Amid an ongoing societal debate regarding the notion of affirmative consent in the wake of the #MeToo movement, one parenting expert appeared on British television on Wednesday to argue that grandparents should get a verbal OK from their grandkids before hugging or kissing them.
Jane Evans appeared on ITV’s daytime talk show “This Morning” and explained that, in her professional opinion, young children should be encouraged to “take control of their own bodies from a young age.”
“If I met you in a room, I wouldn’t just grab you. I would ask first,” she told “This Morning” hosts Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes. “And it should be the same with children.”
Citing the #MeToo movement, which sparked a widespread national conversation regarding power imbalances between men and women, Evans stressed the urgency of the consent issue.
“This is a major crisis,” she said. “It’s about everyone — not just families — hence the MeToo movement. Most children are abused by somebody they know.”
“It’s more important with children as their brain development is rapid, and they need to be taught boundaries early on,” Evans added. “It’s basic respect — not sexual.”
Rebecca Jane, a mother-of-two who joined the “This Morning” panel to provide an opposing view, said Evans’ take was “absolutely crazy.”
“Where do we draw the line with boundaries? We’re going to raise cold and emotionless children,” she said.
According to Jane, the “snowflake generation” mentality exhibited by Evans and other like her is doing more harm than good to familial ties.
“This Morning” viewers concurred with Jane. A poll conducted by the show found that an overwhelming majority of respondents, 89 percent, do not believe that grandparents need to get consent from their grandchildren before kissing them.
What is going on, in this case you shouldn’t be tending to your newborn because it hasn’t given consent, I don’t think this argument is standing on firm ground…Rebbeca Jane is on this, just tell them what is right and wrong…
— Ben (@continuousfocus) July 31, 2019
“Really shocking,” Evans said after Holmes revealed the poll’s results on air.
The affirmative consent controversy
The concept of affirmative consent has become ideologically fraught in recent years. Progressive and feminist advocates argue that structural power imbalances between men and women in a patriarchal society necessitate a “yes means yes” model for sexual encounters.
Meanwhile, critics of the notion claim it is impractical and ineffective.