I got smacked and told I was a bad mom for not vaxxing - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 35 Old 07-09-2010, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Our homeschool group had a meeting yesterday evening so that we could plan for fall and meet new homeschooling parents. One of my friends and I were talking about her new baby and somehow vaccines came up. My friend said that she is selective/delaying and I said that we are completely anti-vax. One of the moms that was standing with us smacked me and then said I was a bad mom! It wasn't a hard smack, not like she was really trying to hurt me, but I was STUNNED! She is from a 3rd world country and was going on about how great vaxes are, herd immunity, etc. I am very non confrontational, so my friend and I just looked at each other and walked away.

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!
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#2 of 35 Old 07-09-2010, 04:15 PM
 
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Holy crap! She *slapped* you, like in the face?!? Wow, unbelieveable! I'd file a police report. If she does that to strangers, what goes on at home?

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#3 of 35 Old 07-09-2010, 04:15 PM
 
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I'd so report it to the group leader and have her barred from ever coming back. I don't care what you disagree about it's never acceptable to put your hands on another person.
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#4 of 35 Old 07-09-2010, 04:25 PM
 
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b/c I'm so I can't believe that this woman would do that! Definitely call police and file a report against her.

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#5 of 35 Old 07-09-2010, 04:26 PM
 
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Wow. Just wow. I would have file a police report, but now I would write the group leader and make sure to exclude that person. People can have different opinions, world views, religions, but slapping them into the face for disagreeing is not only rude but also violent and illegal. Just wow.
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#6 of 35 Old 07-09-2010, 04:30 PM
 
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Where did she slap you? I think that might make a difference. Not that it's good to hit anyone, ever, but you know. A light slap on the back on the hand is a totally different story than a slap in the face.
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#7 of 35 Old 07-09-2010, 04:39 PM
 
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I would talk with her and the leader. Her 1st reaction was not right but talk about it with her(specially from another country it might not as big of an issue) and if you don't want don't bring up vac just the 1st part of the issue.
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.

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#8 of 35 Old 07-09-2010, 04:58 PM
 
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Whoa, whoa, friends! The OP didn't say anything about being slapped on the face! She did say that it wasn't hard, like a criminal assault. Calling the police will do nothing but get the OP laughed at. "A lady at my social group lightly smacked my arm!".

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.

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#9 of 35 Old 07-09-2010, 05:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No I wouldn't call the police on her. She smacked my cheek. It was a light smack, but still it caught me off guard. I sent an email to the leader and will wait to see what she says about it. I'm hoping it's just cultural differences and misunderstanding.
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#10 of 35 Old 07-09-2010, 05:02 PM
 
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I'd be inclined to ask the smacker how she'd feel if someone hit her and called her a bad parent for not sending her child to school! My kids are/were homeschooled, so I'm not being critical of that, just pointing out how ridiculous it is to criticize a parenting choice when she herself is choosing something outside of the mainstream.

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.
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#11 of 35 Old 07-09-2010, 05:13 PM
 
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While I agree that what she did was wrong and rude...

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?
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#12 of 35 Old 07-09-2010, 05:31 PM
 
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Whaaaat? A "light smack" in the face is still a slap in the face, cultural differences notwithstanding. That's felony assault. I would not be okay with that, not at all. Actually, just reading your story made my blood pressure rise and my first instinct probably would have been to hit her back as hard as I could. Admittedly, not the best solution, but that woman needs to watch out. Not everyone is going to be as non-confrontational as you are. Wow.

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.

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#13 of 35 Old 07-09-2010, 06:56 PM
 
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Whaaaat? A "light smack" in the face is still a slap in the face, cultural differences notwithstanding. That's felony assault.
The name depends on the state. It would be battery in Illinois, and certainly not felonious (i.e., aggravated) battery.
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#14 of 35 Old 07-09-2010, 07:24 PM
 
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I normally wouldn't be that upset about a "smack." I had someone smack my hand when I said I wasn't a very good recycler. It ticked me off, but it's just her style and it didn't hurt. But in the face? That would infuriate me. I think you handled it well.

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.

