Man Charged After Rubbing Belly of Pregnant Stranger
It's a very uncomfortable moment for everyone involved, yet it happens thousands of times every single day around the world. I'm talking about touching the belly of a pregnant woman. There's just something about rubbing a big, round belly with a fetus inside that some people just can't resist. Personally, I'm always afraid of an alien popping out like in Alien, so I take a hands-off approach.
You wouldn't go up and grab a stranger's butt (unless you're Christian Slater or Andy Dick), so why would you rub a pregnant woman's belly like it's some good luck token? As with many issues adults face, it doesn't sink in until it gets personal. My beautiful wife would come home daily disgusted with the number of unfamiliar hands that had touched her belly.
As it turns out, my wife is not alone, and now the law is getting involved. In Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, a 58-year-old man has been charged with harassment after hugging and touching the belly of his pregnant neighbor. There's obviously more to this story and we don't know these individuals' past relationship, but this is certainly a first for pregnant-belly-rubbing.
Underneath that blouse and beneath just a thin layer of skin & uterus lies the most important thing in the world to that woman, and there's no way in hell anyone's getting that close to my unborn child's fetus without a fight. As a kid with blonde hairliving in the Philippines I was constantly subjected to locals rubbing my hair for good luck when they saw me. I never understood the custom, nor did I care. All I knew as a 5-year-old was there was stranger-danger.
This is a hot-button issue, with websites, blogs, news stories and more detailing the horror of having your pregnant belly touched. I can save you a ton of time in the question of belly-touching etiquette... if you weren't one of the two that put that baby in that belly to begin with, keep your hands off until you have asked. My belly sticks out like a pregnant woman, but you don't see people coming up to get a piece of me. Brandi Evans, a co-worker of mine and current pregger, said, "I don't know if it's harassment, but it's definitely not a Buddha-Belly... It won't bring you good luck".
Maybe being charged with harassment, which in PA is described as "any action that has an intent to harass, annoy or harm" another individual, came about after several previous attempts to get this man to stop the belly-touching. This certainly fits, and with these two individuals knowing each other I'm guessing there's more to this story. Whatever the reason, it's opened up a whole new set of rules for people, not just guys, to think about before touching a pregger's belly. Let's not even begin to go down the road into the debate over whether breast feeding in public could be considered harassment to those that would rather not see it.