The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Bush the Decider Groper

Taylor Marsh has a series of photos that just have to be seen to be believed. Crooks and Liars has the video. Keep in mind that the woman in the picture is German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a fellow head of state, being groped by the president of the United States.

The Approach

01-Mfb-5127752-Bush-Merkel-Quertemp 02-Mfb-5127751-Bush-Merkel-Quertemp

The Grope

03-Mfb-5127741-Bush-Merkel-Hochtemp 04-Mfb-5127742-Bush-Merkel-Hochtemp

The Get-Away

05-Mfb-5127738-Bush-Merkel-Hochtemp 06-Mfb-5127759-Bush-06-Hochtemplate

My guess is that any woman can look at those pictures and know exactly what’s going on. The German chancellor got an unwelcome grope from our frat-boy-in-chief. And I’m willing to bet money that most of the women I know would have socked the guy with one of those balled up fists Merkel is displaying in the pictures above.

For the guys who don’t get what the big deal is, keep in mind Bush can’t keep his hands off the guys either.

Bush-Rub-Head-01 Bush-Kiss-Head

Mideastbushqatar Bush-Rub-Head-06

As a gay man, I’ve had my share of unwelcome gropes. (And I’ve been know to grab a groper by the wrist, turn him to face me, and ask him what he thought he was doing.) It’s not funny or flattering. At best it’s assuming a familiarity that doesn’t exist between two people. At worst it’s a way of dehumanizing someone reducing them to a body part to be groped, and it’s a way of asserting dominance; an unspoken way of saying “I can put my hands on you any time I want, and there’s not much you can do about it.”

The difference between the president and most gropers, though, is that the rest are usually smart enough not to do it when there are cameras rolling.

And I used to think the most embarrassing picture of Bush was this one.

Bush Fly Open

Boy was I ever wrong.


  1. Terrance, good on you for having a thread pick up so much interest. I suspect you have other ideas which you would hope draw some interest from the stream of visitors drawn here by this subject.

    Yeah. But the truth is that most of the stuff I write about doesn’t draw a huge amout of interest from the general blog-reading public. Such is the life of a niche blogger.

  2. Pingback: Cathartic Ramblings » Blog Archive » Bush fondels German Chancellor Angela Merkel

  3. Steve (1st comment) sez: “Did he have misogynist intent? Did he do it to degrade Merkel? The answer to both is No. … he is touchy feely with everyone. If Bush came by and rubbed up on me or my bald head would I be weirded out? Yeh. Would I assume that he did so with some evil hateful derogatory intent? Hell No. There’s a difference between reading between the lines, and reading too much into something in order to make an issue out of a non-issue.”

    It’s not a question of evil intent. It’s a question of boorish, inappropriate, alpha-male primate dominance behavior, as a friend of mine well put it. How conscious Bush is of the offensive frat-boy presumptions behind his actions (not just this one) is beside the point. The point is – most observers are very conscious of it, embarrassingly so, esp. when the object isn’t some hunting bud of yours but a fellow head of state!

    How about the simple concept of RESPECT, or awareness that people from other parts of the world have different cultures than your own brash Texas swagger, and might possibly take what you do in a way you didn’t intend? Perhaps that’s a reasonable prerequisite for, oh say, leader of the free world?! Oh, but if he had an ounce of that, we wouldn’t be in the Iraq quagmire we’re in now.

    As for Steve’s “if you want to start a blog on your sexual escapades, do it on a non-political site” … go be a pig somewhere else, A-hole. T. was referring to OTHERS’ inappropriate, uninvited contact toward him, not anything he initiated. You knew that, but just thought you’d get in your gay swipe anyway.

  4. Not that I particularly care what Bush does or does not do. I’m going to comment on the reasons a person may touch another. It has nothing to do with being more powerful or meant to be dehumanizing.

    Some people do use touches to reassure another person that they are completely comfortable with them. It’s in their body language. Bush reminds me of that sort.

