- The Kiss - The Bulwark
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- Gustav Klimt: Why some say 'The Kiss' is better than the 'Mona Lisa'
Like other unwelcome advances, when women object they are accused of not being able to take a joke, take a friendly gesture, of being cold. The man never meant anything by it, certainly not offence. Every new year I make a vow to only allow handshakes unless I choose differently. I have learnt to offer my stiffened hand, fingers stretched to prevent fracturing metacarpals you need to be ready for that in rural Australia. It has proved impossible. The people I choose to kiss are in no doubt about my intentions.
But when that erect little hand shoots out from my side, they should know what that means too. Illustration: Dionne Gain Credit:. Why does this matter? Leigh Sales got it. But not all girls grow up to have her confidence — and the way we raise them actively discourages their belief in their right to say no, and not just to a kiss. Being kissed is about agency. It is the first invasion of personal social space we experience.
Girls are given less latitude.
My twin sister and I were kissed. My brother, although a year younger, was expected to shake hands from a young age. But we were petted, jiggled on laps and kissed aplenty. We had to contend with bad breath and scratchy whiskers on miscellaneous middle-aged men and women, the occasional gropes wriggled away from. Preparation for adult life really.
If little girls grow up believing they are not able to reject a personal space invasion, what chance do we have of ensuring our daughters will truly believe it is okay to say no to sexual advances? Boys and girls as well as men and women need to be able to say no and mean no, which means we need to give them that right, from the get-go, and that deep, sure confidence to do so. Recently Australian universities and governments have struggled with how to address and prevent sexual assault.
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Requiring a man to seek consent is part of the answer; giving women the confidence to say no is the other. The Broderick review of residential colleges at the University of Sydney was full of examples of female students not feeling they could resist the pressure. Little wonder, when girls are squished against, smattered with kisses and generally expected to succumb to the intentions of others from babyhood. How about we revise the rules of engagement?
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Rate This. In a medium close-up shot of the first kiss ever recorded on screen, two fervent lovers cuddle and talk passionately at hair's breadth, just before the love-smitten gentleman decides to give his chosen one an innocent peck.
The Kiss - The Bulwark
Director: William Heise. Writer: John J. McNally play. Stars: May Irwin , John C. December National Film Registry Thomas Edison.
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Gustav Klimt: Why some say 'The Kiss' is better than the 'Mona Lisa'
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