Now I don't know what I should do. I don't know if this woman will come back to any meetings or get togethers. I'm thinking of emailing the leader of the group and letting her know what happened. I wanted to tell the woman that if vaxes were so great then why should she worry about my kids. If they work then we are not a threat!
Please if nothing but her kids and learning more American culture don't try to have her banned from the group unless she see nothing wrong with her actions and won't listen to culture difference and what is ok and isn't.
K-03/98, B-01/00, D-03/02, M-09/03, TL-12/04, TM-09/06, I-10/08 edd 02/02/11
That said, I am totally aghast at this woman's actions, too.
I agree with 2ID_Wife. Since there is a cultural difference, have the group leader explain that we don't use our hands to make our points and that differences of opinion are to be respected.
I'd give this crazy lady another chance... but just one more.
I think filing a police report is ott, but I'd definitely notify the group leader and try to educate this parent -- moreso on respecting people's choices (and bodies!) than on the vax issue, although I'd talk about that too if she could do so respectfully.
However...I'd be willing to bet that culture played a part in both her vigorous opposition and the smack. When you have seen family members be permanently disabled or died from diseases that could easily be vaccinated against, it is very difficult to comprehend a situation where vaccinations could be more dangerous than the disease.
Maybe the group leader could mediate a calm and respectful discussion between you two about what happened?
Personally I'd call the police and file a complaint, as well as insist that she be banned from further meetings. But you said you won't do that, so I don't know. That's about where my solutions end when it comes to someone who thinks it's okay to slap a stranger.
Loving wife and mama to my sweet little son (Fall 2008) and a beautiful baby girl (Fall 2010)
When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty. --George Bernard Shaw
I'm interested to hear what happens with the head of the group. If it were me, I may even send an email to the woman telling her that while she may not have meant harm, you found it incredibly offensive and for her to keep her hands to herself in the future.
She's entitled to her opinion, but that was way over the top.
Our children make a study of us in a way no one else ever will. If we don't act according to our values, they will know.~Starhawk New User Agreement! http://www.mothering.com/articles/user-agreement
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I thought maybe it was a cultural difference in that the lady thought it was okay to tap the OP on the arm and then give her opinion in no uncertain terms. Some cultures talk more with their hands and don't share our concerns about tact.
But clearly this woman stepped waaaay over any cultural differences line. Holy cow, would I have been stunned.
I completely agree that this situation needs to be addressed clearly by the group leader and by the OP.
I wouldn't bother calling the police over this issue, but like I posted before, I would contact the group leader.
K-03/98, B-01/00, D-03/02, M-09/03, TL-12/04, TM-09/06, I-10/08 edd 02/02/11
Given that, there is no excuse for her behavior. I hope the leader of the group addresses this issue Quickly. That's the beauty of being part of a group is that there are people of ALL different belief's and opinions. I hope you get a satisfactory result from the end of this.
Married to Michael and Mother of Jake 14, Jillianne 11, Jensen 9, Jacen 8 & my dog Kota 3
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It will be interesting to see what your leader says! Keep us updated!
What would have been done had she slapped a child in the face? Is this more unacceptable?
The very point being, we don't hit people.
And, I think you're over-reacting, as well. I think you should go give that woman a hug and apologize for being such drama queen and apologize for all of the flare up from her hitting you. (/sarcasm)
On a serious note, have you considered going to the other women in the group and seeing what they think? I know you could only go to the group when she's not there, but that's not fair on your part...especially if you were very active in the group.
No excuse/reason she could give would excuse her behavior. At the very least, she could have apologized. But, she's trying to make this all your problem, and it's not.
I hope you get it worked out in a way that is most beneficial to you.
BTW...what country is she from?
What I would do would depend on how attached to the group I was. If I knew a lot of people there well, I'd make sure everyone knew what happened and get their support in reinforcing the no physical contact expectation. If I was new to the group, I'd probably just not go back. But I'm not that social, so not going wouldn't be a big deal to me.
BTW, it sounds like your "leader" lacks leadership skills.
Most people from other cultures "want" to fit in here, but maybe don't know all the subtleties. Just as when I travel, I try my best to fit in, but I'm sure I do things wrong on occasion. I would hope people in my husband's home country, for example, wouldn't be rushing to call the police over something I might do that almost certainly has no ill intent.
I grew up in a third world country and I will say people were more aggressive there, but moreso with their kids than with other adults. Still, it wasn't unheard of for people to slap other people, but it was never under good terms. A friend of mine was almost beaten by a woman for telling her to stop hitting her child--this was on the sidewalk in the main city. So yeah, depending on the culture, some people may be more aggressive, but I doubt anyone slaps another person--let alone a stranger--without bad intent. I won't even tap someone's arm or the back of their head when we're kidding around. I see no point in it.
If you really want to be a part of this group despite her, I would talk to the leader again. If someone slapped her in the face, light or not, I doubt she would smile and go about her merry way because anything else would be overreacting. I think your group leader is underreacting. Perhaps she shares the stance this woman has and is glad someone reacted the way she would like to but wouldn't find appropriate for herself. I can't imagine any other reason for her to be so accepting of it and making you just deal with it yourself. She's the leader, so she's responsible for group cohesion.
Personally, I would probably go so far as to bring it up in the next meeting and have the group discuss why physical reactions like this are inappropriate regardless of the subject matter. But then, I do tend to stir the pot a bit too much. I can't help it. I hate injustice and I'm not good at just simmering in my bottled up feelings.
It's highly unlikely that she was trying to fit in when she told her she was a bad mother following the slap. If you're trying to fit in, you wouldn't be insulting. From my point of view, she was berating her for her choice to not vaccinate her child.
And I know I'm being picky, but could we refer to them as developing countries instead of third world, which in itself is slightly insulting. But I'm sure no one here meant it that way.
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