Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Patronizing Fondler

Even if you are the German Chancellor, you still are, after all, a woman. And, as such, you are prone to this kind of patronizing fondling. Lindsay is dead right that "Every woman will recognize the guy who sidles up and starts "casually" giving you a backrub without even looking at you, because he wants to preserve deniability in case you freak out." While not exactly the same move, it reminds me of a scene from the old Spencer Tracy-Katharine Hepburn film, Adam's Rib, wherein Tracy gives Hepburn a backrub, which quickly turns aggressive.

Adam: What are ya? Sore about a little slap?
Amanda: No.
Adam: Well, what then?
Amanda: (outraged at him) You meant that, didn't you? You really meant that.
Adam: Why, no, I...
Amanda: Yes, you did. I can tell. I know your type. I know a slap from a slug.
Adam: Well, OK, OK.
Amanda: I'm not so sure it is. I'm not so sure I care to expose myself to typical instinctive masculine brutality.
Adam: Oh come now.
Amanda: And it felt not only as though you meant it, but as though you felt you had a right to. I can tell.
Adam: What've you got back there? Radar equipment?
Amanda: You're really sore at me, aren't you?
Adam: Oh, don't be 'diriculous.' Ridiculous.
Amanda: There! Proves it!

She can recognize the "tone" of the touch immediately. I think a lot of women are attuned to the "tone" of touches. You can tell, for example, that when a man places his hand on the small of your back as you enter a room, it is often to guide you in the direction he wants, regardless of your own desire. I am sure others can think of some more fitting examples . . .