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January 11, 2012 1:51 PM   Subscribe

Boycott Girl Scout cookies says a young Girl Scout due to Girl Scouts accepting transgender scouts and not discriminating against them. Troops in LA have disbanded in protest of the GSUSA policy of inclusion. Girl Scout cookie sales provide a large portion of the GSUSA funds. Honest Girl Scouts is the site behind this video.
posted by SuzySmith (230 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
man, i'm so glad it's a message of inclusion, because i'd find it pretty hard to boycott thin mints. it's not like it's some crap like boy scout popcorn.
posted by nadawi at 1:55 PM on January 11, 2012 [17 favorites]


Damn those Girl Scouts.
Damn them and their policies which will force me to buy ever more cookies to support them.
My waist line curses them.
posted by Seamus at 1:55 PM on January 11, 2012 [89 favorites]


It's a burden, but I think I'm gonna be buying a lot more Girl Scout cookies this year than usual.

From the last link (bigoted and looks like a Geocities site from 1998: a winning combo!)
Did you know that radical feminist Betty Friedan, founder of NOW (National Organization for Women) and NARAL (National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League) was on the National Board of GSUSA for 12 years?
That sounds pretty awesome!
posted by kmz at 1:56 PM on January 11, 2012 [31 favorites]


The fear on display here is really upsetting.
posted by odinsdream at 1:57 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd like to say I'm buying the cookies to support transgendered Girl Scounts, but let's face facts, I would buy a few boxes of Samoas every year even I knew every penny went to buy machines that ran on puppies and released toxic gas.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:57 PM on January 11, 2012 [52 favorites]


If i didn't already have a ton of cookies in the house already (I was the cookie "mom" for my daughters troop) this would cause me to buy more.

Oh and also the troops REALLY appreciate any donations to the troop. We get 55¢ for every box of $4 cookies we sell.
posted by ShawnString at 1:58 PM on January 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm a bit surprised no one has gone after the Girl Scouts yet for contributing to the obesity problem in America.
posted by smackfu at 1:58 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]




Also, I was surprised that L.A. Girl Scouts would take issue with it.
The fact that the LA in question is Louisiana makes ever so much more sense.
posted by Seamus at 1:59 PM on January 11, 2012 [22 favorites]


Girl Scout cookies are better than Boy Scout popcorn.

Girl Scout nondiscrimination is better than Boy Scout discrimination.

Mmmmm... must buy Thin Mints to crush and sprinkle liberally (progressively even) over homemade vanilla ice cream...
posted by headnsouth at 1:59 PM on January 11, 2012 [51 favorites]


Where "deployed troops" refers to US Military personnel, not Girl Scouts in war zones.
posted by crush-onastick at 1:59 PM on January 11, 2012 [54 favorites]


You can also buy boxes of Girl Scout Cookies to donate to military troops overseas.

I think they're going to get a lot of Thin Mints from me this year...
posted by spinifex23 at 1:59 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


So the 7 year old transgender girl's name is published in full, everywhere, but the bigoted girl twice her age won't reveal her full name along with her bigoted views? Mkay. Talk about lacking the courage of your convictions.
posted by elizardbits at 2:00 PM on January 11, 2012 [157 favorites]


So, digging into the PDFs a bit, one of their accusations is that the Girl Scouts are "accepting and hiding transgenders."

Hiding? Hiding from who exactly?
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 2:00 PM on January 11, 2012 [9 favorites]



If the individual girl scout is participating in the program, you can buy the cookies and have them sent to deployed troops. you know, to save your waistlines.


As much as I hate all of our military engagements and believe that people usually come out of the military worse than they go in, I will totally send our troops cookies, because nobody should be stuck on [probably miserable, scary] deployment and miss out on cookies too.
posted by Frowner at 2:01 PM on January 11, 2012 [11 favorites]


thin mints also make a delightful cookie crust for a pudding pie if you just want to go nuts one day.
posted by nadawi at 2:01 PM on January 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


Is it news to anyone that Girl Scouts is a really liberal organization? Other than these "Honest Girl Scouts" jokers, that is?
posted by supercres at 2:01 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Troops in LA

Bwah?

Three Girl Scout troops at a Christian school in Louisiana have disbanded in protest of a policy of inclusion for transgenders.

OOOOOHHHH!!... Meh. Do they still have the shortbread cookies?
posted by Mister Fabulous at 2:01 PM on January 11, 2012


The Girl Scouts are nothing short of all-around awesome, for many reasons.
posted by Xoebe at 2:01 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


That young woman has put together an impressive video. She comes off as smart and well-organized. I'm kind of amused by how closely her arguments track arguments against letting transwomen into the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival: "So any man could just say he was a woman and we'd have to let him in? How is it safe to have a male person in with the girls?" I hope she learns someday to use her power for good.

Do they still have the shortbread cookies?

Trefoils. So good. Yes, they do.

The Girl Scouts are really pretty awesome. I hadn't heard about this, but it makes me very happy that they have chosen inclusion. I will be buying extra cookies this year! And possibly writing a letter of support.
posted by not that girl at 2:04 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Inclusion and respect for personal liberty in America?

I am glad the founding fathers were not around to see this.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:07 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Right now, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A...is not being honest with us girls, its troops, its leaders, its parents or the American public," Taylor, who claims to have been a Girl Scout for eight years, says in the clip. "Girl Scouts describes itself as an all-girl experience. With that label, families trust that the girls will be in an environment that is not only nurturing and sensitive to girls' needs, but also safe for girls."


Do bigoted people ever realize how stupid they sound? What possible threat could a transgender Girl Scout be? And since when is a bigoted desire to exclude others due to baseless fear a "need?" to which an organization must cater?
posted by bearwife at 2:09 PM on January 11, 2012 [12 favorites]


Can anybody recommend flavors? I'm definitely boycotting the boycott.
posted by Tarumba at 2:09 PM on January 11, 2012


So a 7 year old male-to-female transgendered child is a threat to the children? Physically? I don't remember boys being that much stronger than girls.

Oh, wait. I'm guessing you mean psychologically. In that it might encourage the other girls to expand their worldviews and accept that there are different types of people and that's okay.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:11 PM on January 11, 2012 [12 favorites]


I like the idea that the moms are quitting because including transgendered Scouts IN ANOTHER STATE is an "almost dangerous" idea. You know what else is "almost dangerous?" Nearly everything. Except the things that are "dangerous."
posted by ColdChef at 2:12 PM on January 11, 2012 [23 favorites]


headnsouth: Mmmmm... must buy Thin Mints to crush and sprinkle liberally (progressively even) over homemade vanilla ice cream...

There's a Seattle ice cream shop that serves "Scout" mint ice cream full of crushed Thin Mints (they'll buy a few boxes from every Girl Scout who comes by) year round, so I can support inclusion even when it isn't cookie selling season!
posted by JiBB at 2:13 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


...but let's face facts, I would buy a few boxes of Samoas every year even I knew every penny went to buy machines that ran on puppies and released toxic gas.

Who told you about the PupSploder 9000?
posted by griphus at 2:13 PM on January 11, 2012 [9 favorites]


I've seen a movement on facebook where people are looking into buying cookies specifically from Bobby Montoya's troop (and either having them shipped or donated to local shelters.)
posted by needs more cowbell at 2:14 PM on January 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


What gets me is that it's Colorado accepting gay giels, not Girl Scouts USA -- the national policy seems to be "Whatever your community decides." Colorado is not forcing its agenda on the nation but Louisiana is trying to. So the accusation by Boycott GS Cookies that a minority is trying to force its will on the organization is exactly backwards. (I think that's true of a lot of these Christian crusades, BTW.)
posted by CCBC at 2:14 PM on January 11, 2012 [17 favorites]


*girls not giels. Jeez.
posted by CCBC at 2:15 PM on January 11, 2012


[snark] I think she's confused. They're not letting transgender boys in; they're letting transgender girls in. [/snark]

I would make a point of buying a lot of cookies this year, but the Girl Guide cookies they sell in Canada don't seem to be the same as the legendary Girl Scout cookies sold south of the border. Plus, you know, the money wouldn't be going to the "right" place.
posted by asnider at 2:16 PM on January 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Seven years old! That's despicable! What are the parents of that child even thinking?

