I'm pasting the following from a friend's share. (No names out of respect for their anonymity.)
This is not funny. This is not cute. This is walking up to men to fondle a secondary sexual characteristic without consent. This is enjoying the *bleep* out of their discomfort. She liked it *more* when the friend of the victim retaliated. THIS IS NOT OK.
For further consideration, this is a recount of the personal experiences of someone I know. Thank you for letting me share.
Um. Consent is sexy. This is not. She thinks it's cute, when in fact it is no less creeper behavior than what men are called out for exhibiting toward women.
This is no more okay than it would be if a man were to go up and play with a woman's hair, breasts, butt, or any other part of her body at all without her express consent. This is on par with being kilt-checked at events, something that happens with alarming regularity in the SCA and Seadog Nation.
Allow me to share a couple experiences with you all:
At an event (name irrelevant, as it was not the event that was the problem and no one running it were responsible for this woman's actions), I received a "Kilt Check" I can't forget. Not because I gave consent, because I didn't. Not because I enjoyed it, because I didn't. In conversation with a group of people, and a bit drunk, laughing and carousing, I was literally left speechless as a woman I did not know, and had not so much as said hello to, dropped to her knees, and before I had the slightest clue what was happening, put her head UP UNDER MY KILT and took my cock into her mouth and drew her tongue down it on her way back up to her feet. It happened in probably two seconds, with the explicit contact being less than one, and was over and done with before I could even ponder reaction.
I was stunned to utter silence, unable to form words, and just... stood there, jaw hanging open with a dumbfounded expression, for probably the next ten seconds, watching as she walked away giggling. Like the cat that got the cream. As though saying, "I just got away with something, neener neener neener..." The one person who saw it happen asked me, "did she just do what I think she just did...?" I could only manage a wide-eyed nod.
I collected what remained of my composure and left for another place to be.I can honestly say I truly felt violated.
That's incident one. Incident two:
Attending a different event (again, name withheld for the same reasons mentioned above), while dressed in my performance garb, which as my fans know includes a shoulder piece made from straps and rings and a belt decorated with chains and occasionally a Native American-inspired metal bead choker, I waited with my wife, Molly, to get our pictures taken. A woman walked up to me with a telling look on her face, and I mentally prepared to brush off a pick-up attempt (these things do happen, and I am used to delivering the gentle let-down), but instead of speaking, she did something else I was not prepared for. She got an even hungrier, rather predatory look in her eye, reached out and grabbed me by the ring at the very point of my shoulder piece. As she began to pull me toward her, it took me a second to shift gears. We'd gone from the gentle let-down to a straight-up reality check. plain wedding dresses
I grabbed her wrist and removed her hand from me, locked eyes with her in full "Master Frederick" mode, and bluntly asked, "what the fuck do you think you're doing?"
Clearly not the response she predicted, her expression quickly shifted to one of surprise, and then of indignation as I continued, not caring to give her time to answer.
"What, if ANYTHING, about the way I am dressed, makes you think this is okay? What, if anything at all, about my appearance translates to you having permission to grab me as though I am your fucking property? If i did that to you, every man in line of sight would rightly be beating my ass over it, so what makes you think it's okay for you?"
She attempted to make pretense that my response to her actions was rude and inappropriate, but it quickly became clear that no one within earshot was buying it. She managed a short, embarrassed apology and left. Meanwhile, Molly was watching the whole incident, laughing at her stupidity and waiting to see if she would need to physically intervene. She knew that even if this girl hit me for calling her out, I would likely not defend myself unless a weapon was involved.
So... after reading all that, you may be wondering (but probably aren't, really) what both of these incidents have to do with some woman fondling strangers' beards. The plain fact is that everyone has bodily autonomy, and gets to choose what is and isn't okay. Take away that choice and it matters not your gender or the gender of your victim, or the nature of the contact you make (read that, "the nature of the assault you commit.")
Consent goes both ways-- always.
TOUCHING STRANGERS' BEARDS
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