We need to stop forcing kids to kiss adults


FIRST, Donald Trump bragged that he kisses women without their consent (“It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait!” he boasted in his infamous bus video).

Then a handful of women — OK, two handfuls if we’re talking about Trump’s hands — gave us vivid verbal accounts of the real estate mogul assaulting them in exactly the way he described.

And now we’ve been forced to see the angry Pomeranian actually perform one of his unwanted smackers in the flesh, when he engulfed a small girl at his recent rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and lurched at her, lips puckered. Twice.

“Wow, so beautiful,” he leered. “Bring her, she’s so beautiful.”

The poor girl squirms uncomfortably, and does her best to avoid Trump’s suffocating embrace, even as he attempts to kiss her directly on the lips.

Surely the time has passed when any politician — even the ones who are demonstrably less lecherous than Donald Trump — should be kissing strangers’ children on the campaign trail.

This kid was anything but pleased at being forced to snuggle with Tony Abbott:

Vladimir Putin kissing a boy on the stomach is deeply weird:

And these babies were actually coping OK with being manhandled at first:

Until the Mouth from Mar-a-Lago decided, once more, to go in for the smooch:

How can we tell our kids that it’s not OK for strangers to violate their bodies on one hand, and yet proffer them up to the damp embrace of cynical politicians on the other? It’s really weird when you stop to think about it.

The ACT government’s own Parentlink site advises that children shouldn’t be made to “kiss someone if they don’t want to”, suggesting kids “shake hands instead.” And then that same government sets half of Cabinet loose on Australia’s under 10s as soon as there’s the sniff of an election.

“It’s a personal safety thing,” says parent educator Anna Partridge. “We teach kids from a young age that it’s their body, their right. Even grandparents who want a kiss, if the kids don’t like it, they should be taught to respectfully say ‘No I don’t like it’.” They could, she says, offer a high five or a wave instead.

Here’s a respectful message to Donald Trump from the entire world: “No, I don’t like it.”

Maybe instead of handing out unwanted kisses to kids on the campaign trail, politicians could look at giving them something they might actually want: Futures.

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