General Question

shopwurld4u8's avatar

Adult Women Only--Do you read or are you a writer? I need your opinion on something that I find very unrealistic.

Asked by shopwurld4u8 (10points) April 11th, 2009

Adult Women Only—Authors, writers, journalists!

I am reading a book from Dean Koontz. In the story, a woman in her 40’s kidnaps a boy in his teens. She approaches him from behind and covers his mouth with her hand to keep him quiet from the neighbors.
I am a writer and I pay lots of attention to detail. I find this quite unrealistic since a) women have small hands and b) women are weaker than boys.

Do you think it is realistic that a woman’s hand is big enough to cover a boys mouth with her hand to keep him quiet? How close to his nose might your hand come? Do you think the boy would be forced to smell her hand against his will if she kept him quiet? His nose and mouth are a quarter of an inch apart. Explain your answer. Is your hand small or adult sized? The 13 year old boy is described as 5’1 and 101 lbs.

So if you’re a female author or writer, I would like your opinion. Thanks for reading my question:)

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39 Answers

hearkat's avatar

I am not a writer (other than my verbose comments on Fluther) and I don’t read much; but I am a mother of a teenage boy.

5’1” and 101 pounds is believable for a 13 year old boy… but on the small side. However, from the time he was about 7 and 65 lbs. or so, I was unable to physically restrain my son. I am 5’6” and average strength for a woman.

upholstry's avatar

I don’t know why only adult women are qualified to answer this, but

1) I think it depends on the size of the woman

2) Dean Koontz’s characters are generally bland and unrealistic and nothing I would hold up as any kind of standard of realism

El_Cadejo's avatar

I dont really understand why you have to be a female or a writer to answer this question…...

Yes i think its very believable that a woman could be much stronger than a teenage boy and kidnap him. Especially if hes quite weak and the woman is a bit on the larger side.

chyna's avatar

I agree with uberbatman. I’ve seen some very strong, big women that I wouldn’t want to tangle with and I’m 5’1.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I’m not buying the nose and moutn 1/4” apart… Even on small children, the distance from the nose to the mouth is almost an inch. Strengthwise, if the woman worked out a lot, maybe. On average, no way.

mangeons's avatar

I’m just wondering… what is the name of this book? It sounds interesting.

tinyfaery's avatar

I’m a 5ft 2 inches tall and about 130lbs. I have been trained to take down a 6ft, 180lb man. Size doesn’t matter so much as training and the element of surprise.

shopwurld4u8's avatar

No one has bothered to answer the specific questions in my posting to support his or her argument. I am not buying the fact that a womans hand is big enough to cover a 13 year old boys mouth. If you think it’s possible, then be more detailed in each question that I asked in my posting.

chyna's avatar

My hand fits over my mouth and nose. I have never tried to put my hand over a 13 year old boys mouth and nose, so that is about as useful as I can be.

cwilbur's avatar

@showpurl: If you don’t believe it, you don’t believe it. I’ve seen large women and small teenaged boys, so I don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibility. If it really bothers you, stop reading the book.

Darwin's avatar

I am female, a writer and a reader, and I have a 14 year old son. He happens to be 5’ 6” tall and weighs 197 pounds. I am 5 ‘8” tall, and I do keep in shape, lifting weights and running.

I wear a size large to extra-large men’s glove, and I can cover my son’s mouth and nose with my hand easily. His upper lip is about 3/4” long but since the palm alone of my hand is 3 inches wide (4 inches wide including my thumb) I can even cover both his mouth and nose and much of his chin. Further, my hands are 7 inches from fingertip to wrist so I could easily cover his face from cheekbone to cheekbone.

My son is considerably larger than the boy in the book (although I know many 13 year olds that are smaller than the one described by Koontz). However, I have been taught how to restrain him if necessary and I have seen smaller women than I do it in a psychiatric setting.

I would say that depending on the boy, and depending on the woman, and depending on the circumstances, it could definitely be done. Shock and the element of surprise can often tip the balance in favor of the attacker also.

However, as @cwilbur says, if you aren’t enjoying the book, stop reading it.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

just because the character is a woman, doesn’t mean she has small dainty hands. not that all books and the descriptions in them are super realistic, but it’s certainly possible that a woman’s hand could cover a teenage boy’s nose/mouth.

hearkat's avatar

You sent me a comment and asked about the hand covering the mouth… An adult woman of average build can cover the mouth of an adult (except maybe a larger male adult) and even pinch the nosed closed with the thumb and index finger. Women’s hands aren’t that small!

A woman who has training can subdue or even kill someone larger than her with her bare hands. Assuming that the perpetrator in the novel has intended to commit such a crime, it is totally feasable to me.