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#15 of 35 Old 07-09-2010, 07:43 PM
 
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I'm curious in what culture it's apparantly ok to slap someone you barely know in the face because they aren't parenting the way you think they should. Really? So this is just a "cultural awareness issue" and she should just get a slide for that.
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#16 of 35 Old 07-09-2010, 08:10 PM
 
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I can't imagine a culture that turns a blind eye to smacking people in the face. This "woman" (not really sure if that word is appropriate for her) is off her rocker!

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#17 of 35 Old 07-09-2010, 08:14 PM
 
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No, no... I agree with you, Arduinna. No one should get a pass for slapping someone in the face (even lightly) because of cultural differences.

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.

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#18 of 35 Old 07-09-2010, 10:39 PM
 
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I agree an arm tap and one in the face are two totally different things.


I wouldn't bother calling the police over this issue, but like I posted before, I would contact the group leader.
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#19 of 35 Old 07-09-2010, 11:04 PM
 
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She had not said where she smacked her and I had been smacked in the back of the head, and in the arm/shoulder lightly by Korean woman for comments before. So just based on being lightly smacked as the OP said I d stand by it could be culture difference. Also it is not a crime in some places to open hand smack anyone so they see it as ok.

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#20 of 35 Old 07-09-2010, 11:08 PM
 
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Just because something isn't specifically illegal, doesn't mean it's socially acceptable.
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#21 of 35 Old 07-10-2010, 12:12 AM
 
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I think this was mostly a cultural issue. When I was in nursing school we had this very smart and very sweet lady that was just from the Phillipen's (sp) and she was VERY touchy feely. It was uncomfortable being touched all the time. The instructer had to tell her that in the US it's not acceptable to be so physical and touchy feely with other women

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.

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#22 of 35 Old 07-10-2010, 01:25 AM
 
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Since she is from a 3rd world country I can understand how she'd be shocked by not vaccinating. But a tap on the cheek is too far in my book. It's okay that she doesn't agree with you about vaccinations. But the tapping is just too far. I don't like to be touched in the face so it would have annoyed me. Had it been on the arm I wouldn't care as much.

It will be interesting to see what your leader says! Keep us updated!
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#23 of 35 Old 07-10-2010, 02:57 AM
 
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I don't think I would have reacted well to someone hitting me in the face at all.

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#24 of 35 Old 07-10-2010, 03:17 AM
 
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I have been to a India and when I was 16 and never got my shot's and IM ok I would not get the cops involved but I would try to set up a meeting with her and bring some facts with you good luck.
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#25 of 35 Old 07-10-2010, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The leader of the group called the woman and talked to her. The woman said she thinks I'm overreacting! The leader thinks the woman and I should work it out between ourselves and gave me her phone number. I'm not sure what I should do now. I'm considering only participating in the group when I'm sure she's not going to be there .
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#26 of 35 Old 07-10-2010, 11:54 AM
 
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That would seriously tick me off. I would have asked the leader of the group, "If she smacked you in the face, how do you think you would have felt?" The very fact of the matter is this: you do not smack people in the face. Full stop, end of story. Agree, disagree, but you do not physically assault another person because of the disagreement.

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?
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#27 of 35 Old 07-10-2010, 12:02 PM
 
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I really only see 3 options. Remove yourself from the group, call her and talk to her or continue to go but ignore her or avoid her.


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.
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#28 of 35 Old 07-10-2010, 12:49 PM
 
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This is the perfect opportunity to get to know someone else's culture a little better. I would have just said it's surprising she touched you on the face, because Americans don't generally do that, and ask her what it means. See what she says. It could mean nothing. It could have been a sign of affection. Or it could have been an admonition. But I'd let her explain it first, and I'd ask her directly. And then just tell her that it could have been (or was) interpreted differently.

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.
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#29 of 35 Old 07-10-2010, 06:28 PM
 
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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.

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.
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#30 of 35 Old 07-10-2010, 07:21 PM
 
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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.
It depends. Cultures vary widely and her "slap" could have been someone else's "chuckle under the chin." And one person's insult could be another's being very direct. We weren't there, so we don't really know.

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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