OK, I have boundaries too.
This is a note for female care providers.
NOTE: YOUR TOUCH CAN BE INTRUSIVE TOO.
At the airport, I get touched a lot. I mean, a lot. I have to go through the pat down. For the most part I'm really impressed with the way that I'm dealt with. All the guys, it's only ever done by guys, are very careful. They tell me what they are doing it, when they are doing it. They use the back of thier hand for 'sensitive' areas. They are cautious with their touch, as if they know that men's touch is suspect - and govern themselves thusly.
This is OK with me. I think that a wee bit of paranoia is a good then when to comes to touch, boundaries and vulnerability. It's a big thing to be abe to touch another so you should always ALWAYS think about it.
Women, on the other hand, seem to seldomly think about their touch and what it means. Deemed 'innocent' by society, women's hands aren't suspect, aren't in the category of 'usual suspect'. But they should be.
Bodies are bodies. Boundaires are boundaries. And, most impotantly, vulnerability is vulnerability.
At the airport when checking in I explained to the woman the story of my nearly stolen wheelchair and my request for a formal reciept. She did one up and came round to put it on my chair. At this point I always ask them to hand the tag to Joe and watch him affix it to the chair. She refused saying that she had to do it. I explained that I don't like the touch of strangers and she should have to push and prod at my body to get the tag on.
She said, 'I don't care, I have to do it.' And then, to my shock, not even giving me time to move out of my chair. She did. She touched me. Without consent. With consent denied, she touched me.
Then later when I was to be pushed to the airplane, I had two similar incidents. One, because of my weight (it's because of the fear of my weight, or the anticipation of pushing someone my weight ... my chair is new and rolls very well, I can push it long distances) one woman leaned down and put her hand around the brace at my side. This meant that she was touching my upper thigh, I told her to stop. She told me 'no'. I grabbed hard at the wheels and stopped the chair. She let go. Another woman came to assist and I asked her, just to leave it all alone. Joe would push the chair, the woman who had assaulted me could carry the luggage. This new woman, put her hand on the back of my chair.
DO NOT TOUCH ME!!
And she let go.
Men's bodies are just as sacred as women's.
Men's boundaries are just as impotant as women's.
And, good heaven's I never thought I'd have to say this, a man's no, means exactly the same as a woman's no.
That would be ...