There’s been a recent backlash against the Girl Scouts of America’s policy of inclusion, after a Denver, Colorado troop allowed a transgender girl to join their ranks. Three troops in Louisiana have disbanded over this after their leaders resigned, and more recently, a video of a 14-year-old girl calling for a boycott of Girl Scout cookies has quickly gone viral, spurring reactions from many (including this fabulous tumblr).
After watching the video, I found myself getting lost in the website that’s promoting it, Honest Girl Scouts. This group seems to have a host of issues with the GSUSA, and they have no problem letting you know about them. In their “cookie boycott flyer,” they list all the reasons folks should stop buying those delicious cookie shaped bits of tasty, tasty, crack.
Their words in bold, my commentary in green:
You deserve to know what Girl Scout cookies fund:
Promote abortion and LGBT agendas
Cookies that promote abortion? Really? So…for every thin mint I eat, a baby dies? Talk about specific choice of words.
Let’s back up for a second and try to understand what they mean by this. What they’re upset about is that the GSUSA actively partners with Planned Parenthood – you know, that organization that provides access to affordable health care for women? Yes, Planned Parenthood offers abortion counseling and services, but that is a small fraction of the actual care and work that they provide.
The flyer specifically includes this gem:
- Partnerships between Girl Scout Councils and Planned Parenthood clinics, educators and executives that expose girls to the pro-abortion mindset.
Again, it’s about word choice. Instead of saying that these organizations are pro-choice, Honest Girl Scouts twists the facts to make it sound like Planned Parenthood is a group that cheers on abortion (while they evilly wave their pro-abortion tag-a-long cookies in the air), rather than one that offers medical services to women who have made their own personal choices regarding their own bodies and their health.
As for the LGBT “agenda”? Which one is that? The one that fights for LGBT people to be seen as equal in the eyes of the law? The one that asks for acceptance, tolerance, and compassion? That agenda? Further digging shows that this group says that they supposedly have no problem with the LGBT community, rather, they have a problem with providing them with “special” rights (oh….that agenda). I’m sorry. But until the LGBT community actually has equal rights, we can’t accuse them of trying to steal any super secret speshul rights from us straights.
The way I see it, the GSUSA is linked with an organization that empowers women and gives them agency in dealing with their health. They are also connected to people and organizations that promote diversity, tolerance and understanding. – all important factors built in to the GSUSA mission.
Introduce teen Girl Scout delegates to the concept of “Sexual Rights” without parental consent
Just the fact that they put sexual rights in quotes frightens me. Are they saying that just because these girls are teenagers, they are not allowed sexual rights? Or that they don’t deserve them?
The fact that some Girl Scout troops provide sexual health discussions for their scouts actually makes me happy. It has been proven time and time again that comprehensive sexual education has helped in lowering the rate of teen pregnancies and STIs. Ignoring the issue, or pretending teens don’t have (or think) about sex isn’t helping anyone.
Pay New Age for children consultants to train Girl Scout executives
I’ll be honest and say that I’m not even sure what this refers to. Yoga workshops possibly? Sign me up!
Support United Nations anti-population goals
This one throws me for a loop, I’ll admit. There are certainly plenty of reasons to question the current policies surrounding population control, especially in third world countries. But for some reason, I just don’t think a group that pits itself again feminism and groups like Planned Parenthood has these types of concerns in mind. If anyone would care to try and help me find their angle here, I’d be much obliged.
Rewrite all badge books to include radical activists and gay role models
Oh man, not those wild radical activists and gay role models. You know the ones I’m talking about? Women like Betty Friedan who helped promote the Equal Rights Amendment, and was the first president of the National Organization of Women (a group who was created to bring women “into the mainstream of American society now [in] fully equal partnership with men.” – oh yeah, equality – totally radical). What’s amusing is that groups like Honest Girl Scouts are up in arms over women like Betty Friedan, when Friedan herself became critical of many radical feminists that came after her!
Another group, similar to Honest Girl Scouts has helpfully highlighted a page from the GSUSA that describes a badge a scout can earn by researching the Global Fund For Women – a group that they decry as a “radical feminist” one. Forgive my ignorance, but I thought the Global Fund for Women was interested in “promoting women’s economic security, health, education, and leadership.”
This all boils down to nitpicking the GSUSA’s affiliation with groups that, at their core, promote safety, security, and agency for women. While it’s quite easy to roll your eyes as you sift through the arguments from groups like Honest Girl Scouts and others, the scary truth is that there are people out here who believe the stuff they’re spewing.
All I can hope is that Girl Scouts of America continues doing what it’s doing – providing a space for young girls to feel empowered while learning about diversity, compassion, tolerance, and making the world a better place.