Boston: My ex is dating a friend of mine. The ex is admittedly attracted to pubescent girls (11-14 years old)—though he swears he hasn't and wouldn't act on the attraction. I am sure he has never told this to anyone else. My friend he is dating has an 11-year-old daughter. Do I have to say something to my friend?
Absolutely. If science has taught us anything, it's that all men everywhere are raging perverts. While there is no such thing as a woman who wants to sleep with younger men, it's a well-known fact that all men want to sleep with children. If you were a true friend, you'd plant some child porn on your ex's computer and call the police.
Los Angeles: My stepdad acts like a child! If he doesn't like something or someone, he makes it known, and often in an uncomfortable and rude way. He will mumble things under his breath, punch the wall, or refuse to attend a family dinner if he knows someone he dislikes is attending (i.e., sister's boyfriend). Now, due to an altercation that happened between those two, my sister and my mother haven't spoken for almost 4 months now! My mother continues to defend my stepdad's childish behavior for that and any other times he's out of line. How to I help her to realize that his behavior is NOT acceptable?
All men act like this. Whereas women are rational, sane, caring children of Gaia, men are pigs. They cannot help acting this way, so pay them no mind. And if you ever see a woman acting like this, a man made her that way.
Chicago: I'm about midway through my first pregnancy and definitely sporting the baby bump. Today I had my first unsolicited belly touching by an elderly co-worker, which made me uncomfortable enough to want to avoid other such belly rubbings. I'm not a super social person, and while I have been open in talking about the pregnancy, I totally didn't expect, but clearly should have, the belly touching by other people. Is there a nice way to deflect or discourage this? I just can't imagine why people would think it's OK to randomly touch someone else's pregnant belly. Had she asked, it would have been one thing, but I feel like the sneak attack as I walked into the office is totally different.
I dealt with this in a column a while back and said that when I was pregnant I had lovely experiences with other women, including strangers (hands off, men!), touching my belly and sharing their pregnancy stories.
Oh wait, sorry. That's from the actual response to this question. Kind of puts the fake answers into context a bit, huh.
Shepherd Park, D.C.: I had a similar experience to the pregnant woman's unsolicited belly-rub the other day: As I was waiting to donate blood, an aide to the big boss came over to let me know that Boss would be going ahead of those of us waiting. No problem—she's a busy woman. But as the aide—an older woman—is standing behind my chair telling me this, she's rubbing my back. Apart from saying, "Get your paws off me, old woman," how do I let someone know that I don't care for being touched by strangers? I think I managed to say "Please don't do that", but she didn't seem to hear me. And why would someone do that? (If it matters, I'm a 50-year-old woman myself.)
Can she come over and rub my back? She probably did it because she thought it would be a nice gesture to calm you down before you had a needle stuck in your vein. She clearly was wrong. An, "Oh, thanks, I'm not a back rub person" should do it, although it seems unlikely that in normal circumstances she'll move in for another rub.
Oops -- another actual response. If a strange woman who comes up and starts giving you a backrub, you should be thankful. If a man touches your pregnant belly, have the mace ready. Got it.