    Admittedly, it was obvious the female in question didn’t appreciate the touch. Looks like Bush backed off. I would say if he deliberately went back and did the same, then there’s a problem.

    I still don’t like the guy, but Bush banning is getting annoying.

  5. there’s something about folks in power who believe that they also have the power to touch and invade.

    i am a black woman who constantly has to deal with mostly men asking if they can touch my hair or my head, most of the time they are co-workers who think they are really close to me. many black women deal with this as if the offender needs this “rite of passage” to intrude upon you.

    bush is just an idiot, he went beyond what i’d fathom anyone would ever do.

  6. Some people claim Bush thinks he can get away with this because he spent years of his life in Texas. I’m surpised he made it out alive in Texas or at least taken a serious ass kicking. Coming up and rubbing someone’s girlfriend’s or wife’s back or shoulders could be a dangerous thing to do in Texas.

    How would Bush have reacted if Putin had come up and put the old “rubbie, rubbie, dubbie” on Laura? I wonder when Putin and his wife were down on the Crawford ranch did Bush do this to Putin’s wife? This is the kind of thing that can get a man in serious trouble. Okay, if the man is only dragging himself into it, but Bush would be dragging the whole country into it.

    Oh I forgot, Bush doesn’t care about the whole country.

  7. I’m glad he is yours and not ours.


    Victoria, BC, Canada

  8. If the president in the picture were a Democrat, the conservatives would be all over it.

    To me that says it all. Indeed, if this had been Clinton, the right-wing knee-jerk Bush-lovers would have been ALL over it, in flames.

    That seems to show that they have no intellectual integrity at all: no matter what they assert about philosophical foundations, in truth they brainlessly bash their opposition and defend their own brainless frat-twit.

    Mind you, I’m not talking about real conservatives who increasingly hate Bush too, e.g. in the Morning . I said “right-wing knee-jerk Bush-lovers.”

    What a disgrace this president is, mouthful of buttered roll and all. Totally incompetent; nothing but a brainless front for the fascists who’d like to take over the country. (The USA, that is.) Shame on them all. Give me back the real America.

  9. we really need to do something about this guy we call “the president”.

  10. Once again our fearless leader has embarrassed the United States and its people. The only thing more ignorant than Bush’s actions are the mental midgets that keep trying to make excuses for his actions. You just have to listen to the man speak to know he cannot use the english language. Shame on the ignorant, uneducated people who put him into office a second time. Shame on you for voting in a “leader” who has humiliated America internationally as well as domestically. You should all lose your right to vote. Go polish your guns, read your Bible, and live your life in fear, because that’s what Republicans do best. We have to get them before they get us, right?

    Bush’s actions are typical of a self-agrandizing bully superpower leader whose ethnocentrism exudes his character. Merkel is a respected world leader of a country whose actually got itself together. The United States could learn a lot from countries like Germany. Bush’s lack of proper diction and hillbilly behavior is a reflection of this country’s diplomacy (as well as how we treat our own citizens–Katrina) and not what we say we represent. This is not the vision of America I grew up to know, love, and respect. Is it yours?

    People with half a brain unite–take this country back from frat boy facists like Bush.

    PS: Bush keeps saying he is protecting us from terrorists, but where’s Osama. Quit fraternizing and DO YOUR JOB, Cokehead Lush!!!

  11. At first I was merely embarrassed for my country. But after considering just how badly this redneck imbicile has damaged relations with other countries with whom we must share a globe FOREVER … failed to invest in alternative energy research, bankrupted this country and devastated other countries with our foreign policies … but none of this matters because HIS rich friends got even richer …

    is it illegal to hope outloud he meets an unfortunate end? Is that a thoughtcrime of some sort? Would it be illegal to have a national day of prayer that he meet that great Spagetti Monster in the sky?

