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.
(More amazing video responses to the video calling for a cookie boycott can be found here, here, and here and all over youtube, really.
You rock! Thanks for writing this. Makes me even more glad to know you, Mamafesto.
Thanks so much, Kelly! I just couldn’t stay silent – especially as a former Girl Scout. I feel that the scouts taught me some awesome life lessons because (not in spite of) the values they upheld. Groups like these, that seek to tear down the scouts, make me incredibly sad!
Holy Moly! These people are scary! I had no idea there was a boycott on cookies for such outlandish reasons. I am happy to support my community’s girls as they grow into the strong women who will be leading our nation, world, and families into the future. Now I have a hankering for some cookies.
Right? It’s both upsetting and frightening that there are people out there who spread misinformation in hopes of slandering a group that actually empowers young girls! I’m hoping this is the year that the Girl Scouts actually exceed all previous ones in cookie sales!
I think a LOT of people are buying cookies in response to the boycott. Unfortunately, my husband is unemployed, or we’d be joining in. I am very happy to read the things on this flyer. Now if only the boy scouts would join the 21st century, I might be willing to give them my money.
Hi! This is a very interesting post. I thought you might enjoy this post I created for my blog, called “Why I want my daughter to be a Girl Scout”:
I’m a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts and am deeply saddened that the GSA has become a political battleground. No girl should lose out on the fabulous experience the Girl Scouts can provide.
Great post, Lauren – thanks for sharing! I’m linking to it from the Mamfesto FB page!
Thanks so much! The piece has gotten great readership thanks to your link. I hope this debate won’t discourage families from allowing girls to enter the GSA. The organization has so much to offer, and political affiliation is never an issue for the GSA.
I’m enjoying your coverage of this and many other issues–stay in touch!
How does a young girl, particularly a Girl Scout, learn to be so intolerant and filled with hate. http://wp.me/p1se8R-2c4 Perhaps she learned these traits from her parents?
All of the reasons this young woman puts forth for boycotting cookies? Those are exactly the reasons I am so glad I let my 5 year old join the Daisy Scouts this year.
This is an AWESOME post. I have sons and was never a GS (well, I was briefly a Brownie, but it didn’t stick), so I don’t have a huge interest in this issue personally, but it still makes me full of pride that this group for women DOES support equality, women’s rights and heath, education, etc., for all. The groups that want to boycott cookies are cutting off their noses to spite their faces. And while they chew on their nose, I’ll eat their cookies.
I’ve never had any affiliation with GS and don’t eat cookies but now want to – thanks for the eye opener!
Fantastic post! I’ll still boycott the cookies though. NOT because of what I think are the wonderful values of the Girl Scouts, but because of the crap they put in their cookies!
Thanks! and…Yeah, the cookies (and all the packaging) certainly aren’t the best, but you definitely can still support the Girl Scouts without buying their cookies.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I’m a current Girl Scout leader, and some friends of mine have been boycotting cookie sales, telling me what an awful organization Girl Scouts is, and encouraging me to stop leading because in being a part of this organization I’m “promoting abortion.” I’ve been reading the stuff they’ve been linking to, like honestgirlscouts.com, and just feeling like it’s totally unreliable and biased. The attacks I’ve been fielding, though, are so emotionally charged (don’t you know killing babies is evil?!!!) that I’ve been in tears for days. It’s not easy finding a link to a video of a baby being aborted in my inbox, especially after having had a miscarriage a few years back. Part of me wanted to throw in the towel, but more of me wanted to fight. I love my girls too much to just walk away and abandon them. I decided that as long as one of my girls wants to stay with scouting, I will lead her–all the way to the gold award, if she wants to. Thanks to the encouragement I’m getting from my family, my girls’ parents, and my (other) friends, I’ve managed to get past the attacks, but your post has helped to reaffirm all the things I’ve felt reading all the honestgirlscouts nonsense. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
You are very brave! If only your “friends” could understand that the only way to end abortion is to give women full agency – financially, socially, and especially full agency over her own body.
After my daughter sold her 255 boxes of cookies this year, I heard about the boycott from an LGBT activist friend. As a former scout, I offer my support to you. You’re on the front lines while I sit in my liberal cocoon that is Eastern Massachusetts. Know that we are behind you 100% and that the girls in your troop are learning an important lesson in tolerance and perseverance from you, along with all the other great Girl Scout lessons you’re passing on.
