Handshaking American Style with a Woman - A Soft Shake?
Woman extending Hand by Flicker The handshake around the world in Indonesia is making headlines because reportedly Government Minister Tifatul Sembiring was hesitant to shake First Lady Michelle Obama's hand because she is a woman. Video footage shows Mr. Sembiring using two hands when shaking Mrs. Obama's hand. Lot's of discussion has ensued -- but are things much different in America?
In an early manuscript for my new book, I described a "soft shake" some men extend to women that's strikingly similar to the one Mrs. Obama got. Here's what my informal survey of some men revealed: "he shakes a woman's hand more loosely than he does a man's, and then he puts his other hand on top to reinforce this "nicer" handshake." .
The question is just how prevalent is it in America that men extend handshakes reserved just for women. If you are a man, have you ever given the soft shake to a woman? If you are a woman have you ever received the soft shake from a man?
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DEA Special Agent in Charge (retired) June Werdlow Rogers (formerly June W. Stansbury) holds a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice and Criminology earned at the University of Maryland. She has 28 years of law enforcement experience from 3 different agencies (
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