February 19, 2016

Man compels John Kasich to hug him.

What choice did Kasich have?
“Over a year ago, a man who was like my second dad, he killed himself,” Smith said, breaking up. “And then a few months later, my parents got a divorce, and then a few months later, my dad lost his job. I was in a really dark place for a long time, I was pretty depressed. I found hope in the Lord and in my friends and now I’ve found it in my presidential candidate that I support. And I would really appreciate one of those hugs you’ve been talking about.”
There's so much touching involved in presidential campaigning. It's weird, in these days of scrupulous protection of each individual's physical integrity — did she affirmatively consent? — that bodily touch, including the full body contact of hugging, is expected and lauded. And by contrast, the instinct to keep other people from grabbing and groping you is viewed as evidence that you are rather despicably cold and snooty:



I think these expectations and perspectives have a different impact, generally, on males and females. It's really amazing that Hillary — if not Huma — has walked smiling through crowds of touching, touch-needy people and we have not seen one viral video clip of her recoiling in aversion and disgust. How many miles is that long walk through the handsy mob before one can reach the presidency? It must be hundreds of miles. Quite the gantlet.

35 comments:

traditionalguy said...

Watch out Francis. Kasich is running for Pope. He wants to be the President of Love for everybody. He kept asking the women in the room if they needed anything.

David Begley said...

I saw all the candidates in person except Jeb. Ted hugs people all the time. Kasich is a natural hugger.

Bay Area Guy said...

Yes, ya gotta hug your way to the White House - implied consent for all that touching? Who knows or cares?

It's nice to see Huma the Puma as Hillary's bodyguard. She is one hot tough Muslim chick!

As we all know,Hillary has a philandering husband, whom she enables and tolerates, because (a) his power and influence can help her win the White House and (b) she can claim "victim" status, which has convinced a bunch of ditzy women voters to support he in Sisterhood solidarity against all those evil men.

We all get that. C'est la vie.

But what's the deal with Huma? Is it a purely random coincidence that Hillary's right-hand gal has a similar type dynamic with her sleazy husband Mr. Weiner aka Carlos Danger? I think not.

This Huma connection needs some deep investigation.

And she refuses to hug!

CatherineM said...

I would have pushed that woman off like Huma did. The way she touched Hilary's head/face was weird too. Creepy.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I want to make Huma a nice rich chicken pot pie with maybe a strawberry shortcake for dessert. She needs filling out.

Quaestor said...

Keeping a little more respectful distance is good. We'd be a happy country if hugs were sufficiently rare as to mean something.

EDH said...

I suspect in the case of the Hillary video that pawing woman "dug-deep" financially in order to be there and feel entitled to stroke her prize horse, like Jack Waltz in the "Godfather" stroking his champion Khartoum before later finding its head in his bed.

At least none of them had to endure being finger-fucked by a mob of "refugees".

And when did Kasich start walking like Walter Brennan?

Titus said...

Running for office looks awful.

Meade said...

I too felt like giving that young man a hug until I noticed this at the end of the article:
"Correction: An earlier version of this post said Brett Duncan Smith was wearing a vest with a Green Bay Packers logo on it. It [wasnt.]"

Danno said...

The only walking Huma and Hillary should be doing is the perp walk.

John Althouse Cohen said...

I think these expectations and perspectives have a different impact, generally, on males and females.

How so? I'm male, and I find it really annoying when strangers touch me for no good reason — annoying enough that it would prevent me from running for president if I were otherwise in a position to do that.

John Althouse Cohen said...

In fact, it's arguably worse for men. I know a waitress who complained that a customer touched her, and she said: "They're not supposed to touch me — I'm a woman!" That's implying that you need consent to touch a woman, but you don't need to worry about touching men. It's assumed that men are insensitive and don't care about nonconsensual touching.

grimson said...

1) The young man has had a rough stretch, but if he is making 90-minutes drives one-way to get hugs from politicians, he will be in for many more.

2) Although pressing the flesh is a part of campaigning, my preference is that candidates for President do as many town halls as possible for as long as possible. This will give them a better sense of the country and people before they are swallowed by the bubble. Big rallies, though impressive, defeat this aspect of a campaign.

