Alpha Phi Omega, American culture, American society, Boy Scouts, boycotting the Girl Scouts, Brownies, co-educational, college, compassion, Girl Scout cookies, Girl Scouts, humanity, intolerance, Kiwanis, LGBT rights, lifestyle, politics, prejudice, Religion, tolerance, transgender
*Disclaimer, because I am sensitive to the fact that everybody has different ideas about how people “should” be, be, while I focus on how people “are”: If you are a socially conservative person who does not believe in LGBT/ human rights, then DON’T read this post. I’m sure I’ve written one somewhere about bunnies and unicorns that will meet your expectations, but this one will epically fail your sensibilities and leave you cringing in disgust.*
In My Head: Today is THURSDAY. Rehearsal is TONIGHT. TODAY is THURSDAY. Rehearsal is TONIGHT. Today is THURSDAY, rehearsal is TONIGHT. What I tell myself three times, is true. (if that doesn’t make sense to you, read the previous post, “Self-Recrimination”.)
In the Cup: it’s empty right now, but there was coffee an hour ago…
Currently Playing: “Fiddler on the Roof” soundtrack
Daily Run: hoping to get two miles in before we leave for rehearsal – all depends on how quickly I can get into my car and home after work today.
On the Desk: The Mighty Knights, and the rant composed below.
On the Nightstand: “Fiddler” script
OK – one more warning. My friend Urthalun set me off first thing this morning by posting a story about a Girl Scout who is boycotting the selling of Girl Scout cookies and asking the rest of the country to do so, also, because a girl she has never met and will probably never meet, in another state, is a member of a troop, and she doesn’t like it.
Let me repeat that: Since SHE, this girl from California, is offended by the membership in a Colorado troop of a seven year old girl she has never met or spoken to, NONE OF US should buy Girl Scout Cookies. And she says so on a video that has gone viral on the Internet.
Sounds like another form of Mean Girls bullying to me: “I don’t like how she looks/acts/thinks/dresses, so nobody be nice to her”. How is it OK for a Girl Scout to publicly bully another Girl Scout(whom she has never met) on an international level?
Does that piss you off?
What if I tell you that the Girl Scout in question is a transgender, seven year old child? Does that change the fact that this is cyberbullying on an international level? Does that somehow make the California girl’s actions releasing this video okay or justifiable for you?
This kind of attitude is small-minded, prejudiced, exclusive, and unnecessary. This girl probably has no idea how many of the people she is friends with are gay, bi, transsexual or polyamorous, and I continue to fail to understand how we can choose who/what is “right” and who/what is “wrong” because of internal, biological, hormonal urges, any more than we do (or should) feel it is fair to do so based on gender or race.
Kiwanis began as an all-male thing, ditto Alpha Phi Omega, the University-level service fraternity that began as an offshoot of the Boy Scouts. I’m really glad they went coeducational, but I have no doubt that in the case of Alpha Phi Omega it was kicking and screaming, since “it was for former boy scouts”. Also, I’m pretty glad they decided to let women into college, too. And if it weren’t for the now-coeducational YMCA, I would not be able to train for my half-marathon when it’s cold and raining outside…or try to meet my New Year’s fitness goals… and neither would all of the other women on those treadmills and stair-steppers, ’cause that’s who’s mostly on them.There are myriad organizations that began for a single gender (usually the male one) and then expanded to meet a HUMANITARIAN need as the gender-specific need switched up somewhat and the other, excluded groups said WHAT ABOUT US AND OUR NEEDS? I’m not saying GSA should go co-educational, but I do think this is a situation in which the transgender girl in question has a point and a place at the table.
We say, “it takes a village”. We claim to “leave no child behind”. We spend millions in Federal tax dollars for programs designed to help marginalized members of society – children in underprivileged homes, the impoverished, the addicted, the criminally insane, you-name-it. But we won’t reach out to a seven year old child and let her see what it can really mean to be a girl according to the principles and values of Girl Scouts? We won’t let her train in those (valuable and desirable in ANY person) principles and values because of personal bias?
