The Girl Scouts of America have some sage advice for your family when you’re sitting down to eat some sage stuffing with your turkey. Prepare yourself, because this has nothing to do with cookies or merit badges.
Don’t force your kids (particularly the girls in this case) to hug their relatives during the holidays because you’ll be sending a bad message and indoctrinating them into the rape culture or something. And no… I’m not even kidding. (Washington Post)
“Have you ever insisted, ‘Uncle just got here — go give him a big hug!’ or ‘Auntie gave you that nice toy, go give her a kiss’ when you were worried your child might not offer affection on her own? If yes, you might want to reconsider the urge to do that in the future.”
That’s the advice the Girl Scouts of America is giving to parents. The organization published a blog post this week arguing that forcing children to hug relatives and family friends during the holidays could muddy the waters when it comes to the notion of consent later in life.
The piece comes as some of the most powerful men in nearly every major industry — from Hollywood to journalism to politics — are being publicly called out for sexual harassment and assault.
Their memo was titled, “Reminder: She Doesn’t Owe Anyone a Hug. Not Even at the Holidays.”
Hollywood actress Amber Tamblyn jumped into the fray, praising the Girl Scouts’ advice and adding that your daughters also shouldn’t have to kiss relatives or even be told to smile for a family picture.
— Amber Tamblyn (@ambertamblyn) November 12, 2017
You know, the entire sexual assault discussion was long overdue and is producing positive results in many cases. But there was always a danger of this thing going over the cliff in the other direction. Why? Because nothing is worth talking about in 2017 unless we can turn the dial all the way up to eleven. This is one of the early signs of just such a train wreck taking place.
Your children should be encouraged to embrace the love of their immediate family in appropriate ways. Not everyone in the world is waiting to molest them, and advice like this, rather than “setting them up for the rape culture” is actually doing the opposite. You’re going to make them distrustful of everyone in their lives, including their own family. If you have some creepy uncle coming over for dinner who you honestly feel poses a danger, the answer isn’t to prevent him from hugging your kids. It’s to not invite him in the first place and possibly notify the authorities.
Just stop. The disintegration of the nuclear family was the source of many of the social ills we’re battling today. Can we not send out a message encouraging the further decay of the fundamental family unit, please? It’s the holidays. We should be gathering together in thanks and showering our loved ones with… love. It doesn’t have to be a social justice lecture. Eat your turkey and go take a nap.
I realize I came out pretty strongly against the idea before, but maybe allowing girls to join the Boy Scouts deserves a second look.