Greta Christina responded to one of John Loftus’s posts recently.  She responded to one of the passages in his post.  I would like to respond to this one:

“Is this really the voice of an organization that represents reason? Not on that score I’m sure of it. If someone touches your shoulder and you don’t want him to do so then step back. If he persists then say something to him. If he does it again then get some help from others. It’s that simple. This AA statement places the burden on the person doing the touching. And while no means no, and yes means yes, maybe means maybe! What, are we being hypersensitive here not to offend some women? Apart from the ban on perfume and fragrances (is there a problem?) the rest of the statement concerning harassment is very much welcome of course.”

For context here is the AA anti-harassment policy excerpt he was discussing:

“Yes means yes; no means no; and maybe means no. Please take no for an answer for any request or activity. You are encouraged to ask for unequivocal consent for all activities during the conference. No touching other people without asking. This includes hands on knees, backs, shoulders—and hugs (ask first!). There are folks who do not like to be touched and will respect and like you more if you respect their personal space.”

So, essentially Loftus’s idea is that it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

I do not think this is acceptable. I think the crux of this is that some of the people who are finding fault with the policies don’t understand that you can ask for permission non-verbally and do not want to go around asking verbal permission for shaking everyone’s hand.

As others have said – you extend your hand (that is asking) then someone takes it (that is accepting). You extend your arms (that is asking for a hug) and then someone comes nearer to you with their arms extended (that is accepting).

It is THAT simple.

For Pete’s sake, someone doing EXACTLY what Loftus said was “simple” created an international incident DUE TO IT’S INAPPROPRIATENESS.

*face palm*

So Loftus – don’t be George W. Bush – K?

And apparently since silence is implied consent to you, are you going to create some sort of data-base so that people who don’t want to be touched by you can register? Cause I personally do not like being touched on the shoulders by complete strangers. Perhaps I need to wear a button or T-shirt to communicate that to you, to avoid being touched? Barring that, it seems I just have to deal with it – because heaven forbid we restrict the rights of people to touch others who wish not to be touched before such communication is given.

Update: Just in case you wanted an actual discussion about wording and see an example of how one can actually make points about it with words that make sense, follow the link.