  12. I’m not sure why anyone would attempt to defend Bush’s actions.

    If it’s not obvious that a HEAD OF STATE should be treated with the most scrupulous courtesy and respect, if it’s not obvious that a HEAD OF STATE should know how to interact with other HEADS OF STATE; if these things are not obvious to you, then I don’t know how to explain it so that you do understand the finer points of international diplomatic negotiations.

    If it’s not obvious that you don’t deliberately invade anyone’s personal space without explicit or prior approval, then in all statistical likelyhood you will at some point be arrested for assault and/or fired for sexual harrassment -if it has not happened already.

  13. I come from German roots and my family is horrified and outraged by the President’s groping of Merkel — he demeaned a serious, intelligent head of state (in Germany, the Chancellor is the equivalent of the US President; a German President is a figurehead who mostly attends foreign funerals).

    In Austria I was once groped like Merkel was by my Austrian boss. I, too, reacted with visceral horror — I actually screamed. That bossman, too, was a boor bearing down on his subordinate, who at that moment for the first and LAST time called me the familiar “Maria” instead of by title and surname, as is correct. Bush’s “laying of the hands” was not good protocol in Germany, or anywhere, anytime!

    An Austrian girlfriend of mine who got groped like that by her ueber-boss (a foreigner paying her a first-time visit) slapped him in the face, HARD! Even a Hungarian alcoholic had the graciousness to apologize, but my friend was furious beyond bounds. “He touched me! He TOUCHED me!”

    Crossing personal boundaries the way that Bush does is not a matter of affection: it is a casual and gratuitous display of power over others (female or male). Bush is so emotionally clueless that he didn’t even apologize for his gross breach of good conduct.

    In diplomatic circles, being uncouth and out-of-bounds is considered the ultimate crime. Well, I guess after Iraq we all were pretty clear that GWB was a criminal, but now we have it in photos.

  14. Now, I did vote for Bush, but have not been a huge fan of his public tactics, but he’s in there for a reason and let’s not forget that.

    yes he is in there for a reason, to give jobs americans don’t want to mexicans, to give jobs americans DO want to other countries, to overturn roe v. wade, to conduct a holy war, to ram religion down the throats of americans who do not want or need it, To claim he does things for ethical, moral and family value reasons, while in the process, lying to americans and taking bribes from the fanatical right and big corporations.

    this president has not done one thing right except be an embarassment to this country, ruin its economy and start wars because god told him to.

    I know someone from the fanatical right will claim that there has not been a terrorist attack in the US since 9-11 so it means Bush is doing a good job, but saying so only means that he then has to be responsible for 9-11 happening. He cannot have it both ways, if he wants to be responsible for no attacks since 9-11, then he has to be responsible for it.

    What Bush did was wrong, it was not appropiate, the German Chancellor should be treated not as a woman, but as a leader of a country.

    If he wanted to rub her down, swap spouses or what ever freaky stuff he is into, he needed to wait untill he was in a more appropiate place, and had consent from the person he was doing it to.

  15. It’s unfortunate that personal agendas or traumatic experiences have caused so many writers to lose site of what’s really at issue in the president’s behavior with the Chancellor of Germany and why it’s so disturbing:

    It’s NOT that his actions may constitute sexual harassment (they don’t; that’s an employment law).
    It’s NOT that his actions may not have been welcome (they weren’t).
    It’s NOT that his motive may have been dominance (who knows?)
    It’s NOT that he did it when the cameras were rolling (who cares?)

    The issue is that his behavior…
    Was a gross breach of decorum at a formal meeting of heads-of-state.
    Was widly inappropriate for one world leader to do to another.
    Was rude and disruptive to two people in mid-conversation.
    Was demeaning in that it drew attention to the Chancellor’s gender in a context where gender is irrelevant and and should be transparent.

  16. Simply amazing.

    That this many people think that someone touching a persons shoulders is demeaning in some manner.
    Has anyone asked if she was upset? I am pretty sure she wasn’t since she laughed.