How can somebody decide at the tender age of seven that they want to be a Girl Scout? They could so easily just be going through a phase, and next year want to be a part of the Woodcraft Folk.
posted by Jehan at 2:16 PM on January 11, 2012 [50 favorites]


I was surprised that L.A. Girl Scouts would take issue with it.

I was surprised that there are transgendered 7 year olds, never mind ones that want to join the girl scouts.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 2:17 PM on January 11, 2012


I seriously had to read and reread this fpp a couple times to make sure I read it right.

A scouting group doing THE RIGHT THING for once?

HOLY SHIT
posted by tittergrrl at 2:17 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


needs more cowbell, if that goes anywhere can you memail me / post it to this thread. I'd totally do that. And anyone calling for a boycott of Thin Mints is clearly on the same side as Satan. There is God in those cookies I tell ya..
posted by Chipmazing at 2:18 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Where "deployed troops" refers to US Military personnel, not Girl Scouts in war zones.

Yeah, The "Embedded Scouts Program," which was designed to ensure a constant stream of cookies to our frontline troops, did not work out as well as planned.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:18 PM on January 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


"Are they made from real transgendered girl scouts?"
posted by Curious Artificer at 2:19 PM on January 11, 2012 [11 favorites]


For the last three or four years I have exercised enormous self-restraint at Cookie Sale time, but not this year.

Thank you, bigots, for giving me an excuse to indulge.

posted by ambrosia at 2:19 PM on January 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


I was surprised that there are transgendered 7 year olds, never mind ones that want to join the girl scouts.

Surprise!
posted by liketitanic at 2:19 PM on January 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Dammit. I had just deleted the message from someone in my office about order, in the interests of preserving my waistline and budget. Now I'm going to have to resurrect my order of several boxes for me and twice as many for my friend overseas who relies on me for a fix, and the donation to troops overseas sounds like a great idea.

Tarumba, thin mints (chocolate minty cookie coated in chocolate) are a popular choice, especially as they freeze well and can therefore be put out of sight and out of mind and not consumed in their entirety in one sitting. I prefer tagalongs (shortbready cookie with a puddle of peanut butter coated in chocolate) and samoas (caramel, coconut, chocolate crack, those are). But have a look here.
posted by EvaDestruction at 2:19 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would make a point of buying a lot of cookies this year, but the Girl Guide cookies they sell in Canada don't seem to be the same as the legendary Girl Scout cookies sold south of the border.

The (crazy delicious, addictive) mint ones are apparently similar. From Wikipedia:

The fall cookies are the chocolatey mint cookies, similar to the Girl Scout Thin Mints cookies sold in the United States
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 2:21 PM on January 11, 2012


samoas (caramel, coconut, chocolate crack, those are)

WARNING: The Samoa ice cream I just bought (Dreyer's brand) is NOT THAT GOOD. You'll be sorely disappointed.
posted by liketitanic at 2:21 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Girl Scouts are awesome.
I'll be buying extra cookies this year.
posted by bryghtrose at 2:26 PM on January 11, 2012


Is this some kind of brilliant reverse psychology marketing campaign on the part of the girl scouts?
posted by mullingitover at 2:27 PM on January 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


when i was selling cookies (i have a plaque! "for outstanding cookie sales") samoas were caramel delights.
posted by nadawi at 2:29 PM on January 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


I would make a point of buying a lot of cookies this year, but the Girl Guide cookies they sell in Canada don't seem to be the same as the legendary Girl Scout cookies sold south of the border.

Pretty sure the Guides stopped selling their Kind-Of-Like-Oreos-Only-A-Million-Times-Better creme sandwich cookies a good while ago. (Maybe as much as a decade ago.)

Personally, I preferred them hands down to the new chocolate mint things. The national inferiority complex strikes again.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:29 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


when i was selling cookies (i have a plaque! "for outstanding cookie sales") samoas were caramel delights.

IIRC, that's a regional thing.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:30 PM on January 11, 2012


I was always kind of resentful that we never got to do the cool, weapons-related stuff in Girl Scouts that the boys did in Boy Scouts. I'm very glad they're more progressive than the Boy Scouts about GLBT issues though.

(Already bought 2 and donated 2 boxes. Maybe I'll donate a few more...)
posted by JoanArkham at 2:32 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was surprised that there are transgendered 7 year olds

The remarkable thing is not that there are ambiguously gendered children (umm, duh) but that people seem to think this is a problem.
posted by mek at 2:32 PM on January 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


I was surprised that there are transgendered 7 year olds, never mind ones that want to join the girl scouts.

i don't really understand people who are surprised by LGBTQ children. when you talk to LGTBQ adults, nearly all of them say "i knew from the beginning that something about me was different."

i'm so glad the world is changing to the point that a 7 year old can say "i'm transgendered" and that people will listen and people will include them. that's so awesome. there's a lot of work to do, obviously, but growing up as a queer kid in the south in the 80s, i didn't think we'd be here so fast.
posted by nadawi at 2:33 PM on January 11, 2012 [26 favorites]


I was always kind of resentful that we never got to do the cool, weapons-related stuff in Girl Scouts that the boys did in Boy Scouts.

Individual troops vary widely of course, but my girls do archery in theirs. And camping in the snow, too. The faint-of-heart tend to switch out to a different troop pretty quick.
posted by padraigin at 2:39 PM on January 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Weird. The girl in the video implores people to boycott the cookies and directs folks to HonestGirlScouts.com, yet nothing in the actual HGS list of demands seems to relate to issues of transgirls.

Specifically, they claim that they want GSUSA to drop sex ed from their curricula and break funding ties with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) due to their support of / from Planned Parenthood.

Seems like an unrelated issue, since fulfilling those demands to the letter would still leave an inclusive organization.
posted by SemiSophos at 2:41 PM on January 11, 2012


So the 7 year old transgender girl's name is published in full, everywhere, but the bigoted girl twice her age won't reveal her full name along with her bigoted views? Mkay. Talk about lacking the courage of your convictions.


Yeah, okay, because the things we believe in as teenagers should be made public and thus haunt us for the rest of our lives. It's obviously not a double standard if we humiliate the right person, right?
posted by dubusadus at 2:42 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


My brother and I were both respective scouts through high school, and I've declined popcorn since about then, when it first 'came out' that they were going to be a Private Club. I can't actually remember if it was the gay rights or the atheist exclusion that came first, but I was in the Allies club in high school AND outed myself as an atheist within the same year, so it's a bit fuzzy.

It looks like outside sales start in March, which is when I buy them. I remember all too well freezing in front of the supermarket because the booth would ALWAYS start before it got springlike.

I was always kind of resentful that we never got to do the cool, weapons-related stuff in Girl Scouts that the boys did in Boy Scouts.

Really depended on the troop. Some troops did religious awards; we never did. We were a 'camping is mandatory and NEVER CANCELLED' sort of troop and have plenty of hurricane stories to go along with that.
posted by cobaltnine at 2:42 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is this a boycott or a girlcott?
posted by rh at 2:44 PM on January 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


This boycott-of-the-boycott is a beautiful thing. I'm going to go to bed tonight a little happier with the world.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 2:45 PM on January 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Three Girl Scout troops at a Christian school in Louisiana have disbanded in protest of a policy of inclusion for transgenders.

I'm betting I'm on pretty firm ground when I re-write this one thusly:

Three Girl Scout troops at a Christian school in Louisiana were disbanded by parents in protest of a policy of inclusion for transgenders.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:46 PM on January 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


So, following some of the links in the "Honest Girl Scouts" link, I came across this mailbomb site. Of course, I changed the text to reflect my support for the policy (sending of course from a sockpuppet email address) before I sent the message... It's cool that they let you enter your own subject line and content.
posted by Runes at 2:48 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think it's great that this girl is standing up for what she believes is right, even if I don't agree with her at all.
posted by crunchland at 2:48 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's obviously not a double standard if we humiliate the right person, right?

The flaw in your reasoning is that you appear to think that a 7 year old should feel humiliated to be named as a transgender girl.
posted by elizardbits at 2:49 PM on January 11, 2012 [16 favorites]


So the 7 year old transgender girl's name is published in full, everywhere, but the bigoted girl twice her age won't reveal her full name along with her bigoted views? Mkay. Talk about lacking the courage of your convictions.