Diane – Thank YOU so much for sticking by your troop and supporting them as scouts, despite the naysayers (who are standing a pile of shaky misinformation that will tumble down around them, while you will be left standing atop strong values and integrity!).
What a great thread. Thank you Mamafesto for the blog…putting into words the thoughts that have been in my head. And Diane, I am so inspired (and saddened) by the story you shared. As if being a GS volunteer leader isn’t challenging enough without being bombarded with those terrible images/emails/implications. Please know that you are part of a sisterhood of Girl Scouts~ around the country and the world~ that have your back. You are being a great role model for your girls!
The website you linked to for the image has profanity if you read down further in his posts. We are ultimately still talking about children here, and I was a little bothered that the author of that tumblr uses profanity on a site that my girl scouts could find if they searched for “girl scout cookies.” Please also write to that author and remind him the f-bomb isn’t appropriate when talking about children, no matter what the topic. (p.s. I’m a g.s. leader who supports the cause but just doesn’t support profanity).
I just went and looked through the posts on that tumblr (it only had 2 posts when I originally linked to it) and only found one word (b.s.) in my search. I personally have no issue with what this person chooses to put on his tumblr, and will not be writing him about it. If it is that bothersome to you, I encourage you to write him, letting him know. However, I will edit this post to make a note about that site that it may contain profanity.
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The woman in that video should take a Communications course. Her delivery was so annoying that I was forced to turn it off after 15 seconds.
Sexual rights? Hell yes! I didn’t learn rape self-defense at home-I learned it in Cadettes. My family never spoke a word about menstruation, the Scout leader held a special session, for which parental consent was required. Nonody knows how many head games go on in a child’s home or what kinds of subtle manipulations are present, nor are conservatives, as a rule, professional geneticists. Intersex is common in this inbred region, gender roles are assigned at birth and may be assigned erroneously. Trans and intersex girls are accepted, as they should be. Mama and Diane, you rock.
Now I’m no doctor… (But i have seen one on TV) But since when did someone ask to be transgender at birth? Did they plop a little survey up there and have the fetus fill that out? Maybe there was a mistake and the pencil lead broke? In any case, if you happen to be gender challenged and you make a choice to “pick a side” so to speak. Wouldn’t that be the individual rights of that said human being?
I say, it’s up to that person to choose whether or not they want to be what they want to be.
Isn’t that their right? Or are they trying to say that because a woman has a penis, they don’t have rights?
Thank you for posting this, I am sending people to read it, who knows if they will though
The U.N. Population thing mentioned is a myth in Right Wing circles, especially Religious Right ones, that the United Nations is funding forced abortions (among other things including forced sterilization also) to keep the world’s population under 9 Billion.
And you owe me (although we have never met and that was hyperbole, which I learned to pronounce recently because I had never heard it aloud) because I verified the myth at Conservapedia, one of the the most vile, disgusting web sites on the planet unless you suckle at the teet of Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh. The web site actually has a project in which they are re-writing the Bible to remove all liberal ‘bias’, their words, not mine.
Anyway, please to meet you, incredible post. Thank you.
thank you, thank you, thank you! first time I’ve been to your blog. great response!
Girl Scouts use the monies from Cookie Sales for just about EVERYTHING but the girls in the actual troops selling them. In fact, unlike Boy Scouts/Cub Scouts whose fund raisers put the majority (often up to 75%) of the monies right back into the unit where it’s needed, GS cookie sales monies put only a FRACTION of the $$$ into the troops selling them.
Last I heard, it was $0.60 per box goes to the girls. PITIFUL!!!
Girl Scouts organization is OK, but in the words of my 8 yr old Brownie…. “Cub Scouts is a LOT more fun than GS!”
Not saying I agree or disagree; just letting you folks who are skipping meals to buy more cookies know that you are not necessarily helping the Scouts at all, rather helping the organization.
There are far more significant issues involved with why BSA gets more $$$ than GSA…. start looking into that instead of just jumping onto an agenda.
Free YOUR mind…. make YOUR own opinions.
That’s a pretty bum deal regarding the allocation of funds from cookie sales. However, until they change their policies on LGBT members/leaders, I don’t see myself supporting cub scouts/boy scouts in the near future, despite how much fun they are
On Sun, Mar 17, 2013 at 1:26 PM, The Mamafesto