    Oh wait, none of you saw that because you only see the pictures that were chosen.
    How about you watch the video and realize that they were not in-session with the meeting. They are obviously between talks and everyone is relaxed and chatting. The chancellor has an obvious smile on her face after she realized what had happened. Bush rub

  17. Mark, do you think Bush would have done this if Merkel had been talking to her husband? If you don’t think this is inappropriate, I suggest the next time you are at a party, you go up to a woman you barely know and give her a little rubbie dubbie. Make sure her husband is standing right next to her. And don’t shy off because he’s 6’3′ and has a black belt in karate. I bet it won’t take three such incidents before it hits you how inappropriate and dangerous this can be.

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  19. Skyreader,
    I am fairly certain that if it had been a man sitting there that Bush knew that he would have done the exact same thing.
    It annoys me to no end when people are reverse-sexist. They say to treat women the same as men, then cry harrasment if we do. Then they berate us if we have the audacity to hold the door for a lady in the same breath.

    I cannot count the times that I have gone up to a married friend and given her a quick shoulder rub or a squeeze on the arm to show her that I was there. And guess what? When their 6’3″ husbands with black belts came by they would do the same thing to me or maybe to my girlfriend.

    People need to loosen up and realize that people can touch one another without it becoming a federal offense. I find it hard to believe that everyone on the internet (or at least posting here) is a 1650’s puritan who just took time out from milking the cows to show outrage that the president touched a member of the opposite sex.

  20. Mark, you are missing the point. What don’t you then go over to some Arab country and rub some woman. I suppose you think the Arab man wouldn’t take offense. When in Rome…

  21. Hey T –

    I actually really agree with you, and I blogged as well about being a gay man, and being groped.

  22. That this many people think that someone touching a persons shoulders is demeaning in some manner.
    Has anyone asked if she was upset? I am pretty sure she wasn’t since she laughed.
    I cannot count the times that I have gone up to a married friend and given her a quick shoulder rub or a squeeze on the arm to show her that I was there.
    People need to loosen up and realize that people can touch one another without it becoming a federal offense.

    Right, because you – the person doing the touching – gets to define what touching is appropriate and when. And you’re best in a position to empathize with her, moreso than the women on this thread, myself included, who have been the recipients of such gross intrusion and have reacted the same way she did. Nah, her smile must have meant she really enjoyed that drive-by grabbing – not that she felt obligated to preserve decorum and laugh it off. Let’s just ignore the fact that she tensed up and had to actually put her arms up in the air before he stopped.

    We all just need to get a sense of humor already and “loosen up” (Boy, if I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that!). Your viewpoint is the default, and the rest of us better get the hell in line with it already.

    Give me a P! Give me an R! Give me an I! Give me a V! Give me an I!…

    Speaking of “[treating] women the same as men,” how many times have you gone up to a male-coworker (/boss/subordinate) and given him a quickie backrub or a friendly pinch on the arm? I predict it’s somewhere in the range of zero to none.

  23. Pingback: … piece 0 plastic - the revolution will be blogged … » Blog Archive » ruff linkage . 200629

  24. Did he have misogynist intent? Did he do it to degrade Merkel? The answer to both is No.

    How do you know what his intent was? How do you he wasn’t trying to demean her? And does it even matter? The man doesn’t know how to behave. He’s at the G-8 summit for crying out loud, not at some dive bar in Texas during happy hour.

    Merkel is a head of state, a person whose job in part depends on projecting an image of authority and control. What do you think being groped does for her image?

    This is appalling!

  25. Shira’s got it right.

    What Bush, Mark, and fellow fondlers never seem to get is that their intent may be irrelevant. Someone said that sexual harassment falls into federal employment law, and it does. As I see it, W, uh, was at work.

