There are many stories of people being mortified when they ask someone, even someone they know, whom they think is pregnant how far along they are only to discover that the person is not pregnant at all. But women say that they have been astonished at how the visible signs of their pregnancy seem to give total strangers the impression that they have license to make personal remarks and give advice. Someone named Jax tweeted her response when some officious stranger gave her unsolicited and unwelcome advice.
(I am 6 months pregnant)
Me after ordering my coffee:
Stranger at Starbucks: you know you should be drinking decaf when you’re pregnant.
Me: I’m… not pregnant.
Stranger: (horrified) I am so, so sorry!
And that’s what you get for giving unsolicited advice.
— Jax ⚡️ (@Diamond_Jax) August 2, 2019
Her tweet prompted a lot of responses from other women recounting their own experiences and how strange it was to suddenly find people thinking that their bodies were now communal property.
It is not just pregnancy. I have a friend whose chemotherapy resulted in hair loss, a common side effect. She described how a strange woman at a store asked her if she had had breast cancer and a mastectomy and my friend did not rebuff her but answered yes. She was astonished when the woman then asked her which breast had been removed! That was too much even for my always courteous friend.
It s weird how some people cannot recognize personal boundaries.