Parenting

Why the world needs more hugging

Watch out, Christie Blatchford. Emily is coming to hug you

I’m a hugger. I come from a family of huggers. To me, hugging is natural.

According to Christie Blatchford, it’s OK for me to hug – because I’m a girl. Boys on the other hand, really need to toughen up. Oh, yes – just as I thought we were getting past the princess “damsel in distress” way of life, Blatchford had to come in and set us all straight.

In her latest rude rant in Saturday’s National Post, Blatchford tackles the lost art of “manliness” and cites hugging as culprit number one (because apparently, we need more male stereotypes walking through Toronto, right?):

I know men have feelings too. I just don’t need to know much more than that. On any list of The 25 Things Every Man And Boy Should Know How To Do, hugging is not one of them. Killing bugs is. Whacking bullies is. Kissing is. Farting on cue is. Making the sound of a train in a tunnel is. Shooting a puck is. Hugging is not.

She ends the column with, “Feel free to give this to your male children. You’re entirely welcome.”

Telling boys to “man up” is never going to do any good. I agree that people – no matter what gender – need to learn how to be strong and independent, but telling a boy to “toughen up” is only going to send him further into the spiral of identity crisis that males everywhere are already dealing with. So many of our society’s issues – gay rights, bullying, sexism, inequality – are connected to a long-standing societal expectations of men to be the rulers of the house, the king of the hill.

If Blatchford expects all men to resume their powerful role as head of household, isn’t she also saying that women should be subordinate?

Hugging starts at childhood as a natural way to show your love without saying anything. That being said, parents shouldn’t force their kids to hug, but rather let their children come about it naturally to avoid a negative experience.  

I feel like if more people hugged (or at least were open to idea of hugging as a natural gesture of kindness), the world might just be a better place.

So here’s a message to all the guys of the world, whether they’re huggers or not: Giving another guy a hug does not make you any less of a man, nor does it make you a sissy. Giving a hug is simply a message from you to the world that everyone could use just a little more love.

So what are you waiting for? Go give someone a hug! (And if you see Christie Blatchford, give her a hug too.)

Are you pro-hug? Join the conversation on Twitter and tweet us your hug pics using #TPhugs!

Check out the Storify of our amazing readers who shared pics of their hugs. You guys are amazing!

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