Pippa’s Story – ‘people touch me all the time and get angry, confused or openly mock me when I ask them not to’

I am a woman who does a job involving heavy lifting. I also have multiple allergies.
Now that we are entering summer my work life is a bit hellish, as people touch me all the time and get angry, confused or openly mock me when I ask them not to. It is hot, really hot and I am doing a job which is not helped by the fact that if I take my jacket off, my skin will be exposed.
Because I have as yet found no way to get random people to stop touching me, I am going to have to continue to wearing my jacket. I am getting dehydrated, I am feeling sick all the time.

As if this is not obnoxious enough, some people (I have noticed especially old women) seem to feel a need to seek out exposed skin and touch it. They go for my hands, even when I tell them not to they do it all the more. I blister, my skin bleeds, my hands are sore. I am quite frankly sick of this.
My allergies include lanolin (skin cream), lactase (a ton of skin products and hand wash), pollen (hand cream again, perfume, hand wash again) and both kinds of dust mites (because why not).

I am going deaf from excessive production of mucus. My skin hurts where I am touched. Stop touching people you don’t know.

This is without the unwanted sexual contact. I am touched in the neck, rubbed down the arm, stroked in the back. It is creepy. I am a short woman, it’s intimidating and it’s creepy.

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Hannah Mason-Bish View All →

Criminologist and Co-Director of Centre for Gender Studies at University of Sussex

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