The dos and don’ts of greetings between men and women have become somewhat blurred in modern society with the common handshake now considered not so regular as it once was. Although years ago men would never have considered kissing a woman on the cheek whom they had only just met, nowadays it is becoming increasingly common due to growth in public displays of affection.
However with that has come confusion and frustration, and one woman took to social media this week to vent her annoyance, revealing she’s sick of men going in for a kiss when meeting her for the first time. While it may seem harmless to some, the woman explained it’s something she really hates, especially when the interaction between men is usually a handshake.
Responding to claims by popular news presenter Leigh Sales that she had received an unwelcome peck on the lips from retired businessman Phil Newman, she wrote on Twitter: “I really hate it when men shake other men’s hands and then feel the need to go in for the cheek kiss with the only woman in the room even though I’ve never met them before”.
Delving into the issue on Tuesday’s episode of the Today show, guests discussed how they felt about the cheek kiss and whether or not it is acceptable in today’s society. For the most part the view was to forego kissing unless you’re greeting a close friend or partner and stick to handshakes to play it safe.
Using her own situation as an example one guest said: “If I’m in a meeting and there’s men there my hand is straight out so the kiss is not an option. I think it’s weird to kiss people I don’t know.” Host Deb Knight then questioned whether she considers it okay for a woman to kiss another woman on the cheek to which she responded: “No, not unless they’re friends of mine”.
Meanwhile, Aussie comedian Lawrence Mooney made light of the situation joking: “I’ve changed up completely now. I kiss everyone. I think the handshake has gone. I grab both hands of men and the open mouth. To meet Prime Minister Scott Morrison I’d definitely straight on the lips.
“Bill Shorten, Albo, any man in power, bang, I’m straight in there. I’m sick of hand shaking, it’s weird, I don’t know how firm or soft to make it so it’s going to go straight on the lips from now on.”
Elsewhere, Aussies have taken to social media to share their thoughts on the topic with varying opinions on what is right or wrong in certain circumstances. The majority agreed it had become difficult to gage what’s acceptable in this day and age.
“I default to offering a handshake to women, particularly women I don’t know,” one person wrote on Twitter. “But then sometimes get an awkward moment when they go in for the kiss on the cheek when I’m offering the hand. We are in a transitional stage. ”
While another claimed although a kiss on the cheek is extremely common in Europe, in Australia the rules haven’t really been set out, leading to uncomfortable situations. In a comment on Twitter they said: “Aussies are confused by this. In Europe I know the cheek kissing is (a) done equally with men or women (both cheeks, sometimes more than once) or (b) only done with family or close friends (an acknowledgement of a close relationship). We need better ground rules on this.”
Meanwhile, others were completely against the act writing: “So unprofessional and can feel like a violation. I don’t think some men understand how distasteful it is. Clearly men shouldn’t do that. A handshake for everyone. A hug and a peck for close friends only.”
Their words were echoed by anther who added: “It happened to me a few months ago at a government job interview. I shook hands with females and males shook my hand and kissed me on the cheek. I immediately thought ‘WTF just happened?'”