Tom B said...

How many miles is that long walk through the handsy mob before one can reach the presidency?

Indeed, and it makes me wonder about the mental state of a person who would willingly subject themselves to such a trial-by-grope. It's either a sign of mental illness, or else their desire for power and adulation is so overwhelming that they're willing to do anything to claw their way to the top. Needless to say, neither trait is especially desirable in the leadership of a functioning republic.

I'm generalizing of course, but I say: better to have these high offices filled by a random selection of the population rather than having to choose from among these sickos who actually seek election under our current system. We call upon jurors to make life-and-death decisions, and they are just regular folks drawn from a random pool. Make me dictator for a day and thereafter there will be no public office in the land more glamorous than Chief Animal Control officer. Such jobs as President, Senator, etc. will be kind of a chore to hold and we will get much better results.

traditionalguy said...

A politician from Cleveland kissing babies. This shows he is ready to go one on one with Biden. But Biden only likes the pretty young women

mccullough said...

John,

I used to think like that until I had kids. Kids are really touchy and huggy, not just your own kids. These candidates all have kids. People who like to hug strangers still have this child-like quality.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Hey, if not being overly (or normally) sensitive to groping incidents can help you as a candidate, Joe Biden's your man, no?!

Hmm, we know Bill Clinton loved gropin' gals, and I remember the kerfuffle over George W. Bush grabbing/rubbing Merkel's shoulders...maybe there's something to this!

Ann Althouse said...

@John

Women are generally smaller and have less physical strength in the upper body. There's also the special sensitivity of breasts, both in how they feel to us subjectively and what we believe we know about other people being interested in making contact with them. If hugging involved a lot of pelvic contact... I imagine a man would have a special problem with that.

I think women can be especially aware of vulnerability to being overpowered physically and it's a natural instinct to need to not be enclosed in someone else's grip. And the gut-level instinct to fend off contact is, I would theorize, an innate defense against unwanted pregnancy.

It's not that the political crowds are threatening to rape us, but feelings and instincts are evoked, and I believe it is a special burden.

That said, I think we all have an interest in bodily integrity and freedom from unwanted touching. To run for office, you have to put that interest aside and suppress an expression of aversion to the touching from the crowd. I think it's easier for some people than others, and the physical ordeal has a disparate impact on females.

Ann Althouse said...

"I used to think like that until I had kids. Kids are really touchy and huggy, not just your own kids. These candidates all have kids. People who like to hug strangers still have this child-like quality."

For some of us, the physical contact is very selective. I have a husband, but that doesn't make me hug other people. As for children, you can't be hugging other people's children!

Hugs are great, but required hugging, coerced hugging, without control and selectivity is awful.

Many of us remember being kids and having to submit to excessive hugging from relatives and family friends. I had a grade-school teacher who over-hugged me. I knew it was bad at the time. Maybe you think he was a wonderful guy who loved kids.

I don't like that the political process is available to huggers like Bill Clinton in a way that it is not to more guarded characters, many of whom are woman.

Why would we think these huggy people are better at governing?

Ann Althouse said...

Now, the man on the stand he wants my vote
He’s a-runnin’ for office on the ballot note
He’s out there preachin’ in front of the steeple
Tellin’ me he loves all kinds-a people
(He’s eatin’ bagels
He’s eatin’ pizza
He’s eatin’ chitlins
He’s eatin’ bullshit!)

J. Farmer said...

Yuck. I've never liked hugging anyone except someone I was intimately involved with. I don't like hugging family members and would detest hugging a total stranger. Every time someone goes in for a hug, I grin and think to myself, "Oh fuck how long do I have to endure this before I can pull away without seeming rude."

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...Women are generally smaller and have less physical strength in the upper body.

Gender-normative sex-specific generalizations, Professor? Are those not prima facie sexist, now?

If hugging involved a lot of pelvic contact... I imagine a man would have a special problem with that.

Wait, it doesn't?? Oh no--have I been hugging wrong all these years? Whoa, this explains a LOT.

Doug said...

Now if only someone could compel that pseudo-democrat to get out of the race. Or campaign for a democrat!

