We mean, would it be considered harassment if these women weren't preggers? Probably!
A pregnancy doesn't magically allow public access to someone's body!
While there's dissent on whether or not it should be a law, the consensus is that people should stop doing it. In regards to legality of it, why is it any different for someone to be allowed to walk up and touch a belly instead of, say, the mother's breasts??
It ISN'T any different, we say!
If you feel compelled to do this, make sure you always ASK first!!
[Image via WENN.]