    In a normal work situation you can’t just touch anyone and use as your defence “I thought she/he liked/wanted it.” Okay, maybe that works once, unless the groping is pretty bad. I used to put my hand on people’s backs or shoulders, as a warm greeting (not a scruff grab like some people) but I learned that some men and women really find it uncomfortable, intrusive and offensive. So I stopped because I am an adult and I have self control and I can save that display for people I know well. It wasn’t a BFD, Mark. (Not swearing was much harder, it’s more automatic, but I worked on it – there are a lot of observant religious types for whom swearing is very disrespectful.)

    The thing is, I worked in Human Resources, so I got to see it from both sides. I can’t tell you the number of guys that would come in absolutely furious that they were being told their behaviour was unwelcomed and had to stop. Each one said that because they had no ill intent, the other person was overreacting and was wrong, and a mountain was being made out of a molehill (okay, true, usually a more profane metaphor was used). I get it. But in sexual harassment law, once a person has been warned, if the behaviour continues, then the defence of “But I didn’t mean anything bad by it, they have the dirty mind” doesn’t fly. And someone is out of a job or the employer becomes legally liable for a failure to act.

    I don’t suspect Merkle will file, but if I was W’s boss (gee, aren’t we?) I’d tell the guy to keep his handsies to himself – that’s why your pant’s has pockets, Buddy. That’s professional free advice.

  26. It is not fair of him to put the Chancellor in a position to have to react and risk the possibility of negative publicity. He took ALL her options away from her the second he put his hands on her. She had a split second to process what he was doing, and then evaluate how to respond to it in a public forum. He is definitely a loose cannon!!! Everytime he attempts to think on his own, the result is a gobal embarrassment! STAY TO THE SCRIPT- THAT IS WHAT THESE GROSSLY OVERPAID HIGH DOLLAR SPEECH WRITERS ARE GETTING PAID FOR. Maybe they should prep him beforehand about the NO TOUCH policy that we teach our 5 years olds! As a female I am outraged because I have personally been on the receiving end of it. NO ONE SHOULD EVER HAVE TO ADDRESS THIS WHOMEVER OR WHEREVER YOU ARE!!!

  27. Bush’s “shoulder rub” is out and out sexual harassment. As mentioned previously, it is the receiver not the doer that defines the appropriateness of the physical contact. Anyone who thinks otherwise better start reading their HR manuals. Germany’s Chancellor did did show any sign of welcoming to Bush’s contact.

    The fact the contact does not appear sexual or is not intended sexually as is endlessly argued is no excuse. It is about respect, dignity and appropriate behaviour. No male would walk up to another male in public without whom they have a very close relationship and do the same therefore no woman should expect the approach.

    The argument that it is OK since men do it to each other is specious. Male to male contact of this sort (shoulder rub)tends to raise questions about the two’s sexuality given the implied intimacy of the contact and I suggest it is considered inappropriate behaviour in many parts of the US, and would well lead to physical attack.

    All the alphamale blah, and issues on ADHD although maybe valid on some level only provide a platform to excuse behaviour that is inexcusable.

  28. amazin’ innit? well, come on over to rory’s place for the true context
    why did he touch her like that?

  29. What does one expect of an idiot who hasn’t a clue when it comes to any social graces expected of a leader of any state. I would have been no more surprised if he had gone down on Putin and kissed his belly. He is such a laughing stock of the world and yet roughly 30% of Americans still support him. What does that say about their intelligence?

  30. zwe really need to do something about this guy we call “the president”.

    I don’t call him that… I don’t even call him president. I just call him idiot.

  31. The problem is he's not thinking. I've experienced that in the office a few times– and it is an expression of power. Not collegiality or friendship or respect.

    The more important issue here is, this is the president of the United States. Not able to commicate professionally. It's a serious handicap for the country.

  32. Bush invades someone’s personal space…what do you expect afterall this is a man who invades whole counties.Wake up America the rest of the world is way ahead of you.