Gusty Winds said...

Maybe Carlos Danger was forced to post his junk on-line because Huma isn't very friendly about touching people or things with which she is unfamiliar.

Eric said...

I can't fault her for reacting that way, particularly since she's not running for an elected office. I would have done the same. It's borderline rude to hug an acquaintance who isn't a close acquaintance. A hug from a complete stranger deserves a firm response.

There are also security considerations.

Jonathan Graehl said...

Yeah, really gross pawing by the stranger (presumably not personally known to either H or Huma). At least limit it to your worship-figure. Don't go after employees.

Rhythm and Balls said...

There's so much touching involved in presidential campaigning. It's weird, in these days of scrupulous protection of each individual's physical integrity — did she affirmatively consent? — that bodily touch, including the full body contact of hugging, is expected and lauded.

Uh, these are men - Kasich and the guy in the audience. It's American women who are having the issues.

Quaestor said...

It's American women who are having the issues.

Do you mean giving unwanted hugs, or being resentful when unwanted hugs are rejected?

I'm no fan of Huma Abedin, she way too well-connected and way too unaccountable, yet I felt a definite twinge of sympathy when she found herself having to peal off a rogue hug bestower. The video has been circulated mainly by people who caption it as Behold Heartless Huma as she rejects human warmth. Bullshit. Some people just don't know went turn it off. If you've managed to drift into your dotage and not learned basic respect you deserve a little abruptness.

The Cracker Emcee said...

I've seen older women do that face touching thing to (usually younger) women that they find adorable. I don't think it's intended to be creepy. More like an excess of maternal feeling. But when I've seen it done the object often does look a bit uncomfortable with it. Hillary's awkward little smile is typical.

ken in tx said...

Huma comes from a High Power Distance Culture--see Gert Hofstetter's Dimensions of Culture. That means that the higher your status, the more personal space people are supposed to afford you. She would see a stranger invading her personal space as threatening her status.

Rhythm and Balls said...

I didn't mind the Huma move, either. I'm sure people can get annoying - not necessarily for wanting to contact someone asking you to put them in charge of the things most important to you, but for not getting the f out of the way when they're on the move.

But as for contact, that's how it goes. I realize that since conservatives seem so afraid of or disdainful of people in general that touching might seem too much. But normal people don't want to be thought of as gross just for existing. Women are the ones who are more nervous and/or paranoid about whether the distance between them and someone else - including degree of tactile contact, is "appropriate". But I guess I would be too if Althouse's teacher did to me what she said he did to her in the comment I responded to.

I grew up with large extended family. There was closeness and warmth all around. There was no such thing as any hugging/greeting/kiss being "excessive hugging", much less the thought of it being something to "submit to". But we weren't Northern European blondes, if you know what I'm saying.

Of course, then you grow up and you realize that there are weird people and people who construct boundaries in completely different and the most fucked up ways than your own family did, and it makes you grateful for hugging/touch being a presumptive no-no unless otherwise indicated.

In Europe all the gals I meet greet this way. Even in friggin' England.

But I'd say if you're a pol, unless a fan is getting weird, then if you can't give them the benefit of the doubt on contact then you're not up for the job. For christ's sake, most of them are more afraid of you (the politician) than you should be of them. They're the ones interacting with someone famous and/or admired. They're the ones feeling starstruck. They're the ones being told that you can put an end to whatever is fucking up their lives.

Geez.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Some ways of showing you care and are trustworthy apart from tactile contact.

I suspect Hillary's bad at that, too.

CWJ said...

"But normal people don't want to be thought of as gross just for existing."

Thanks for confirming the normalcy of a "conservative's" reaction to his political opposition.

Eric said...

I grew up with large extended family. There was closeness and warmth all around. There was no such thing as any hugging/greeting/kiss being "excessive hugging", much less the thought of it being something to "submit to".

These are displays of affection, which are perfectly appropriate and enjoyable inter-family. With strangers? Not so much.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Thanks for confirming the normalcy of a "conservative's" reaction to his political opposition.

It's the contempt with which all narcissists treat others. Not just conservatives. There are other narcissists as well.