Why are you so fixated on this, to go to the lengths of pursuing this in the private comments and offering an email address for me to reply to? At this point I am far more curious in your interest in the issue. I wonder what your gender and build are, too?

tinyfaery's avatar

Okay. I just tried this on my 19 year old, 6ft 4” nephew. I have medium sized hands and he has a flatter type nose and a full mouth. My hand covers his mouth and flattens his nose, but it only cover the nostrils. He can still breathe, and since he has to breath, he does smell my hand. Apparently, it smells like syrup. We just ate french toast.

Now, why does this matter?

Jeruba's avatar

The average woman and the average Black or Causasian 13-year-old boy, probably not. I am of average height for a woman, but small-boned, with small hands and feet. My sons at 13 were as tall as or taller than I. One was built like a basketball player and the other like a football player, but I couldn’t have overpowered either of them.

They also had smaller friends whom I could easily have muscled into silence. Boys come in all sizes, as do women. The 5’1” boy is pretty small. I bet I could take him. I certainly know some Amazons who could do what they will with pretty much any average full-grown man.

I would not give Koontz high marks for verisimilitude here, but as a writer I would be inclined to say that he is giving you these particulars as facts for you to accept as a reader and that you make your inferences from them about the size and relative power of the two characters. I would complain only if these data points don’t match other data points in the story; for example, if she hands him a pickle jar and asks him to unscrew the lid.

andrew's avatar

How does that work? “Hey! Come here! I want to try something out on you. No, stand still. I’m just going to cover your mouth. No, it’s for a website! No, get back here! Yes, I’ve washed my hands. It’ll just take a second. Can you breathe? What would you say, is that 1/4”? I can’t hear you, you’re muffled. Ok. Fine. Go play Call of Duty.”

fireside's avatar

@andrew – lmao

I don’t think the question was specifically about covering the nose and mouth. As I read it, you seem to be wondering if the kid would smell the woman’s hand if it was over her mouth. If there was a smell to it, I think the kid would definitely get a whiff and maybe even a taste.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

__that’s why I love Andrew, he is so funny! Much lurve for his imaginary conversation.—

mangeons's avatar

She just PMed me and said that I was getting frustrated, because I’m 13 and I can’t keep up with the adults, because she kept asking me to re-answer her question 5 times. “Where would your hand be?” “What finger would be closest to his nose?” etc.

elijah's avatar

Also consider that a child of 13 who is being kidnapped may be frozen in fear, unable to think straight, and not even attempt to struggle. This would make it easier for the woman.
And you are creeping me out.

tinyfaery's avatar

@shopwurld4u8 Umm…your pm’s are weird. Please stop.

mangeons's avatar

@tinyfaery I said the same thing, and she said since I was 13 I “couldn’t keep up with the adults”

chyna's avatar

Yeah, she is Pming me too. A little demanding on them also. She seems to be facinated with 1/4 inch thing. Very creepy.

mangeons's avatar

I KNOW. And she’s like “Be like Darwin’s answer. Be more descriptive. You call yourself a writer—show it. Where is your index finger relative to his nose?”

Jeruba's avatar

I got a similar PM too. There is something wrong here.

Why do you think the questioner is a woman? I don’t.

tinyfaery's avatar

I feel like I am being challenged to write some sort of abduction scene.

mangeons's avatar

Well, I’m just assuming, the questioner seems female to me. But I could be wrong.

mangeons's avatar

But the thing that upsets me most is that she insulted me about my age.

Jeruba's avatar

=== I recommend that we stop answering this question. Just stop. ===

mangeons's avatar

Agreed, @Jeruba. It’s giving her what she wants, an uproar.

Darwin's avatar

@shopwurld4u8 – Now it’s your turn. Who or what are you? Are you planning to abduct a small teenage boy? Will you wash your hands first or simply make him tough it out? Are you actually Dean Koontz in disguise? Or are you one of his oddly human Golden Retrievers? If so, your paw probably wouldn’t cover the kid’s mouth, but you could bite the fool out of him.

Enquiring minds want to know.

casheroo's avatar

@darwin hahaha. lurve.

Just to answer, some women can and some can’t. No one can give you a specific answer, because it all depends on the woman. I personally couldn’t do it. I’m 5’6 and less and 110lbs. I am strong, but not enough to take a guy down. Probably if my adrenaline was rushing and it was in defense, but not a sneak attack. I also wouldn’t try a sneak attack on anyone, as I’m sure I’d be taken down quite easily. lol

Likeradar's avatar

removed by me

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Why does it matter particularly if the boy smells her hand or not? Just curious.

Likeradar's avatar

@BBSDTfamily this q was written by a young male with a fetish. We were being used as spank bank ammo

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Oh gross. That’s what I get for reading the question and skipping straight to the answer box w/o reading previous comments! Thanks!

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