Trendy Instagram moms are pioneering a new parenting trend – asking their babies for permission before picking them up.
Enterprising new parents claim to be expanding the boundaries of consent, even though their infants can’t talk and barely understand the world around them.
They claim that picking up babies without checking in with them first is an aspect of “rape culture” – and that raising them without involuntary lifting will make sure their sons don’t become rapists in later life.
The trend broke out of social media last week, when parent Nisha Moodley posted a selfie with her six-month-old son, Raven, describing her approach:
She claims she can “feel for his ‘yes'”, and that her parenting strategy will help #endrapeculture.
Others were more supportive, and said they do the same thing. Robin Weir, mother to a seven-month-old boy, wrote “We do this too… makes it feel more like we’re doing things ‘with’ him rather than ‘to’ him.”
More than 600 other users “liked” the post.
The breakout photo landed Moodley an interview with Yahoo! Beauty, where she expanded on the dangers of turning your offspring into a rapist by picking them up too eagerly.
She said: “I don’t ever want my son to be a sexual perpetrator or the victim of one, and the best thing I can do is honor his choices about his own body.
“I also want him to pay attention to his instincts, and forcing physical touch could interfere with that.”
However, even Moodley admits that there are exceptions to her rule, because, well, babies cry, and can’t talk or make their own decisions – which is why they need parents in the first place.
When asked on Instagram what she does if he starts crying, she replied: “I do what I need to do as a mama, first and foremost So if I need to pick him up, I do! Or I say ‘Oh, honey, I’m going to pick you up.'”