Argh, I couldn't agree with this teen girl less so I hate to be the person to say this, but the reality is that if her name were public she'd be getting graphic rape threats to her house that day. The name of the 7 year old shouldn't be public either, especially more so because it'll be that much worse for her. But in her case, it looks like her mother was the one who made the name public.
posted by cairdeas at 2:51 PM on January 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


There's a new Girl Scout cookie this year: Savannah Smiles?
posted by ericb at 2:51 PM on January 11, 2012


Damn iPad ... not ?, but .
posted by ericb at 2:52 PM on January 11, 2012


The inclusion policy makes me proud to say that I was a Girl Scout for 10 years. If they ship cookies to Europe, I'm so boycotting this boycott. Otherwise, to the troops they go!
posted by inmediasres at 2:54 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


The flaw in your reasoning is that you appear to think that a 7 year old should feel humiliated to be named as a transgender girl.

Is it weird that I don't want anybody to be humiliated and that I don't think reciprocal humiliation is really the best course of action? I didn't think this was weird thing to believe but you make it sound like this is a weird thing.

Look, I'm all for the day we can trust anonymous internet posters to not turn controversial moral issues into mild cases of emotional abuse and harassment but my gut says that today is not the day.
posted by dubusadus at 2:54 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think it's great that this girl is standing up for what she believes is right, even if I don't agree with her at all.

Screw that, it's incredibly easy to stand up for bigotry against a widely oppressed group.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:56 PM on January 11, 2012 [37 favorites]


this is so much overload that I can not --like the cookies, made in China I suspect--digest it. The Boy Scouts have still a ban on gay scouts. Girl scouts I suspect do not stay with that organization till they begin dating, somewhere arund high school age, at which time, no more hustling cookies.

In brief, though, I support any one's right to be or believe in or do what he or she wants so long as it does not harm others. To oppose those who believe other than one does, is simply being a busybody and believing your view of reality needs to be acdept4ed and made law for all others
posted by Postroad at 2:56 PM on January 11, 2012


The timing on this is highly suspicious.

The cookie season for the Girl Scouts of Western Washington starts in: 1 days 9 hours 2 minutes 55 seconds.

Highly deliciously suspicious =)
posted by nomisxid at 2:58 PM on January 11, 2012


Is it weird that I don't want anybody to be humiliated and that I don't think reciprocal humiliation is really the best course of action? I didn't think this was weird thing to believe but you make it sound like this is a weird thing.

I think that if you're posting yourself on YouTube, you're likely not too concerned with being totally anonymous. And if you're on YouTube pointing to a 7-year-old as an example of what's ruining the Girl Scouts, then yes, not so much in the interests of "humiliation" but fairness should you should be letting people know who you are.

But what would the age cut-off point be for being able to dismiss open bigotry as "dumb stuff said due to young age"?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:58 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Online commenters and other Internet denizens are crazy and demented so I don't think anyone's name at those ages should be made public.

I do think that if you're posting a video (whose production values are, incidentally, quite good for a 14-year-old) whose very message seems to be aimed to a rather broad audience, you are naïve in this day and age to not expect that your information could be spread widely. Hopefully both these girls (yes, girls) are ready for what could be some very vitriolic online mudslinging.
posted by andrewesque at 2:59 PM on January 11, 2012


Is it weird that I don't want anybody to be humiliated and that I don't think reciprocal humiliation is really the best course of action?

My point about lacking the courage of one's convictions has nothing to do with humiliation and everything to do with being brave enough to say "this is who I am and this is what I believe".
posted by elizardbits at 3:00 PM on January 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


Screw that, it's incredibly easy to stand up for bigotry against a widely oppressed group. --- The ACLU doesn't hold your point of view, but yay you, for standing up for something you believe in, too.
posted by crunchland at 3:00 PM on January 11, 2012


On posting, Marisa Stole the Precious Thing has my sentiments, although I think that the video did not actually call out the seven-year-old by name? Though clearly anyone who knows how to use Google could find this out.
posted by andrewesque at 3:01 PM on January 11, 2012


I don't want to stop KKK marches either, but I'm not going to say it's great that they are standing up for what they believe in.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:02 PM on January 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


No, she didn't mention the child by name; just the policy that allowed the child to come into the Girl Scouts.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:02 PM on January 11, 2012


Postroad - this doesn't look like china. the other licensed baker is keebler (which by the way, keebler makes some pretty great knock offs for the non girl scout cookie selling season). they do seem to have some factories out side of the US, but i'd be surprised if they didn't use the factories they have here.
posted by nadawi at 3:04 PM on January 11, 2012


Any child of mine is welcome to do things that are "almost dangerous." Get back to me when we get to something actually dangerous.

I do sometimes have some slight reservations about these things, though, when talking about 7-year-olds vs, say, 10 or 11. I am 100% sure there are 7-year-olds that are actually trans. I am also 100% sure that there are 7-year-olds that are, in fact, "just going through a phase." (As, for example, kids who know something's wrong, but may actually be gay or genderqueer rather than specifically trans). I hope that each group has parents wise and caring enough to know which it is, sensitive enough to realize their judgement may be wrong, and loving enough to be supportive regardless.
posted by tyllwin at 3:04 PM on January 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think that if you're posting yourself on YouTube, you're likely not too concerned with being totally anonymous.

I'm halfway positive that this is the same line of reasoning used to justify victim-blaming. Did she know this was going to blow up like it did? Did she understand just how pissed off people get about this?

And man, didn't you hear? NPR says that 22 is the new 17. 14 is quite a few numbers under 22 so I think it's pretty safe to say that this isn't the age to be subjecting her to the vitriolic rhetorical lashings by way of internet strangers.

I'm just as pissed off that this girl is doing the things she's doing but I'm a bigger fan of, let's say, talking to her parents about what she's doing? Because it would be strange to think that her parents aren't involved in this and as much of a symbol as she is for bigotry and hate, it's not a far step to think that her environment has much to do with this.

My point about lacking the courage of one's convictions has nothing to do with humiliation and everything to do with being brave enough to say "this is who I am and this is what I believe".

That may have been your sentiment but you're pretty much daring her to put her name out in public. She may not read Metafilter or whatever but I'd be surprised if you probably didn't set off a whole nest of hypergoogling to figure out who this girl is. Again, trusting internet strangers is great and all but experience tells me that this doesn't usually end well. And if your entire point is to take ownership of the words you write or speak, then maybe it would be wise to do so.
posted by dubusadus at 3:08 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


when i was selling cookies (i have a plaque! "for outstanding cookie sales") samoas were caramel delights.

IIRC, that's a regional thing.


'round here we've had both kinds sold from year to year, but only one type. Apparently, it depends on who your upstream baker is. We had some sort of reformulation a couple years back and it seemed that the cookies went kind of downhill -- it was serious enough that I stopped supplying my expat friends.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 3:08 PM on January 11, 2012


I'm halfway positive that this is the same line of reasoning used to justify victim-blaming.

What? How has she been victimized? She posted a video on YouTube, encouraging people to boycott an institution for admitting a transgendered 7-year-old. Nowhere in my post did I say she should be outed; I said she ought to put her name out there, since the child's name is everywhere. Again, in the interests of fairness rather than humiliation.

That may have been your sentiment but you're pretty much daring her to put her name out in public.

I know, the very nerve of me, right?

Please read the words I used. I'm not advocating her getting doxed or put in the stocks for people to throw fruit at her. I'm saying that in fairness, she ought to tell people who she is.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:14 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think maybe you overestimate my eldritch powers over the googly powers of the internets, dude.
posted by elizardbits at 3:15 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have not read this thread yet, but I must say this for posterity:

Thin Mint milkshakes
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 3:16 PM on January 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm proud to have been a Girl Scout for 10 years, including six summers of camp. I'm proud that Betty Friedan was on our board, that I had lesbians as camp counselors, that I had amazing troop leaders who were nurses and teachers and scientists and a marine, that I got to spend a week winter camping and dogsledding in Minnesota (Hurray for Wider Opportunities!), and that Girl Scouts remain as open, welcoming and awesome as ever.
posted by hydropsyche at 3:17 PM on January 11, 2012 [19 favorites]


I don't want to stop KKK marches either, but I'm not going to say it's great that they are standing up for what they believe in. --- I guess the days of "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" are over in America.
posted by crunchland at 3:21 PM on January 11, 2012


You know, between the desire to support inclusiveness and acceptance AND all the amazing ideas for uses of GS cookies (beyond just normal face stuffing) it really is like this post is trying to kill me.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 3:22 PM on January 11, 2012


Marisa, this isn't about fairness and, in all fairness, I was responding to elizardbits with that last bit.

