Sunday, January 10, 2016

Where Does Your Personal Space Begin?

That is, from the outside, where does your sense of personal boundaries begin?  For many people, it is at least in the immediate perimeter around their person - their body.  As long as you can keep your personal space from being violated, you are secure.  With family, that is generally at the level of the body exterior.  With less close relatives/friends, that may include an invisible, but real zone around your body.  Inside that zone, only invited people may enter.  Hence, the personal outrage of the children who find that "Great-Aunt Whoever" ignores that zone, and insists on hugging and kissing.  Their outrage is that she ignored the boundary, on the pretense that she is a close relative.

But, that personal zone is NOT the ideal, when it comes to strangers - those who have not established trust with you.  For them, they need to stand further away - the less trusted, the further away they need to be for you to feel safe.  The size of the zone varies among cultures - Mediterrean cultures generally have smaller zones.  In Muslim cultures, the interrelatedness of the kinship group (coursing marriage being common in such cultures), means that they are more comfortable with a smaller personal zone.

How does that relate to the Migrant Crisis of Europe?
But consider personal safety. I have good locks on the doors of my house, so I don’t need to lock the doors of my individual rooms, the way I would have if I couldn’t secure my front door, or if members of my family found it fashionable to invite drifters in to spend the night with us.

If I lived in a gated community, I wouldn’t need to lock my front door at all, but I don’t, so I do.

In other words, I can have liberty of movement at some geographic scales, as long as I have security at some other level.

Merkel is trying to shrink the personal zone to a space that the Native Germans are NOT comfortable with.  She did this unilaterally, based on her political philosophy.  She triggered the "unsafe" feeling in the Germans, and they are pushing back.

This is beside the fact that the New Europeans are, in too many cases, acting boorishly and with complete disregard for the cultural and social norms of their host countries.  Some of the migrants expect that an unaccompanied woman, as well as one with a Euro man, has no expectation of boundaries.  They feel justified in ignoring ANY boundary, including the exterior of that woman's body.  It is such an expectation that permits them to touch, grab, and rape with no expectation that there will be consequences.

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