Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts: The Recent Controversy

A few weeks ago an image started circulating on facebook, urging people not to buy girl scout cookies or support the girl scouts. Here it is below:

On facebook at least, I saw a lot of shock, not at the girl scouts but at the people who put together this flier. Who could be against the girl scouts? my friends asked incredulously. Girl scouts are cute! And they sell cookies! And they do nice things! But I wasn’t shocked or the least surprised, because none of this was new to me.

As far as I understand, two things predicated the most recent concerns about and attention to the girl scouts (as seen in the above flier). First, the girl scouts admitted a transgender girl, and the Christian Right went into panic mode over it. Second, an Indiana legislatorrefused to support a resolution celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts’ founding, calling them a “radicalized organization” and causing liberals everywhere (myself excluded) to scratch their heads with confusion.

In addition to decrying it as a “radicalized organization,” Morris added that the Girl Scouts “sexualizes” young girls and is “quickly becoming a tactical arm of Planned Parenthood.” Morris further said that the girl scouts “promote homosexual lifestyles” and have been “subverted in the name of liberal progressive politics and the destruction of traditional American family values.”

Like I said, none of this surprised me. Growing up, I was taught that the girl scouts was a radical feminist organization that promoted abortion, Marxism, socialism, eugenics, the “homosexual agenda,” and New Age and pagan beliefs. Most especially, I was taught that the girl scouts aggressively promoted promiscuity. The girl scouts, I learned in sum, was an evil subversive and even demonic organization to be avoided at all costs.

I meant to address this in one post, but it kept getting longer and longer so I decided to address it in several parts. This one is an introduction of sorts. In Part 2, I’ll examine the longer-term opposition to the Girl Scouts, and in Part 3 I’ll explain how I responded to the most recent controversy (hint: very differently than I would have ten years ago!). Finally, in Part 4 I’ll briefly discuss how my view of the Boy Scouts has changed.

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