What’s it like to be a young male figure who truly believes he is a girl in a society where such people can be found lying broken and dying on the side of the road after “real boys” beat the shit out of them? Where is it “safe” for that girl? Because whether you think so or not, that child is a girl. I think giving such a child a safe haven in an organization that teaches girls to be strong and self-confident is a good thing. She can find role models, she can find example, she can find friends. She looks like a girl, she sounds like a girl, she dresses like a girl – as one person said, how would you know, if you didn’t pull her pants down? Contrary to popular belief, if she’s really transgender, she is not planning to turn around and molest the other girls under the blankets at Girl Scout Camp (unless she is a transgender lesbian). And she certainly would not be the first lesbian, ever in the Girl Scouts association even then. And I don’t think you really need to be worrying about all of that at age seven, anyhow.
When you consider all of the good that GSA brings – the training, the education, the opportunities for the girls, as well as those yummy cookies,the human rights and fundraising and charities, the attention to the Armed Forces through their fall fundraiser — not only to the thousands of girls involved but also to those they are in contact with and whom they serve, it’s hard to argue “OK, I’m not going to support the Girl Scouts of America because this girl doesn’t like that another troop in a different state has a transgender member.” At least, it should be, if you are the least bit fair minded and thoughtful about things.
The Girl Scout Law — by which all Girl Scouts are asked to live, goes as follows:
I will do my best to be
honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong, and
responsible for what I say and do,
respect myself and others,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout.
At no point does it say “to be a sister to every girl scout except the ones I personally judge not to be girls based on my beliefs”. While I can understand the hesitation in accepting something you don’t see or feel, at the same time – this girl in Colorado is a Girl Scout. The girl in California is not behaving in a very sisterly fashion towards her.
This is yet another example of what fear, ignorance (not ignorance in a derogatory sense, but in the simple sense of “I don’t know and haven’t bothered to educate myself on the matter” and a sense of entitlement can net you by way of reaction to anything we don’t understand. I wish people would stop and think more.
And I know I’m likely to get flamed out of town and to encounter all sorts of nasty comments centered around religion and politics, so let me pre-empt you:on that front – this is not a liberal or democrat or republican or conservative thing. It’s not a fascist or a socialist thing. It’s not a Christian or a heathen thing. It’s a basic, human being thing. I never cease to be amazed at how our opinions are so often forced by others into religious or political frameworks when religion and politics have nothing to do with it. trust me, this is not me talking either religion, or politics. This is me, saying “Here’s a little girl. She is physically not like the other little girls – and in the same fashion that a girl born with a split lip, or a missing hand or foot, or with Down’s or any other syndrome, or any other abnormality associated with the human form, is expected in our society to be given the right to participate equally according to her capability, so should she be given that same, basic human right.”
And there are those out there who will still even after that insist that I am wrong, defending a sinner going against God’s holy commands concerning gender, that she’s a boy no matter what and I am being willfully naive and come judgement day I will find out just what God thinks about what. I’m willing to live with that, actually, so what do you care? In my mind, TOLERANCE and COMPASSION trump dogma any day of the week, and if God really is all that you say He is, then I think He will be totally on my plan with that one. And also, let me just throw out once more, for good measure: “Judge not, lest ye be judged”. What is it about MY tolerance and compassion for human frailty and human failing, that upsets you so much? Maybe you ought to start there, if you are of a mind to leave further comment letting me know that my choice to say “she deserves a chance and don’t boycott the Girl Scout cookies” is wrong.
So when your local Brownie or Girl Scout shows up this month or next on your porch stoop, consider buying that other box you were eying but not going to buy because you’re trying to cut calories… if only to say, “Way to be, Kiddo. Way to be.”
(Hrmn…. I just got done telling DD #1 we would only buy three boxes this year because we are trying to show the girls how to make healthy food choices. Guess now she’s getting those other peanut butter cookies she wanted, too.
Also, if you don’t want to buy and eat them yourself, I believe there IS an initiative to send Girl Scout cookies to troops serving overseas – check with a local troop master.)
The comments section of this blog is set so that I approve each comment, but please know that I will publish anything you choose to send to me on this, because the conversation/discussion presented is more important than my ego. So – leave me your thoughts and comments on the matter. I actually really am interested in what people think of this – and more importantly, why.