Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Rape Crisis Hysteria Goes After Grandma: GSUSA Decrees That Kids Must Not Be Compelled to Give Grandma A Hug

   But to fully appreciate this, you've got to take a look at the original, the title of which is--and I'm not making this up: "She Doesn't  Owe Anyone A Hug, Not Even On The Holidays."  Note the picture: a little girl dressed in a kind of college-y...or twenty-something-y...way, staring pensively.
   This is one of those bits of crazy that really does capture something about the crazy, crazy essence of political correctness / social "justice:"
   Girl Scouts of the USA issued a warning to parents this holiday season, asking them to think twice before forcing their daughters to hug relatives at gatherings.
   “Think of it this way, telling your child that she owes someone a hug either just because she hasn’t seen this person in a while or because they gave her a gift can set the stage for her questioning whether she ‘owes’ another person any type of physical affection when they have bought her dinner or done something else seemingly nice for her later in life,” reads the post on the Girl Scouts’ website.
   That's right! Some semi-employed 24-year-old women's studies major working part-time as the Minster of Gender Correctness for the girl scouts has, in classic liberal/progressive fashion, decided that she knows better than all the parents in the world stretching back forever...because she thought of a completely unverified story about how hugging grandma might cause rape. 
   But wait! There's more!:
   The organization’s missive to parents comes as allegations of sexual misconduct by men ring out from every industry, including Hollywood, politics and the media.
   One in nine girls under the age of 18 experiences sexual abuse or assault at the hands of an adult, according to data shared by the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), an anti-sexual assault organization.
   Past research also suggests that nearly one in three episodes of sexual abuse of a child is perpetrated by a family member.
   The Girl Scouts' post encourages parents to offer their daughters ways to show gratitude that do not require physical contact, including "a smile, a high-five, or even an air kiss."
   And don't forget--these are people who are convinced beyond any shadow of a doubt that they are the rational side in the culture war.
   Here's another gem:
“No one should be compelled to touch anyone they don't want to, especially children,” wrote another commenter in support. “It is HER choice if she wants to give or receive touch and we should respect that choice…”
   "Give or receive touch"? Nobody who says something like "give or receive touch" should ever be listened to. About anything. Ever. There's really something deeply wrong with these people.
   Anyway: I reckon it should be up to the kid whether he or she gets vaccinated. I mean, if non-consensual hugging of grandma is a moral misdemeanor, then non-consensual stabbing and injection of viruses is a felony.
   Thing is, you dumbasses: kids are stupid and ignorant and largely amoral little monster. Grandma deserves a hug. Grandma is sweet and kind and old and wants a hug from the kid so much. Kid is just being obstinate. Give grandma a damn hug, ya little cretin. The kid himself will thank you later. Because the kid himself will--when no longer a cranky, stupid, amoral little monster--realize that grandma deserved a damn hug. And how many people wish they'd hugged their grandmas less? The vaccination analogy was deliberate: like hugging grandma, it's something the kid might not want to do at the time...because kids are often irrational and loathsome...but were they rational, they'd agree with their parents. And when they are, they will. It's like your drunk friend wanting to drive home. He'll see the wisdom of your paternalism when he's older.
   And I guess making them drink their milk will teach them that people can just tell them what to drink! And the next thing you know...sexual assault in the fraternity house...
   Here's C. S. Lewis in The Abolition of Man:
Hitherto the plans of educationalists have achieved very little of what they attempted and indeed, when we read them — how Plato would have every infant "a bastard nursed in a bureau", and Elyot would have the boy see no men before the age of seven and, after that, no women,' and how Locke wants children to have leaky shoes and no turn for poetry — we may well thank the beneficent obstinacy of real mothers, real nurses, and (above all) real children for preserving the human race in such sanity as it still possesses. 
   A friend of mine once said to me: a liberal is somebody who thinks he's smarter than everybody else who ever lived. I didn't fully appreciate that point at the time...but it reverberated around in my head for twenty years or so. And as the years go by, I'm more and more inclined to think it might, unfortunately, be right.


Blogger Random Michelle K said...


You wanted me to argue this with you, didn't you? :)

I have a lot of small people in my life (between my brother and cousins there are 12 kids ten and under, and there are friends' kids in that age range as well). There are two that are only a couple days apart in age, and one loves giving hugs and the other is super uncomfortable with touching (it's a shy personality thing, not a bad-things-happened thing).

I have a picture of the two of them with the one trying to give a hug and the other leaning a way with a look of "WHAT is going ON here?" I love that picture, but it also made me reconsider the whole kids hugging thing.

If a child doesn't like hugging, why should they be made to do so?

However, the whole thing doesn't have to be over the top. When I interact with the kids, I'll ask, "May I have a hug?" If they are the slightest bit hesitant, I'll ask, "How about a high five?" That is generally acceptable to the shy kids. But if that isn't okay, I don't get upset about it.

Why? Because I was a terribly shy kid, and I hated being hugged by (talking to, being looked at by) strangers. I hugged my great aunts because it would have made them feel bad if I didn't, but it made me uncomfortable. Why would I want to put a kid through that which bothered me?

And it works the same way with adults. If a friend is upset, I'll ask them if they'd like a hug. If they don't want a hug, I'll then ask, "how about a joke?" I want to comfort people and let them know they are cared about, not make them feel worse by forcing unwanted contact. Hell, I've even offered to hug strangers in hospital waiting rooms (and been taken up on it). Some people are comforted by human touch, some aren't.

Here's the final thing--that reluctant kid? Sometimes after we've spent some time together, she will give me a hug. Not out of guilt, but because she feels comfortable with me. Sometimes it doesn't happen, and that's okay too.

4:43 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

You are obviously more adept with people with I am, MK...I still favor "give grandma a hug, ya little monster".

But I'm not dismissing your argument out of hand...

1:07 PM  
Blogger Random Michelle K said...

Here is the picture: https://flic.kr/p/cxk9eG. It's several years old, but it's what put me on the course of "no mandatory hugging".

(It's not like the two didn't like each other: https://flic.kr/p/cxk9UW)

Besides, I want kids to like me and have fun. If they feel pressured into doing something they are uncomfortable with, how are they gonna be happy to see me? I love things like this: https://flic.kr/p/dFpbSm, but I want the kid to feel comfortable with me, not forced.

And I have an unpleasantly high degree of empathy. It means that if I see someone hurting I have to do something, because it causes me pain to know someone else is in pain. It also makes me more sensitive to kids discomfort.

And to be honest, I'd just as soon that girls learn that they do have control over what happens to their bodies, rather it's okay for an authority figure to force them to do something they are uncomfortable. (Hence the option of a high five or similar gesture. They need social graces--but even more they need to learn that there should always be alternatives if something makes them uncomfortable.)

And to be even more blunt, I know a non-zero number of females who has young teens were coerced into sex they didn't want, because they didn't feel they had a right to say no. Is that directly correlated to hugging? No. But it is related to making sure they understand that they have the right to say no to things that happen to their bodies. I wasn't taught that, nor were many women my age. Directly correlated: most women my age were sexually assaulted or forced into sex as teens and young women. There were some who were preyed upon by predators (usually family members or close family friends) but mostly boyfriends or guys who wanted to be boyfriends.

It's not one thing, but it is all of a piece.

1:41 PM  

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