This isn't a schoolyard fight. There's no such thing as fairness when it comes to angry people on the internet. When there's a bunch of people who are really pissed off, there's usually always a small population that loses control.

You don't eradicate hate or anger with more hate or anger. Leveling a playing field in this regard just means adding more poison to the well just because not everybody's gotten sick yet.

I'm signing off on this now because my eye's twitching and that usually means I'm getting kind of pissy. Some yoga to cool me off and the hope that people will just do the right thing will be my koan for the night.

Peace.
posted by dubusadus at 3:23 PM on January 11, 2012


I guess the days of "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" are over in America.

Ahh, furiousxgeorge. The canary in the coal mine, amirite??
posted by liketitanic at 3:24 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's also a little tidbit on the Honest Girl Scouts page (asking whether you approve of how your council's use of funds and asset sales) that harkens back to something that's been happening local to me, lately. Council owns a bunch of properties which have been used as camps. That's lovely. Except, girls don't camp as much as they used to, the costs have gone way up because insurance is insanely expensive, and they've been trying to consolidate and divest some of the property that's costing them tons of money.

In response, a lot of people have been doing similar boycotts of cookies, because somehow it's "mismanagement" for Council to sell a camp that you attended forty years ago. Ever. For any reason.

I think there's a certain subset of people who think that Girl Scouts should only exist to be exactly the same as it was when they were kids, forever, no matter what. Those parents, I suspect, have been on the verge of wanting to throw tantrums for decades already; this just provides something in particular that's an easier thing to shut down over than "why didn't you keep throwing money at my favorite program".
posted by gracedissolved at 3:24 PM on January 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


I guess the days of "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" are over in America.

what? no. there's a difference between "i support and will fight for your right to say what ever shitty thing you want to say." and "i applaud you for saying something shitty." yay for her for exercising her first amendment rights, but boo on her for being so hateful.
posted by nadawi at 3:26 PM on January 11, 2012 [19 favorites]


I don't want to stop KKK marches either, but I'm not going to say it's great that they are standing up for what they believe in. --- I guess the days of "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" are over in America.

I can defend to the death the right of people to say things that are in no way great.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:26 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't want to stop KKK marches either, but I'm not going to say it's great that they are standing up for what they believe in. --- I guess the days of "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" are over in America.

You're not even reading the comments you're replying to at all, are you?
posted by kmz at 3:26 PM on January 11, 2012 [14 favorites]


Oh and also the troops REALLY appreciate any donations to the troop. We get 55¢ for every box of $4 cookies we sell.

And the last time I asked for how I could give a direct tax deductable donation rather then buy a bunch of cookies I was told there was no way to give a direct donation.
posted by rough ashlar at 3:32 PM on January 11, 2012


I totally just came here to post that.

I am so buying 300 boxes of Thin Mints. Thanks for the video, young lady.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:33 PM on January 11, 2012


Free speech includes the right to say shitty transphobic things. It does not include the right to say shitty transphobic things without being called out on your bullshit bigotry.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:35 PM on January 11, 2012 [27 favorites]


ericb: "There's a new Girl Scout cookie this year: Savannah Smiles?"

They should not be naming their cookies after porn stars.
posted by symbioid at 3:35 PM on January 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


I can defend to the death the right of people to say things that are in no way great. --- I see where we're missing each other. I didn't say that I thought what she was saying was great. I said that I thought it was great she was saying it, rationally and thoughtfully, even though I think she's wrong.
posted by crunchland at 3:36 PM on January 11, 2012


not sure if anyone put it up yet, but here's the link to find when they start selling cookies in your area.

Girl Scouts: way more awesome than I realized. Camp Fire girls from my childhood, not so much. Totally going to get some thin mints ASAP.
posted by daisystomper at 3:37 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


If nothing else, that girl has earned her enunciation badge. Quote!
posted by schoolgirl report at 3:38 PM on January 11, 2012


There's a rather wide middle ground between thinking it's great that bigots are expressing their views and wanting to censor them.
posted by kmz at 3:40 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


This isn't a schoolyard fight. There's no such thing as fairness when it comes to angry people on the internet. When there's a bunch of people who are really pissed off, there's usually always a small population that loses control.

You don't eradicate hate or anger with more hate or anger. Leveling a playing field in this regard just means adding more poison to the well just because not everybody's gotten sick yet.


Let me try to approach this from another angle, because you seem to be reading a lot more motivations into what I'm saying here than are actually there. I am not advocating "hate or anger" be directed at her. But I do think opinions of bigotry and intolerance such as those being expressed by this girl are more or less the status quo. These ugly statements come out of the majority herd, from a position of power, and are used to belittle, demean, and other-ize minorities.

Which is probably why elizardbits called her convictions into question. She's speaking on behalf of the majority, after all. Freedom of speech moves in both directions. This girl is free to say what she wants to say on YouTube. People on the internet are welcome to respond to her. I do not believe she ought to be outed; people can respond in her YouTube channel, or by starting their own counter-campaign. Her identity has nothing to do with that.

The point is, there's still a really ugly dynamic at play when the sexual minority - the one who's likely to face a whole lot more bigotry than just this campaign - gets her identity bandied about everywhere, but the person speaking from the position of privileged intolerance remains anonymous. It's pointing out a symptom of what is wrong with our entire dialogue when it comes to LGBT issues; not a critique of these two young girls.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:41 PM on January 11, 2012 [9 favorites]


They should not be naming their cookies after porn stars.

I think it was a movie first.
posted by elsietheeel at 3:42 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


This post reminded me how much I love the Girl Scouts. I was in it for 12 years. Now I'm going to go email GS Chicago and see if they need any adult volunteers. Thanks for getting them back on my radar, bigots!
posted by phunniemee at 3:43 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm distracted by how much that girl sounds like Jan Brady. She's more than welcome to say her piece, though it's stupid, sad, and silly. I wasn't a transgendered kid, but man, was I jealous of my sister's Girl Scout troop, which did fun things and wasn't like Lord of the fucking Flies, unlike the feral nightmare of Boy Scout troop 602 in the late seventies.

As a lover of transgendered folks, I will hereby purchase three times my usual number of lovely lovely green boxes of minty goodness this year despite my New Year's resolution.
posted by sonascope at 3:44 PM on January 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


thin mints (chocolate minty cookie coated in chocolate) are a popular choice, especially as they freeze well and can therefore be put out of sight and out of mind and not consumed in their entirety in one sitting.

Sez you. I buy no more than 2 boxes for me, because knowing that they're frozen and crunchy and cold just makes me want to NOMNOMNOM them faster.

I am glad to know about the troops program; I'll see if the cookie mom 2 cubicles down is part of a troop that does that.

I wish my GS troop had been more fun, or I might have stayed in longer. Also that I had the time to be a troop leader, because GS remains a badass organization.
posted by emjaybee at 3:44 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't want to stop KKK marches either, but I'm not going to say it's great that they are standing up for what they believe in. --- I guess the days of "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" are over in America.

It really does seem an extraordinary interpretation of freedom of expression that applauds any use of it, including those uses that seek to limit freedom of expression. It seems to miss a vital aspect of liberalism, which is standing up for people's freedom to do stuff you don't like. It's the sort of brittle interpretation of people who identify as liberal in their 20s and turn out authoritarian in their 40s, when they realise that their world is full of things they'd like to ban.

A liberal isn't somebody who wouldn't like to ban some things, it's somebody who recognises that wanting to ban something doesn't mean it is right to. It's about self-control just as much as self-expression.
posted by howfar at 3:45 PM on January 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Kudos to the Girl Scouts of America! Boycott the boycott--you have to like sound of that.