  33. For all those who think some people are reading too much into Bush’s motivation for giving Merkel a little rubby-poo, you-all need to get a life, yourselves. The motivation most people refer to is not conscious; it’s attitudinal and under the surface.
    Don’t you understand that the man was acting out his sense of the power relationship between himself and the woman he’s groping (he is NOT entitled to put his hands on her, no matter how non-sexual the intent might be — it was the WRONG place to do such a thing and )?
    In public groups, the person who feel he or she can reach out and touch someone’s arm or shoulder is the person who perceives him or herself to be the person with the most power in the relationship. Either that, or the person considers the relationship at least comradely and casual. Two world leaders may like each other and feel comradely (they say Bush and Blair are that way), but in public, the dynamic changes. World leaders in public are not private people acting on private relationships. They represent their country. Bush unconsciously places his country above all others and behaves as though he is entitled to give Merkel and little shoulder squeeze, like they were a coupla college kids sitting down in a bar to watch Monday Night Football over beers.
    This doesn’t speak to how he would describe his attitude. It just reveals what his underlyng attitude is like. What a damned embarrasment that man is.

  34. More than anything the sequence shows how uptight Germans are. They really need to lighten up. In fact, most of them could use a nice back rub.

  35. merkel sexually abused by an arabic Muslim president

    this was the headlines of all the news papers in the world if he was an arabic president

  36. More than anything the sequence shows how uptight Germans are.

    LOL! Then how come this entire story is a non-issue in Germany? 🙂

  37. Hi everyone

    I’m a girl from Germany. I’d like to give some information on the reaction from Germanys Kanzlerin. (Kanzler is german for Chancellor, Kanzlerin is the female form)

    Ms. Merkel has not made a comment about the incident. A German gouvernment spokesperson said, that ” The Kanzlerin will not comment on this. It is an American discussion anyway.”

    In German press, the incident itself was not mentioned at all (except as a pagefiller for one or two gutter papers). But now, as american Blogs make a big deal of it, it gets in the news here, too. Mut it’s mostly considered irrelevant.


    p.S. For those of you, who were wondering what a Chancellor is:
    Germany has a President who has no power at all. He is official head of state and has a “mere representation” job. This is currently a man named Horst Koehler. The Chancellor is the head of Gouvernment. Angela Merkel is the first woman ever on that job. It is the job with the biggest power in Germany. But she decides much less than Presidents do in most other states. There is a moderate portion of power left with judges and state ministers.

    Why? Because Germany has made very bad experiences about a madman with too much power about 70 years ago. Nowadays we like to keep different domains of authority with separate jobs. Even Germans are able to learn from history. 😉

  38. And yes!

    Mr. Bush stayed in Germany for a week-long visit this month. They had a Barbecue together. Mr. Bush and Ms. Merkel are said to be friends.

    And yes!

    Ms. Merkel is married. Her husband is a university-professor he is not into politics. They have no kids. But she’s not “needy”.

    And yes!
    She is not a supermodel. Her style used ho be much worse though, befrore she was in international politics. i.e. before she could afford a stylist.

    And yes!
    Her politics is antisocial neo-conservative crap.

    And yes!

    If Ms. Merkel had been our Chancellor when your W-Chief startet that damn war against his daddys favorite enemy Saddam, our soldiers would be with yours in Iraq.
    Fortunately she was not. The previous Chancellor was a dumbass, too but he knew that 1,000,000 people on a demonstration for peace might want to tell him something.
    Did I mention, that German Constitution says thar the German Army is for defense and nothing but defense? Did I mention that Germans tend to be pissed if politicians try to ignore the fact?

    And yes!

    We’re definitely pissed about defending germany at the Hindukusch-Mountains in Afghanistan.


  39. Obviously the guys who see nothing wrong with Bush’s actions don’t know anything about labor law. Making unwanted physical contact in a business setting is inappropriate and illegal. I’ve seen guys lose their jobs and get sued for less. Trust me, this is not appropriate behavior from our president.

  40. Jeff refers to “phallophobia.” Two Greek words as roots: phobia=fear; phallos=…well, it’s Cheney’s first name.
    In which case phallophobia is the most rational response of any human being: there has never been as frightening a phallos as this one in the office of President.

