I do not shake hands with men.
I’ve got two reasons for this.
First, I never really liked handshakes. Whenever someone extends a hand, I can’t help but think of the places that hand has been to or how many surfaces it must have touched. You can’t blame me, I’m always trying to avoid germs. I always preferred to hug.
Secondly, as a Muslimah I avoid unnecessary physical contact with men outside of my family. This is out of modesty and not pride. I simply do not subscribe to the fact that physical contact and attractiveness will earn me male attention. I rather much prefer to be judged by my intellect and not by any part of my body. And so, I really do not understand why there is so much fuss whenever I politely refuse these handshakes.
When I greet anyone, I usually do so with a smile. That’s about as far as it would go if you are male. For females, I might give a hug if we are close friends but I steer clear of handshakes. Many people do not even wash their hands after making use of the restroom!
Sometime ago, a British study revealed that hugging reduces the spread of flu as handshakes spread germs. I know we can’t totally stay away from germs. Of course that’s why we have immunity but I still squirm inside when I touch surfaces in public places – bank counters, door knobs, elevator buttons,bus handbars and even naira notes!
One thing I’m sure of is that I reduce my exposure to germs by half by sticking to my little principle.