"They have to get used to it"
Whether it is the touch, or being "okay" with someone doing something they don't want sometimes is hard to tell. These words are repeated; it doesn't matter how many times, or ways, a child says no, you still should put your hands on them.
"It doesn't really hurt anyone"
It doesn't matter as you grow older, you are still told, "you can't really say no", and even "your experiences are wrong. You are wrong. You don't really have a reason for thinking that, for saying that."
Both of these things are things I've been told recently. I've been told touch doesn't hurt. I've been told that people just need to get used to touch. I've been told that it doesn't matter if people say no, you should still put a hand on their arm. I've been told it doesn't matter if I say no, stop touching me.
I wonder if people are even thinking about what they're saying; if they're even aware of the implications of their words and actions, or if they are just blissfully ignorant. They must be ignorant it seems, people wouldn't take away that much autonomy, would they? Would people knowingly say "you aren't allowed to say no" or "someone touching you in case you are touched later is more important than your ability to choose what is done to your own body"?
How do people have these thoughts- where the ability to say no, the ability to choose what is happening to yourself, the ability to decide whether or not someone else is in your body's space - is less important than something someone else chooses - someone who's body it is not.
How are these things justified? "They have to get used to it"? As if someone is not capable of saying to keep hands away from their body as they get older. "It doesn't really hurt"? As if someone who is disabled is incapable of identifying their body's own sensations.
Getting used to it.
Getting used to doing what others tell us to do. Getting used to hearing "no, your experiences are a lie". Getting used to being told what to do by others, because they have power over us. Getting used to our senses not being paid attention to, even when it involves getting physically into our space, touching us, pushing us around.
Getting used to it.
Being afraid to speak up. Being afraid to say when there's a problem, because you've always been told that you're wrong, that your feelings are wrong, that your body is wrong. Getting used to it. Not knowing how to say something, or when to say something. It's always wrong you know. You're always wrong.
Getting used to it. Because it's never your choice. It's only the choice of the others.