Don't Forget to Tickle my Kitty
Or my kiddies...sorry. Brothers Baddiel are to blame for this
Just a little something-something for a Friday fink. A recent article I read piqued my interest in the subject of tickling. Tickling children more specifically.
In this world of absurd cancel culture, I believe this area of scrutiny holds more than enough merit to be looked at. The issue is that tickling is a form of child abuse. Before scoffing at PC world gone mad, take a trip down memory crescent.
Firstly though, take the science of it. It is a proven fact that when we are tickled, (it is called Gargalesis) the laugh is not a laugh of humour. It comes from the hypothalamus, which engages our primitive instinct to flee danger. The laugh comes from the fear of having no control. it is an involuntary reaction to a feeling of terror, intrusion, and mostly helplessness. Sounds like a hoot, right? The fact it is a laugh sound is totally arbitrary, it could as easily be a bark or a yelp. How we are wired up just causes a coincidence. A dual use of the Rolandic Operculum. In addition to that, when being tickled you are stimulating the unmyelinated nerve fibres. These are the fibres that actually cause pain. So you are setting the body up, it expects pain.
The stubborn ticklers out there will deny this, but only because I believe, they know that this is right. It cannot be denied. If you had never heard of tickling and you watched someone do it what would you think? It is the textbook definition of sadistic dominance.
Go back to when you were tickled. Did you ever actually want it? Some people do, and that is fine for the individual, but most people do not. Why would someone put both their hands up and say: “No?” If you are the tickling Uncle, then maybe you should take this very clear request to ‘get the hell off me’ a little more seriously. Why should the fact that someone is a child preclude them from objecting to being aggressively touched when they have asked not to? If you are the one who thinks I am being stupid and that it is a bit of “fun” (for whom?) I ask you this: If your wife went to the office one day, and the manager started tickling her when she begged him not to, would you write it off with the same blinkered self-projection? I doubt it very much. Same goes with knee-squeezing (even more so. I recall never hating anything quite as much as I hated that) and any other non-mutual physical intrusion.
So, in conclusion I say, if protests are made, read the signs. People do not physically and vocally protest if they “really actually enjoy it.” Wee punters deserve to be granted boundaries as much as any human. Get your weird kicks elsewhere
Thanks to Dr. Alan Hirsch, founder of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago whose research and papers provided the required information
Thanks also to the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London