(Would it be a derail to suggest that Thin Mints are by far the best type of Girl Scout cookie?)
posted by haiku warrior at 3:55 PM on January 11, 2012


you can't actually respond to her on the youtube channel anymore. commenting has been turned off. also, it's the channel for "honest girl scouts" not her. and, not surprising at all, she seems to be echoing the exact words that who ever runs that channel uses when they go and argue in other youtube videos about this. the person who is commenting as "honest girl scout" does seem to take it further by saying things like:

"Safety of 2.8 million girls takes precedence over the needs of a handful of boys with special mental struggles."

"I would love to hear how you can forecast the future and guarantee that all little boys who like to dress up as girls, like the boy in Colorado mentioned in the video, will grow up to be transgender and/or gay. I used to work for a cross-dressing man who was anything but gay."

"The point about the boy (whose last name is not the same as his mother's) being raised only by women, is that he has no male role model to imprint upon, making his gender confusion and desire to emulate his sister more understandable."

"Our understanding is that a boy had male genitals. Whatever mental struggles he may have, we view him as a boy."

"I am doing something about false "warm and fuzzy," simplistic-pitch-organizations that are just fronts for MoveOn.org. I am a Girl Scout and I believe in what HonestGirlScouts(dot)com has to say about movements that dupe children into advocating for false-front fundraising"

posted by nadawi at 3:59 PM on January 11, 2012


They are, right after Samoas.
posted by crunchland at 3:59 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm kind of amused by how closely her arguments track arguments against letting transwomen into the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival

Yeah, the "true, all-girl experience" stuff rings very familiar, even if it comes from a very different spot on the political spectrum. Kinda fascinating.
posted by mediareport at 3:59 PM on January 11, 2012


I'm somewhat amused that 'honest girl scouts' violated ICANN whois rules, and used fake info for their registration, instead of using a legitimate private domain registration service, but a real email address that's already been used to track down the girl's picture.
posted by nomisxid at 4:01 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


you can't actually respond to her on the youtube channel anymore.

Welp, I stand corrected: free speech really can be a one-way street!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:01 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Beyond the general awfulness in action here, the "Boys reach puberty before the 12th grade" chyron was kinda weird.
posted by Flunkie at 4:07 PM on January 11, 2012


yeah, the message about safety seems to be that boys with, as the person behind the account says, "mental issues" will reach puberty and won't be able to help themselves from raping all the girls. the comments that account has made also seem to focus a lot on girls showering and changing together. i find myself wondering what their feelings on lesbians in girls scouts are, if the issue is sexual interests (i don't really wonder, i'm pretty sure i already know).
posted by nadawi at 4:10 PM on January 11, 2012


the feral nightmare of Boy Scout troop 602 in the late seventies.

BAH that just cracked me up.
posted by liketitanic at 4:10 PM on January 11, 2012


Girl Scouts in war zones.

I just have to say, that thought terrifies me. They would be unstoppable. Distracting the enemy with their awesome cookies, while they kill them silently. It has to be the real plot behind the Girl Scouts. Take over the world when we aren't looking, being too busy eating cookies. ;)
posted by usagizero at 4:13 PM on January 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


I want to be supportive of trans-rights, but not trans-fats.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:18 PM on January 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


Look, I understand the love of Thin Mints, but honestly, once you try the Lemonades, it is hard to go back.
posted by 4ster at 4:18 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


yeah, the message about safety seems to be that boys with, as the person behind the account says, "mental issues" will reach puberty and won't be able to help themselves from raping all the girls.

Which is ridiculous on a biological level. If they continue to live as female into the 12th grade (per their fears), they would have already been on so many anti-androgens and/or estrogens that their hormones and appearance would be essentially identical to any other teenage girl.

But I shouldn't expect them to be thinking this through, especially if science comes into it.
posted by tittergrrl at 4:18 PM on January 11, 2012


I'll continue to buy store-brand knockoffs of the peanut butter ones. A fifth the price, made in the US, can get them any time of year, at least as good taste wise.
posted by aerotive at 4:23 PM on January 11, 2012


Trying to stick to the diet this year and all this does is give me an excuse to buy cases of Samoas.
posted by eyeballkid at 4:24 PM on January 11, 2012


I have Issues from my GS experiences as a kid, not least of which having to do with cookie sales*, but glad to see the organization is being inclusive. I do like the cookies, though, and I try to be nice to the girls at the grocery store. Might have to snag a box or two this year.

* Being the only girl in my troop w/out a working parent, the same year they found out my uncle was diabetic and couldn't have any cookies, and being painfully shy? TOTALLY SUCKED. I think I sold like four boxes total that year. Plus all the girls who tormented me at school were in my troop. Yeah, that was great. Oh, and I got lice at summer camp.
posted by epersonae at 4:26 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I said that I thought it was great she was saying it, rationally and thoughtfully, even though I think she's wrong.

I missed all the "rational" parts. Maybe I shouldn't have watched it on the iPad?

Polite bigotry is still bigotry.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:31 PM on January 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


aerotive - as far as i can tell, girl scout cookies are all made in the USA. it looks like maybe one of the bakers considered taking bids for an overseas supplier, but stuck with the US factory.
posted by nadawi at 4:32 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Guides in Canada have a page about inclusivity, though it doesn't specify gender issues so not sure how it'd play out up here.

You don't have to buy cookies to show support. As much as I love the cookies, when I was a brownie & guide I HATED selling cookies. I'd prefer it if they didn't need to turn into uniformed cookie hustlers every year. If you're worried about your waistline, just donate to the Girl Scouts with no cookie purchase needed.

I always buy the guide cookies and I'm partial to the mints. I used to love the chocolate/vanilla cookies but the recipe got changed and bleh.
posted by Salmonberry at 4:37 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I always wonder what transphobic people want to do about people who are born intersex. Can they be scouts? Or must we pretend they don't exist lest our binary construction of gender be challenged?
posted by prefpara at 4:41 PM on January 11, 2012 [12 favorites]


Yay, girl scouts.

But it breaks my heart to see this young girl with such a hateful video and such a righteous attitude. I blame her parents and the adults around her for instilling such bigotry, I doubt she came of it by her own accord. I think and hope she will grow up to be ashamed of this one day.
posted by madamjujujive at 4:42 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ban High Fructose Corn Syrup in Girl Scout Cookies!
posted by matimer at 4:42 PM on January 11, 2012


All of this is reminding me of one of the funniest conversations I ever overheard on an elevator, which was one lady saying to another, "I ate a bunch of Girl Scout cookies again. I swear, it's completely dishonest that the box doesn't say 'Serving Size: 1 Row.'"
posted by Linda_Holmes at 4:54 PM on January 11, 2012 [25 favorites]


If the girl featured in this video isn't related to the creator of honestgirlscouts.com, and reading a script that she had no involvement in writing, I'll eat my hat ideally filled with Tagalongs to make it go down easier.

posted by argonauta at 5:08 PM on January 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


I was a girl scout all the way to Gold Star. (kinda like Eagle Scout, but cooler and with better wardrobe choices.) I still have all my washes and badges in a box somewhere, and very fond memories of all the groovy stuff I got to do, and people I got to meet. (except for that weird "our bodies, ourselves" incident. The less said about that, the better....). I still donate to the parent org, and buy cookies out the wazoo, but this year, I'm sending bunches to our troops too.

And as a former proud wearer of the green, I'm glad these bigots left. GSA doesn't need hateful small minded morons. We have the world for that. Girl scouts should be a place of love and acceptance. Also, firestarters, pocket knives, and trailblazing. But never hate.
posted by dejah420 at 5:08 PM on January 11, 2012 [14 favorites]


Salmonberry, the West Coast Area Girl Guides had a booth at Vancouver's Pride Festival this year. I haven't been able to find any statements from the organization about transgender people.

Meanwhile, Scouts up here are open to both sexes, and some troops have marched at Pride events at least as far back as 2000, although both Scouts and Guides were not always so inclusive.
According to Scouts Canada and to members of the gay troop, there have been few complaints about the new unit. Scouts Canada, which has about 150,000 members, said it encountered greater negative reaction two years ago when it admitted women. The only direct link between the American and Canadian groups is their membership in the World Organization of the Scout Movement, an umbrella group. "It's a bunch of people getting together to have fun. It's a great way to meet new people,'' said Bonte Minnema, a 24-year-old University of Toronto women's studies student who leads the Rovers group, which is composed of a dozen men and women, ages 18 to 26.

