Asked this question recently, it only took me about half a second to realize there is only one right answer:
It totally depends on how I feel about the stranger.
I’d make a decision based on their appearance, body language, location, seeming intentions, mental state, and whatever other factors I deem relevant in the moment.
If I want to hug them, I’ll hug them. If I don’t, I won’t, and I don’t owe anyone an explanation as to why, beyond, “I don’t want to.”
See, I’m a feminist, and I believe in this thing called “bodily autonomy.” People don't get to touch me unless I say they can -- and I believe one of the most powerful phrases a woman can know (we should al burn it into our brains so we're ready to rip it out, even in the most awkward or unexpected moments) is, "Why are you touching me?"
Or, simply, "STOP touching me."
So, anyway, maybe I decide this is someone I'm comfortable hugging, so I hug them.
Or maybe I chose not to hug them. I’d probably say something like, “How about a friendly wave?" or, "Not today -- but hang in there, dude!”
If the person's going to get upset about that, then they're a motherfucker, and I clearly made the right choice by not hugging them.
So, there you go. The correct answer to the question, "What would you do if a stranger said to you, 'I really need a hug right now.''"
For further reading, I highly recommend:
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Gif ALL Women Need to See IMMEDIATELY.
And, of course:
Need Proof Women Are Taught to "Be Nice" -- Even When They're In Danger? Prepare to be HORRIFIED.
4/8/2017 10:09:29 am
Eva, thanks for all your articles on autonomy, bodily and otherwise--I've been reading your blog for about a year now, and some of your posts have absolutely gotten me thinking about the ways in which women are discouraged from setting boundaries and being "impolite." I really think they've contributed to my becoming more assertive.
4/19/2017 08:25:34 am
You may have already written about the person I am going to mention, but I couldn't find it here or on your FB page. But she is RIGHT down your alley and certainly worthy of a piece. You may have missed some of the stories she stirred up while you were on your well-deserved vacation!
4/25/2017 09:28:35 am
thank you for putting some light on Didi on Facebook! She is the gift that keeps on giving. NOTE: she recently mentioned an interview that she gave to the NYT. The thought that the "mainstream" would give this woman a platform is incredible.
4/27/2017 08:48:05 am
You may also enjoy Kinfolk Kollective.
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Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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