  41. Give me a break! I’ve been in many situations that were borderline and over-the-line sexual harrassment, and this doesn’t appear to be either.

    What it looks like is that she was startled, but Bush would not have done this if he didn’t have a friendly relationship with this woman – and what this looks like is a friendly gesture. We all do these things with our friends and family. Why should Bush be hammered for being friendly and affectionate? We can no longer show our affections? Is that what Clinton has done for the role of president?

    The real question is what is her reaction – who cares what everyone else thinks? People like to use this crap – and that’s exactly what this is – to back up their liberal viewpoints. It’s absurd. Find something important to post.

    And – HELLO – give me a break with the photo of Bush’s fly. Like we didn’t all see the email where the guy photoshop’ed his fly as a joke. Try just a little harder next time.

  42. Maybe Bush can’t help himself. Consider how many of his faults are genetic, inherited traits, and the fact that he has an IQ of 93. Maybe it is not his fault. He’s not very bright, you know.

  43. I think this is much ado about nothing. Yeah, a president should be more dignified but W isn’t really capable of that.

    As a man I’ve had women routinely touch me for decades. Do I mind? The only thing I mind is the double standard. If I had my mitts on women’s thighs, arms, and calves the way women have touched me it would be sexual harrassment. I’ve had co-workers call me ‘lover’ and suggest that we get married.

    I guess as a dumb man I think these antics are sort of flattering. But I must admit my job secuity and promotions were never tied-into being bothered by women. Lest you get the impresson that I think sexual harrassment is OK, I don’t.

    I’m a big guy….6’2″ and in good shape. I don’t have to put up with it if I don’t want to but I guess I’m trying to say that there is a double standard when it comes to sexual harrassment.

    The women get by with it more than do the men.

    Mr. P

  44. What Bush did was clearly not the smartest thing he could do, but, as I suspected, Merkel did not think it was a big deal. Though the video footage was cut, she smiles to him after he passes. It appears, TO ME, that her reaction was because she was caught off guard and didn’t expect it.

    Just read Hildegard’s responses–it is a non-event in Germany. They are friends.

    Heather is also right on the point, again, as far as I am concerned. As so many people who bashed the situation and inferred THEIR feelings yet correctly pointed out, it is the recipient’s feelings of appropriateness (or not).

    It is interesting how many people are so uptight and project those feelings onto another’s situation and KNOW what it must be.

    I am also glad to know all of those times, bosses and coworkers, male and female have given me a “rubbie dubbie” that is was sexual harassment or them asserting their power over me. Funny, I thought the words of support and encouragement they generally also offered were legitimate, but I guess they just wanted to put me in my place. Guess I was too stupid to know it. I also wish that I could feel through their fingertips the condescending attitude one person wrote. WOW, that is being in touch.

    I would hope all of these people that feel this assertion of power being put over them would just say something to the offender. It would be best to give them the benefit of the doubt (but I can tell from the tone of most of these people it wouldn’t happen) and say, I really would prefer that you don’t touch me. If the person decides to do it again, then you have a complaint.

    BTW – as a boss, I asked what is acceptable and cannot be deemed sexual harassment and was told (by different HR people in different companies) that touching between the elbow and shoulder is deemed acceptable and NOT sexual harassment.

    What gets me about these kind of issues are all the Bush-haters make a big deal out of it, yet will defend actions of democratics. I just wish that people would report things as voraciously from both sides.

  45. If I were to touch women at work the way they touch me I’d be fired. There’s a different set of rules for women. They have had their hands everywhere on me except my groin. They’ve whispered ‘lover’in my ear and suggested that we get married.

    When they converse with me their hands are on my arms, back and thighs. I don’t know what it is with them but, as a male, I’m not allowed to do that to them.

    The only thing that irritates me is the fact that there is a double-standard. Other than that I like it. ha I really do.