Other members of the troop, or crew, recalled that when they were teen-agers their scouting units ostracized them for being gay. "After I had been out for a while, I started to feel uncomfortable in Scouting," said Sara Evans, a 20-year-old video documentary maker.

Her partner, Elaina Evans, agreed, saying she spent 10 years in the Girl Guides movement. "When I was 16 and just coming out, I had some severe homophobic experiences in Guiding," she said. The couple have a four-year-old daughter whom they want to start this fall in Scouts Canada's youngest program, Beavers. Enthusiastic about Scouts Canada's plans to authorize a Beavers group, known as a "colony," for children of gay parents, Elaina Evans added: "It's important for her to be in contact with other kids who have gay and lesbian parents."
posted by maudlin at 5:09 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I read that article from The Christian Post and have reached what I believe is an inexorable conclusion: We're doomed.
posted by ob1quixote at 5:27 PM on January 11, 2012


2013 Girl Scouts Cookie Marketing: "Let more LGBT girls in, we broke sales records last year"

Time to ask around at work and see whose kids are selling cookies this year.
posted by mrbill at 5:28 PM on January 11, 2012


I can defend to the death the right of people to say things that are in no way great. --- I see where we're missing each other. I didn't say that I thought what she was saying was great. I said that I thought it was great she was saying it, rationally and thoughtfully, even though I think she's wrong.

But it's not great, it's bullying with a bullhorn. Just because it's legal doesn't make it great.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:34 PM on January 11, 2012


I HATED cookie selling time, except for the year my friend and i sold a ton of cases to Jay Leno during the Gulf War [to be shipped to the troops] (we were 10 and he rode one of his 3000 motorcycles to the Thrifty's where were were doing a booth. And stupidly gave us his personal assistant's phone number "if we needed anything", so next year WE DID. A very LA moment]
Anyway, yeah, hated selling cookies. Though, the other big revenue location was walking UCLA's Sorority Row on meeting night. College girls love cookies.
But, I also earned my silver award and gold award [PS, kids-be sure to write "equivalent of Boy Scout Eagle on those college apps] and twice did Wider Opportunities, learned to rig climbing ropes and belay, hang bear bag, how to right a tipped canoe and portage it at Camp Scherman. Dude, I had an unmarried, pregnant camp counselor one year. She was awesome. And even then, as a kid, I knew Girl Scouts was awesome.
Also, here's some incredible community-supporting, progressive Girl Scout programs you should know about: Girl Scouting Behind Bars/in Detention Centers
Sorry, I'm kind of a girl scouting fan-girl.
posted by atomicstone at 5:37 PM on January 11, 2012 [10 favorites]


I've seen a movement on facebook where people are looking into buying cookies specifically from Bobby Montoya's troop (and either having them shipped or donated to local shelters.)

Bobby never actually joined anyway, because you know, the troop leader had a great first amendment moment and humiliated someone trying to join up, so yeah.

The Week: So is Bobby a Girl Scout now?

No. After their terrible experience, Bobby's grandmother, Rose Archuleta says, "My daughter is never going to take him back to join that Girl Scout troop." While Bobby could join another troop, Rose says that the group in question is the only one close to where they live, and that Bobby's mother is already quite busy shuttling her three children to and from their various activities.

posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:44 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


i'm so glad the world is changing to the point that a 7 year old can say "i'm transgendered" and that people will listen and people will include them. that's so awesome. there's a lot of work to do, obviously, but growing up as a queer kid in the south in the 80s, i didn't think we'd be here so fast.

As someone who didn't grasp the T part of LGBTQ until well into adulthood, I completely agree with this. There is a lot to be unhappy about in the world, but the progress in queer rights over the last couple of decades is nothing short of marvelous.
posted by Forktine at 5:55 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Coming out to represent as yet another longtime Girl Scout, age 6 to 18, Silver award, Cadette leadership award, Camp Nomoco. Thanks to the Girl Scouts I learned camping, winter camping, orienteering, snowshoeing, long-distance cycling, and went backpacking for a week each on VT's Long Trail, in the Adirondacks, and in the Catskills. We went to the UN, Washington DC, the nursing home, the local parks, and who knows where else. There was always something new. I loved Girl Scouts and was a big fan of it, met some of the most awesome young women of my high school career through the intercouncil activities, and always felt empowered, encouraged, and at home. I'm really, really proud of the organization they've become and heartened that they don't seem one bit cowed by this nonsense. People who espouse these views are welcome to their views, but if anything about it is "honest" it's that honestly, they don't belong in Girl Scouts, because Girl Scouts is not an organization judging, limiting, or testing the girls who express interest in membership.

Like phunniemee, I've meant to look into volunteering as a leader for a long time. Maybe this is the impetus.
posted by Miko at 6:36 PM on January 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think I also sort of wanted to be a Girl Scout because I'm an autumn and those green outfits and the sash really brought out the hazel in my eyes, unlike the drab Boy Scout uniform and those pig-awful neckerchiefs straight out of some sort of German youth movement from some unspecified moment in history. I could have rocked those little green pantsuits something fierce, but no, I had to be a goddamn Tenderfoot instead.
posted by sonascope at 6:41 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Though I must say - one person I am really feeling for tonight is the Social Media Manager for GSUSA. Because Facebook is lit up. Whoever was worried about encouraging the MeFi bloodhound gang to find Taylor needn't worry - the rest of the internets seems to already be on it.
posted by Miko at 6:41 PM on January 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


I would just like to say that when we went snowshoeing the ranger leading us scared the beejesus out of everyone by talking about tree wells and how they were dangerous and we were all gonna die horrible suffocating deaths and I don't think a bunch of 8-year old girls were ready for that so I think we should warn parents that putting your kids in there could mean having them face their own mortality.

PS This was in the 70s when snowshoes were clown shoes to the nth degree and did I mention this guy kept going on about tree wells and I've had a paranoid fear everytime I'm up on the local hills and the nearest tree is 10ft away or there's only 3" of snow?
posted by Salmonberry at 6:41 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


it's bullying with a bullhorn --- There's only one 14-year-old girl with a Youtube account that intimidates me, and it's this one.
posted by crunchland at 6:44 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I said that I thought it was great she was saying it, rationally and thoughtfully, even though I think she's wrong.

I can kinda understand how the placid delivery could be mistaken for something resembling politeness, but every bit of this was so far from rational or thoughtful; from misunderstanding what a transgender boy even is, to the weird rape fearmongering... it borders on inhumane more than anything.
posted by odinsdream at 6:47 PM on January 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


this 14 year old doesn't have a youtube account. it was put up by the group "honest girl scouts." i'm with argonauta - i think this is probably one of the daughters of one of the women behind that site. chances are she didn't write the script she's reading.
posted by nadawi at 6:50 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, I just went through an online signup process to become a volunteer with my local council. I made my way through here, used the zip code search and found a volunteer link on the home page of our regional council.
posted by Miko at 6:53 PM on January 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


From the FAQ: "our bakers continue to experiment and have a commitment to ensuring there is always a "healthful" cookie in their line-up."

I find this "reassuring."
posted by hank at 7:19 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


IT's so strange - these folks (I kind of get the feeling it's really just one person, but can't substantiate that) have set up an entire web ring of sites with a slightly different presentation, and the same message. There's GirlScoutsWhyNot.org, 100 Questions for the Girl Scouts at familywatchinternational.org, SpeakNowGirlScouts.com, and they've got a Facebook at Make The Girl Scouts Clean Again as well as Honest Girl Scouts.

So one interesting thing about the Facebook is that it looks like this Hydra-like organization had already called a boycott on cookies this year to protest the general awfulness of Girl Scouts. The video pops up later, and that's what seems to be breaking through to major media. It's almost like the video was created to lend force to this existing campaign.

I'll tell you what seems kind of funny to me. Just a few months ago there was a great piece in the New Yorker by Jill Lepore about the history of Planned Parenthood. It was really pretty fascinating, because it detailed how Planned Parenthood, for most of the 20th century, had strong bipartisan support including the involvement and vocal support of many politicians and leaders on the right. She chronicled the way in which this support had gradually been undermined in recent decades and the concern that it has been singled out for outright attack - focused on delegitimizing and defunding it - in the current political climate.

