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  • Men Holding Hands

    I do not think this question requires a Poll, but I did want to see how fathers and grandfathers in our community feel about explaining less traditional behaviors (i.e. is this a growing trend? do we even need to have ANY explanation ready?).

    If your child sees two men holding hands and walking through the resort or along the beach, are they likely to ask about this? Has one of them already asked about this? If so, what was your answer or explanation? (and I suppose it does not even need to be men, it could be women)

    Are our children being educated about same-sex relationships in school such that THEY are unlikely to even ask?

    I have not spent enough time with the grandchildren in situations where couples (of any type) were likely to be getting affectionate, therefore I have not yet had to have this discussion myself. I think I would be level-headed and straight forward about it, but I wondered whether other parents had encountered this yet.

    (my gut feeling is that through public education and minor coverage of same-sex relationships in the mass media IS leading to the next generation of children being "OK" or not caring about men holding hands publicly, or kissing publicly. it is just becoming a part of our standard social fabric that these other relationships exist...)


    * * * ALTERNATE SCENARIO - In a future time... * * *

    20 years from now, your family is at the beach having a good time. A nude couple strolls by holding hands or with their arms around each other's waist. What will be the reaction of your children under the age of sixteen?


    Feel free to be as creative and imaginative with your answers to either question as you like. The questions are meant to explore attitudes and predispositions on subjects which may not have been previously mentioned. I searched the keyword "kissing" and found no prior posts.

    ~
    Last edited by Centauri4; 07-19-2011, 12:05 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Men Holding Hands

    In many cultures, men hold hands as a sign of friendship and affection, such as in Russia, Saudia Arabia and other mid-eastern countries as well as some African nations.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/01/we...A/O+HOfUg5d2BA

    See video,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIu33fH5fL0

    Same sex brief hugging by politians is frequently seen on TV. In reality, the hand-shake is a form of touching. Thus, this continueing custom of hand touching has a real meaning in our society and contiues to be socially satifying in our culture.

    Years ago, I was in a "Sensitivity Group" of men and woman where I got over my great reluctance to follow the group in hugging the men and women there.
    Last edited by David77; 07-19-2011, 03:13 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: Men Holding Hands

      You could tell your grandchildren, without going into a lecture on sex, that although in our society, men holding hands is not common, customary nor well accepted. that men holding hands indicates friendship and affection for one another, just like anyone else holding hands.
      Last edited by David77; 07-19-2011, 08:40 PM.

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      • #4
        Re: Men Holding Hands

        As kind of a spin on this concept there are also cultural differences in something as simple as the proximity of men together when talking or hanging out. I recently moved from Virginia (mid-Atlantic/South) to Miami (Latin influenced) and had to quickly get over the fact that the space between men is nearly nonexistent and that men touch each other all the time in area that I wasn't used to like the chest, shoulder, sides, even the leg. This happens just in general conversation and when hanging out even between the most macho/hetero of men. It's pretty cool because right away I can see that it allows for a closer friendship and more intimate interaction with another person.

        Explaining hand holding to children is probably unnecessary unless one has never held the child's hand. They probably couldn't care less about it. As a teenager maybe it would come up as a question but could just as easily be squashed by saying "Some people hold hands. Get over it."

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Men Holding Hands

          Originally posted by Centauri4 View Post
          I do not think this question requires a Poll, but I did want to see how fathers and grandfathers in our community feel about explaining less traditional behaviors (i.e. is this a growing trend? do we even need to have ANY explanation ready?).

          If your child sees two men holding hands and walking through the resort or along the beach, are they likely to ask about this? Has one of them already asked about this? If so, what was your answer or explanation? (and I suppose it does not even need to be men, it could be women)

          Are our children being educated about same-sex relationships in school such that THEY are unlikely to even ask?

          I have not spent enough time with the grandchildren in situations where couples (of any type) were likely to be getting affectionate, therefore I have not yet had to have this discussion myself. I think I would be level-headed and straight forward about it, but I wondered whether other parents had encountered this yet.

          (my gut feeling is that through public education and minor coverage of same-sex relationships in the mass media IS leading to the next generation of children being "OK" or not caring about men holding hands publicly, or kissing publicly. it is just becoming a part of our standard social fabric that these other relationships exist...)


          * * * ALTERNATE SCENARIO - In a future time... * * *

          20 years from now, your family is at the beach having a good time. A nude couple strolls by holding hands or with their arms around each other's waist. What will be the reaction of your children under the age of sixteen?


          Feel free to be as creative and imaginative with your answers to either question as you like. The questions are meant to explore attitudes and predispositions on subjects which may not have been previously mentioned. I searched the keyword "kissing" and found no prior posts.

          ~
          I have experienced this in a similar situation, not at a beach/resort. A few years ago, I went home to Boston for a weekend visit. My step mom and I decided to go to dinner with my sister (she was 6 at the time) in South End. Anyone not familiar with Boston, the South End is the gay hub (not so much anymore) of Boston. It is a happening area with bars, restaurants, boutiques. We were walking on Tremont Street and many gay couples passed us walking hand in hand. My sister did not ask any questions or inquired about two men/women holding hands. To her, it was nothing out of the ordinary. My step mom never had an outward discussion with her about gay people but she has been told that two people of same sex and opposite sex can love each other and it isn't anything out of the ordinary. This is all the explanation she needs. It helps that one of he play mates is a girl with two daddies. Needless to say, she has enough exposure of gay couples to understand it isn't anything unusual. As her gay brother, she doesn't even ask me questions about being gay. If anything, she sometimes inquiry as to when my ex boyfriend will come around to visit. Even though we have broken up and I explained that to her, she hasn't quite wrapped her head around the concept that the relationship ended.

