Washington Post gender and family issues reporter Samantha Schmidt published a story called “Should crying children sit on Santa’s lap for photos? Here’s why some parents are saying no.”
The reporter suggested that a “photo with Santa is still a childhood rite of passage for many Americans,” but some parents have “begun questioning the way the culture approaches photos with Santa amid the #MeToo movement and a national conversation over how to teach young children about consent and physical boundaries.”
Schmidt also cited a developmental psychologist who feels “lessons about consent and unwanted touching should start early, and parents could use the holiday tradition as an opportunity to teach children that they are in control of their bodies.” The reporter added that most “Santas are taught to make sure their hands are always visible” during the holiday photo shoots.
However, this debate made Twitter users laugh as the ‘dilemma’ about sitting on Santa’s lap sounded to many like an overreaction.
Stopping tradition of kids sitting on Santa’s lap because of #MeToo movement! How about a #StopMeToo because they’ve become stupid ridiculous! If you waited over twenty to thirty years to file charges, I believe you are ruining it for women in general in the business world!— Timothy Langley (@Timothy48830992) 25 декабря 2018 г.
Why is Santa’s lap part of the #Metoo movement. Parents are always present when kids sit on Santa’s lap. Parents can protect their kid specially when it’s right in front of them. Don’t drag Santa into the movement.— Farhan Iqbal (@mfarhaniqbal33) December 26, 2018
Most users pointed out that the article about Santa was an example of the MeToo movement trying to insert a political subtext into an innocent tradition. Schmidt herself acknowledged the criticism, noting that “for many parents, merely putting Santa in the same sentence as #MeToo is an absurd overreaction.”