The more I hang around trying to grok the weirdness of these sites, the more I keep returning to their focus on Planned Parenthood, too. There's a lot about radical feminism and pro-life agendas, but they are really hyperconcerned with finding connections between GSUSA and Planned Parenthood, and taking GSUSA down based on its connections with Planned Parenthood.

At first it had all the hallmarks of "I'm a nutty grassroots activist with a bee in my bonnet," but with a whole bunch of interconnected websites attempting to make it look like there are several different organizations involved in this opposition, but all pretty clearly sharing the same facts and rhetoric and even writing style, you gotta wonder just how grassroots it really is.
posted by Miko at 7:22 PM on January 11, 2012 [11 favorites]


If organizations that discriminate by gender are (ethically, at least) obligated to accept anyone who identifies as that gender (even if biological constitution says otherwise), and the binary nature of gender is just a construction, what's the point of having separated boy/girl scouts anyway? Do people who advocate for transgender inclusion in this case also advocate for the elimination of that separation into male/female as discriminatory? Should a girl be allowed go to the boy scouts not because she identifies as a girl, but just because she wants to?
posted by falameufilho at 7:26 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


yeah, Miko, i had noticed some of that. from the woman who makes the comments on the honestgirlscout youtube page, she seems very concerned with, well, i'll let her explain it "I am doing something about false "warm and fuzzy," simplistic-pitch-organizations that are just fronts for MoveOn.org. I am a Girl Scout and I believe in what HonestGirlScouts(dot)com has to say about movements that dupe children into advocating for false-front fundraising"

like, she's posting from the account and then saying she supports what they have to say, as if she's not them. it's like when people review their own products on amazon and forget to use their fake account.
posted by nadawi at 7:27 PM on January 11, 2012


Brownie troop co-leader here. I can't even imagine taking disbanding our troop and scouting away from my girls because of a decision made in one troop across the country no matter how vehemently I disagree with it. There is absolutely no reason to do that. My troop makes its decisions based on the wishes of our girls and the leaders. What happens at a national level has very little to do with our activities, other than setting badge requirements. What happens in another troop in another council has zero connection. It's not as if there is an army of 7 year old scout-loving transgenders who have just been waiting for someone to make the first move. This is an extremely unusual situation that has no bearing on the awesome things that my girls right here and right now can get out of scouting.

By the by - you can go here to find your local council. Many councils have an option to donate cookies to the military online (if you can't find one, me-mail me and I'll give you a link to our council's site) but individual troops don't get any of that money unless you designate a troop number - it stays at the council level. That supports campsites and a lot of important council support to troops, but it's always better to find a real live girl scout to buy from if possible - she's probably trying to reach a personal sales goal and pay for troop activities and you can help her achieve that.

Those of you who want to donate directly to scouts without buying cookies should also check with your local councils. Different councils have different options available. I know our council allows you to specify your donation for, among other things, financial assistance to scouts (paying dues, buying uniforms, etc.), equestrian programs, and camp scholarships. Donating to the national organization is fine, but the council and troop level is where the money is really needed and really has an immediate effect on girls.
posted by Dojie at 7:32 PM on January 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


I tell you, I'm reading these Facebooks way down the page and I'm kind of in awe at (a) the whackjob network they have going on and (b) the out-and-out hate. It looks like there are two main women, or at least names (because I'm not totally convinced they're actual people) involved in spreading the 'info' and fanning the flames, and they're either followers of or connected with this Sharon Slater person who has the franchise Stand for the Family and Family Watch International. For some reason, all of those sites just became incredibly slow-loading, but I'm still exploring.

In any case? This is not about a 14-year-old girl on YouTube.
posted by Miko at 7:38 PM on January 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Make The Girl Scouts Clean Again

Clean from what, exactly? What do they think happens in GS meetings? Satanic rituals? The most blood I ever saw was the time we decided to carve pumpkins for Halloween with our not-really-meant-for-that GS Official Jacknives.

I mean, you know, it's camping and cookies and community service. Birdwatching. Helping old people. How much cleaner can it get?
posted by emjaybee at 8:10 PM on January 11, 2012


Christy Volanski and Susan Riedley run the websites and had the boycott going since at least December.

How much cleaner can it get?

Well, they're really concerned particularly about the health and empowerment curricula that touch on things like family planning, sex education, and also women in leadership in which the leaders might be in fields they don't like - like LGBT advocacy. Check out the sites and Facebook, they lay it all out there for you to see what they're objecting to. Essentially, GSUSA is now a radical feminist, pro-abortion, sex-obsessed organization that is encouraging our daughters to become sexual deviants. It's all there in black and white!!!! /sarcasm
posted by Miko at 8:15 PM on January 11, 2012


what's the point of having separated boy/girl scouts anyway?

Nothing other than tradition, I imagine. I suppose "Human Scouts" sounds a bit weird.

Although the nutjob brigade is probably worried about the kids getting together and HAVING THE SEXY SEX! That they would have to do it in front of the troopmasters makes it even more sordid.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:23 PM on January 11, 2012


what's the point of having separated boy/girl scouts anyway?

If it's based on voluntary identification, it'd be like any other affinity group - they share something with you, you're interested in stuff they're interested in. That's basically what it is already - not all girls like Girl Scouts, so the girls that are in it are in it because it's something they identify with.
posted by Miko at 8:36 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just FYI, the reason the United States has the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts is because they're two entirely separate groups, with somewhat overlapping-yet-different histories. In other countries, Guides and Scouts are often different, but frequently co-ed. The US has some overlapping co-ed groups still (the Explorers and several other older scout things, I think?) but the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts are definitely not arbitrary distinctions.

(GSCNC, represent! Brownie through Senior, silver/most of a gold, two international Wider Ops and one to learn aeronautics at Boeing, as well as my first real paychecks from freshman year of high school through college. I cannot say how many ways Girl Scouts made me a better person, and I'm really proud of Colorado for their stand on this.)
posted by jetlagaddict at 8:45 PM on January 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh and ps, the Samoa ice cream makes better milkshakes...as long as you add in extra crushed Samoas and chocolate sauce. And if you take a gallon bag, tagalongs, a hammer, and that magic hardens-when-cold chocolate sauce you can make some banging chocolate covered bananas.

xoxo, my long-lost teenage metabolism

(Girl Scouts did not however teach me that adding EXTRA SAMOAS INTO A MILKSHAKE is a -poor- awesome life decision)
posted by jetlagaddict at 8:47 PM on January 11, 2012


After years of skipping Girl Scout cookie tables outside the local market, YOU PULL ME RIGHT BACK IN.
posted by introp at 8:50 PM on January 11, 2012


Post, post scriptum, if you want to make a difference in the lives of kids in your area, please contact your local Council and see if you can: make a direct donation, participate in any drives (food, clothes, pet toys...troops are almost always involved in these), help with a troop (ONLY IF YOU ACTUALLY HAVE TIME, SERIOUSLY), help with a craft day or World Thinking Day, mentor students, come and speak as a role model, especially in troops without a lot of parental support, help out with a business plan, teach computer literacy....not all troops or councils are created equal, but many are great and would love your support!
posted by jetlagaddict at 8:52 PM on January 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


it's bullying with a bullhorn --- There's only one 14-year-old girl with a Youtube account that intimidates me, and it's this one .

I am happy to know that bullying aimed at children does not intimidate you.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:04 PM on January 11, 2012


So...I really, really wanted to do all the Boy Scouty stuff when I was a kid. Really for reals. And I wish I had, because my wilderness skills are for crap, and I really could've used the confidence boosters when I was a kid.

But I was, you know, a kid, and it was the '80s, and well...I just thought their uniforms looked so gay.

I got over that little bit of homophobia after puberty. I like to think it was understandable given my age and the times. I support gay rights. Hang out with gay people all the time. Not freaked out at all.

But I still hear about the Boy Scouts discriminating against gay kids (and adult volunteers), and I think, really? You guys?
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:06 PM on January 11, 2012


This has been a great thread to read. Hooray! And good job on the research, Miko. Better you than me.