          I have learned that children are inquisitive and very loving creatures. Where they learn to be judgmental and/or discriminatory is through the parents. Children react to things that are not necessarily the norm based on how YOU (the parents) react. If a parent sees two men holding hands and makes a big deal about it then you have already taught your kid that there is something about the situation that is wrong, to be feared, to be questioned or to judge.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Men Holding Hands

            Q daddy why are those two men holding hands.
            A Because they love each other son.
            nothing else needs to be said

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Men Holding Hands

              The attitude people in Society have toward even the simplest of touching, these days, is abysmal at best. ANd it's entirely a learned attitude that folks have taken on in recent decades, where it seems alot of folks are quick to accuse another person of 'inappropriate touching' or even an 'inappropriate remark' such as 'Gee, Miss Jones, that's a very nice outfit you have on today.' No, as far as the touching is concerned, even a tap on the shoulder can get misconstrued and people go nuts with charges of inappropriate touching and even go so far as to call it assult. That is insane, folks. We didn't have this just a few, scant decades ago.

              Part of the problem is that folks in many, advanced cultures have a propensity to bring about a legal charge or a lawsuit for just about anyting they can, and it's all about the self and with no consideration to others.

              But more focused to the topic of this thread, the concept that a simple pat on the back for a job well-done, a hug for congratulation or consolation, or might I go so far as to say even a kiss on the cheek, don't have the same meaning to too many folks as they should or used to. Seems way too many people live within walls and they become extremely territorial when they feel their 'space' is being invaded. Add to that the incredible array of phobias so many folks have about things that don't really exist such as cooties. That's a game kids play but it seems too many folks this day & age have not outgrown.

              Whilst I would readilly agree that touching, even amongst men, should have its limitations and a common mutual understanding of what a touch represents, I'm a strong believer that we as an advanced Society have slipped too far into this abyss of phobias, misconstruances based on personal and selfish interests, opportunities for lawsuits and competitiveness. If folks can get over and past those things we as a Society can live so much happier and with fewer, unneccesary fears.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Men Holding Hands

                Thanks guys! I appreciate your responses. Children do have a happily unfiltered view of these things. I almost forgot.

                ~

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Men Holding Hands

                  I think that in todays times it would be easy to explain two men holding hands to a child. This is a very common thing and it is seen everywhere; TV shows have male and female couples, children regularly encounter friends with same sex parents, movies and the internet etc. I know that when my children were growing up we would answer their questions honestly and if the topic was one that was sensitive then once their couriosity was quenched we would stop giving them information. There is no reason to go into a long explaination or discourse on the subject, just Being honest and forthwright with them has always been best.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Men Holding Hands

                    Originally posted by Centauri4 View Post
                    Thanks guys! I appreciate your responses. Children do have a happily unfiltered view of these things. I almost forgot.

                    ~
                    In fact most children are acutely aware of differences from what has been normal to them up to that point. They usually are not stupid or blind or dull. Noticing something new however is vastly different from being concerned about it.

                    Most younger kids are quite adaptable and should have no problem with same sex hand holding unless something else in their prior experience also influences them to react negatively. A parent or a friend who in the past has made slurs or demeaning remarks at out of the ordinary behaviour might influence a bad reaction in this instance.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Men Holding Hands

                      If somebody asked me why two complete strangers were holding hands I'd say that I don't know. If I don't know them I can't possibly know who they are to each other. I'm not going to assume that they're a couple just because they're holding hands.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Men Holding Hands

                        Originally posted by LumpyPostage View Post
                        If somebody asked me why two complete strangers were holding hands I'd say that I don't know. If I don't know them I can't possibly know who they are to each other. I'm not going to assume that they're a couple just because they're holding hands.
                        Why not? By that I mean that if two guys are holding hands for longer then it takes to... (what? comfort someone after a loss? take a pulse? steady the other guy over some loose stones? ...) then why not assume they are a couple? I would if it was a mixed gender pair. Lumpy Postage is right in that he doesn't really know, but he could make assumptions. It probably shouldn't change anything however, like the way you treat them, speak to them, or look at them.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Men Holding Hands

                          If I don't know them I'm not going to assume anything that's none of my business. How long anything takes to do is none of my concern.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Men Holding Hands

                            Some interesting ideas here,i would like to here from someone who is not gay that holds hands publickly or privately ,it may help to understand there feelings an get past the opinions,justifications etc. It is no secret that the gay life style agenda is promoting this as a form of comming out,,so what . I am not gay my actions ,language,dress or undress show this. If you are gay once again so ******* what ,thats your decision. In ending this comment --hold it- kiss --it--hug it its your life.no explanation required. Naken

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                            • #15
                              Re: Men Holding Hands

                              I'm glad to see so many reasoned and sensible answers to this question. I wonder if children would even ask that these days, since they would likely recognize that it is two people who like each other and show their affection by holding hands. That is an absolutely natural thing for people to do, and children know that. They will hold the hand of their friend naturally. If the question was asked, acknowledging that it's nice to see people showing that they like each other would be enough. I'm not sure why the view "it's none of my business" would even need to arise. That would suggest something ugly in a perfectly natural human activity.

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