Left side view of woman in plank pose.

Tori in plank pose.

At the bus stop. With thumb and middle finger, he flicked my arm, my tricep.

I turned to look. I don’t know him, except by sight. We ride the same bus home some days.

“I thought it would jiggle,” he explained, smirking.

“It didn’t,” I replied. “Now, would you kindly get away from me?”

He backed up a few steps, shaking his head.

Yes, still sputtering enough that I’m only fit for numbered lists.

  1. The fuck?
  2. Dudebro, you do not just go around thwapping strangers — in the arm or anywhere else. That stopped being acceptable on the elementary school playground. You are clearly in need of some big boy pants.
  3. To address your initial wildly inaccurate assumption — Yes, just because my upper arms are larger than one might expect for a woman, it does not, in fact, mean that they are composed predominantly of fat. Fat people can have muscle too.
  4. Don’t act like I was out of line for telling you to get away after you touched me like I was there for your personal curiosity or amusement. No, not even if I didn’t say “please.”
  5. I would like to say that the reason I did not use my upper body muscle to physically remove you from my personal space is because I am a fundamentally nonviolent person. In reality, the reason I did not do so is because it almost certainly would have created a situation that would have made me miss my bus.
  6. The fuck?

I'm here. I like stuff. Some other stuff, I like less.

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14 comments on “Jiggles
  1. GOOD LORD. How are there so many monkeyfridays in your area? How do you resist slapping them?

    • Tori says:

      Slapping them — whether they deserve it or not — will potentially inconvenience me, what with the police report and all. I will allow that they deserve it — and to this I trust karma — but I have other places to be and other shit to do. 🙂

  2. G says:

    I commend your patience. Had that guy flicked me, he would promptly have eaten a knuckle sandwich from the other fist.

    And I agree: The fuck?! What the heck is it with people thinking they are entitled to get into other folks’ personal space.

  3. ninjanurse says:

    I don’t know what I would have done, but I think you handled it well. Obviously the man’s father didn’t raise him right.

  4. Holly says:

    I probably wouldn’t have done it, but I would have been supremely tempted to go *smack upside the head with the same force he used on me* “Funny, I thought it would rattle.”

  5. andie says:

    … the fuck, indeed. I don’t get people sometimes.

  6. blogromp says:

    Ugh, I am so sorry that happened to you. I hate that our culture nurtures this kind of behavior, and I’m disgusted at him for doing that. I’m fairly certain it was a form of sexual harassment. Grabbing a woman’s upper arm is already a common tactic of misogynists, in part as a surprisingly effective method of control, and in part because it’s usually the softest, fleshiest part of a woman that they can get away with grabbing in public. Trying to make it jiggle, though–there’s a significant amount of porn out there that emphasizes making women’s body parts jiggle, and I can’t help but think that he had the desire for that imagery in mind.

  7. sewwonderfulquilts says:

    I’m sorry this happened to you. You reacted much better than I would have. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Em says:

    I am so sorry and so angry. That sounds terrifying and infuriating and all those other negative adjectives that I can’t recall. I commend your firmness in telling him to get away from you. I am not sure I would have been able to.

    I hope you are okay.

    • Tori says:

      I’m okay, thanks — and actually glad that my natural reaction tended more toward “infuriated” than it did “terrified.” I think it helped that there were a couple of other people around who, while they didn’t say anything (that I heard), definitely looked at him like they recognized that he was out of line.

  9. R. H. Ward says:

    What the F. I commend you on your use of polite but stern language – had it happened to me, I like would have released a stream of obscenity that would not have been useful.

  10. Anna says:

    What the? I can’t believe someone would be so creepy and vile on so many levels. You handled it really well. I’m not sure how I would have reacted.

    Related, in that it involves a guy who seemed to think he was entitled to access to women’s bodies — a long time ago I took a class in which one of my fellow students, a slightly older fellow who was retired from the Coast Guard, would walk to his seat at the back to his room, touching the shoulders of every female he passed as he walked down the aisle. Like, he and I had never so much as exchanged words, let alone established a rapport where touching would have been appropriate. I never said anything about it despite the fact that it bothered me intensely, and since then I’ve vowed that I would say something if it happened again — but thus far, I (luckily) have not been tested.

    • Tori says:

      The creepiest part is that I don’t even think this guy recognized what he did as obtrusive or creepy. From the way he acted, it seemed like he thought that this was a genuinely okay thing to do (i.e., his sense of entitlement was warped that much) rather than like he was trying to intimidate.

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