The Girl Scouts of America were roundly criticized this week for issuing a warning against allowing girls to give their relatives hugs during the holiday season.
The organization put out the warning via a statement posted to their website titled, “She Doesn’t Owe Anyone a Hug. Not Even at the Holidays.”
“(T)elling 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’ve bought her dinner or done something else seemingly nice for her later in life,” the statement read.
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The Girl Scouts then quoted someone the organization cites as an expert.
“The notion of consent may seem very grown-up and like something that doesn’t pertain to children,” said Girl Scouts’ developmental psychologist Dr. Andrea Bastiani Archibald, “but the lessons girls learn when they’re young about setting physical boundaries and expecting them to be respected last a lifetime, and can influence how she feels about herself and her body as she gets older,”
“Plus, sadly, we know that some adults prey on children, and teaching your daughter about consent early on can help her understand her rights, know when lines are being crossed, and when to go to you for help.”
But conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh said the directive is absurd.
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“The Girl Scouts of America is urging family members not to have their little girls hug other family members over the holidays because this can eventually lead to sexual harassment and rape, is what they are getting at,” he stated Wednesday on his radio show.
“If you condition your daughter to hug Uncle Fred after Uncle Fred gives her a Barbie doll, then you are conditioning your daughter to go out and hug Mr. X, who might give her a gift, and Mr. X might then expect to be hugged. And Mr. X might just give the gift or buy your daughter dinner in hopes of having her hug him or more.”
Limbaugh continued, “And so to guard against creating this reaction in your daughter, tell your daughter to hug nobody. Hugging a family member as gratitude or greeting can lead to unwanted sexual advances later in life. Now, notwithstanding that some families have reprobates in them, the point here is, come on, everybody knows that.”
Many on Twitter also took the Girls Scouts to task.
Limbaugh said the worst part about the Girl Scouts’ directive is that it comes from an organization many consider part of America’s mainstream.
“It’s not the New York Times saying it. It’s not some left-wing politician. This is the Girl Scouts of America. We are now supposed to believe young girls are in danger of being molested by their relatives right in front of their parents,” he said.
“Or, we are now being led to believe that young girls being hugged by their relatives sets the stage for young girls unknowingly sending a signal that somebody else could hug them.”
The radio host mocked the organization’s alternatives to hugging. saying it was “recommending alternatives to kissing and hugging that include a ‘high-five’ or a ‘thank you with a smile.’ Or a fist bump. So instead of hugging, high five, thank you with a smile, or fist bump. But no hugging.”
Limbaugh noted that the organization was way out of line.
“This is trying to affix the blame for a problem where it does not reside and doesn’t lie. Another attack on the family essentially from the Girl Scouts of America, of all places, which obviously has been corrupted now by the left as well,” he said.
The advice itself, according to Limbaugh, was misguided as well.
“To try to relate or compare the hugs, the greetings of male family members to potential future rapists and muggers? I mean, the innocent expression of affection and love in a family can lead to — what this is, is a sick, sick way of actually ending up blaming the victim, when you get right down to it. I don’t even know if they see that, but that’s essentially what they’re doing,” he said.
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