My mom's younger sister is only seven years older than me and she's always been more like a sister to me. And so, growing up, she taught me all the girl scout camp songs. I'm the only male I know of who knows all those songs. That has nothing to do with anything, but I just thought I'd throw that out there.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:10 PM on January 11, 2012


Looks like some lucky soldiers are receiving a metric fuckton of cookies from me this year.
Also, how do the Girlscouts do it!?!? They git the bigoted people spewing hate to leave THEIR group of their own volition?
If we could only figure out how to do that everwhere!
F
posted by kaiseki at 9:25 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


yeah, in Canada Boy Scouts are now any-gender Scouts; I just wish I could have joined. In guides, they treated us like delicate little princesses, and never let us do any real camping (massive canvas tents on a manicured lawn is NOT camping) and were always fussing that someone was going to flag or molest us so we weren't allowed to walk home alone, but the skimpy uniform skirts were just fine.

yeah, I'm sending my future-daughter to Scouts. Or maybe Woodcraft folk - anything with lot of serious crafts and skills and roughing it.
posted by jb at 9:35 PM on January 11, 2012


furiousxgeorge's link to the October 27, 2011 NY Daily News article is particularly informative about what happened when Bobby first was brought to the local chapter:

But when Felisha and Bobby, who has two older siblings, got there, the troop leader flipped out, fumed Rose Archuleta, Bobby's 52-year-old grandmother. "The woman was so rude and made him cry," she huffed to The Daily News during a phone interview Wednesday night. "I mean, he was devastated by what she said."

Felisha Archuleta told KUSA-TV that the troop leader told her, "It doesn't matter how he looks, he has boy parts, he can't be in Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts don't allow that I don't want to be in trouble by parents or my supervisor."

"I really got upset because my grandson is himself. We've all accepted it," Rose Archuleta told The News. "We've all accepted Bobby as he is, and for this lady to talk to him that way, it was just awful. This lady shouldn't be working with kids."

The vitriolic, sharp-tongued troop leader only identified herself as Mary, and would not divulge her last name, Rose Archuleta said. Neither The Girl Scouts of Colorado, nor The Girl Scouts of America, the group's parent organization, could be reached Wednesday night. But the state organization previously told KUSA-TV, "Our requests for support of transgender kids have grown, and Girl Scouts of Colorado is working to best support these children, their families and the volunteers who serve them.

"In this case, an associate delivering our program was not aware of our approach."

posted by mediareport at 9:53 PM on January 11, 2012


Right so I'm not saying boycott the cookies or anything and the Girl Scouts should generally be commended for having inclusive policies but if your thoughts are specifically with Bobby I might look at somewhere else to vote with your dollars. No idea what organizations are most respected on these issues but Google turns up a bunch.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:07 PM on January 11, 2012


7 years old is an age before any human has a sexual orientation or sexual identity. That's the 2nd grade. A 2nd grader is not ready to do something as simple as eating without guidance to wash hands, eat over the table, chew with your mouth shut, stop playing with your food, etc... but someone thinks a 2nd grader is ready to start making sexual decisions? Putting a sexual identity onto a 2nd grader will not foster social acceptance; it just reenforces negative stereotypes that homophobes have about the gay community.
posted by BurnChao at 12:09 AM on January 12, 2012


btw: Holy cow that video is messed up. I don't think I can make it through the whole thing. I keep having to stop it after about 30 seconds after sheer frustration. (shear frustration? which way's right?)
posted by BurnChao at 12:17 AM on January 12, 2012


Not sure what you are trying to say there BurnChao, but if it is that kids don't have gender identities you are way off the mark according to the medical consensus and a lot of personal testimony I've heard.

It's not really sexual, or a decision for most people. Kids are who they are, let them be if they aren't hurting themselves or others.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:36 AM on January 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


7 years old is an age before any human has a sexual orientation or sexual identity.

Although one is always an unreliable narrator of one's own life, my own memories of early childhood indicate to me that this is untrue. Would you care to cite the data that convince you otherwise?
posted by howfar at 1:25 AM on January 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


The flaw in your reasoning is that you appear to think that a 7 year old should feel humiliated to be named as a transgender girl.

It has nothing to do with humiliation. This kid, unless she changes her name, has had her hand forced on whether to be out as trans for the rest of her life at the age of seven. She may grow up to be the most out and vocal trans person ever or she may view transition as a distant part of her medical history, but that choice and privacy has been taken away.
posted by hoyland at 1:33 AM on January 12, 2012


i was 7 in the third grade and i can tell you the name of the girl i had a crush on. it wasn't sexual, but it wasn't friendship. i know i'm not the only one - as i said up thread, a lot of us know, well, seemingly forever. no one put it on us. no one forced our hand. if anything, we were forced in the other direction. yet here we are all the same.

also, gender identity is not sexual identity. how old were you when you knew you were a boy? for some people, they don't have that feeling. this has nothing to do with sex or sexual attraction.
posted by nadawi at 2:19 AM on January 12, 2012 [8 favorites]


Does anyone know if there's a way for a supportive party in the UK to purchase (and consume) Girl Scout cookies to help the cause?

Just, you know, for research purposes.
posted by fight or flight at 3:04 AM on January 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


gender identity is not sexual identity.

Should be repeated a million times. Gender identity is what you feel like, NOT who you are attracted to.
posted by gaspode at 4:16 AM on January 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


BurnChao: "Putting a sexual identity onto a 2nd grader will not foster social acceptance; it just reenforces negative stereotypes that homophobes have about the gay community."

Dude. Google. Seriously. Check it out.

It's not even a new thing; Mermaids has been around for a while.

By the way, if you'd asked seven year-old me if I wanted to transition? To be a girl? I would have a) screamed YES at the top of my voice for several hours; b) pulled out of their hiding place all the little picture books I'd made and stories I'd written about unhappy boys turning into happy girls through the intervention of magic, technology, aliens, Santa, the aurora borealis, Aslan, strong hurricane winds, and strange chemicals lurking in expired Marmite; and c) gone and found the kid who'd teased me for having My Little Pony and Flower Fairies and kicked him hard in the shin.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 4:30 AM on January 12, 2012 [12 favorites]


And although I would never, ever, in a thousand million years tell my mum this, because she thinks I had a happy childhood and only became miserable and suicidal when I hit my teens: pretty much every transgender child I've ever read about who's been allowed to transition has become way, way happier. Universally in the cases I've read about, where they've been bullied, even bullied severely, they would rather take that than go back.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 4:41 AM on January 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


So would the folks who flip out about this be just fine and dandy with this if the biological gender of the trans child was flipped? Little Bobbie identifies as a boy, but can't join the Boy Scouts because his family are atheists. He doesn't have a penis, so he can join the girl scouts?

Maybe I'm underestimating the 'honest girl scout(s)', but I suspect they would find some way against any trans person.
posted by Mad_Carew at 6:22 AM on January 12, 2012


That would be "sheer" frustration, BurnChao, which some people experience in at the equation of sexual identity with gender identity. And if you're me, also when sex is equated with gender, which makes filling out forms extra fun.

Thanks for turning up the info about Bobby's experience, furiousxgeorge. I'm still going to buy cookies, because I want to support GSA's inclusiveness, but it's also a good opportunity to donate to a local organization that supports youth with gender-variant identities.
posted by EvaDestruction at 6:57 AM on January 12, 2012


Meanwhile, my friend and her daughter are selling GS cookies In Favor of Inclusion - ever since this boycott began, the orders are flying in for my friend's daughter. They had a 20% increase in orders in 15 minutes just from posting about this boycott on facebook.
posted by _paegan_ at 6:58 AM on January 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I see where we're missing each other. I didn't say that I thought what she was saying was great. I said that I thought it was great she was saying it, rationally and thoughtfully, even though I think she's wrong.

*shrug* I believe she has the right to speak, but I'm not going to praise her. This isn't like school where you get an "E" for Effort or anything.

Best way to show support for her right to speak is...to defend the First Amendment separately, and remind people she has it. I support her right, but I ain't gonna support her message, nor am I gonna support how she delivered it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:16 AM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


*ahem* Cadette troop leader here. I'll ship international. :)
posted by cass at 8:25 AM on January 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Just FYI, the reason the United States has the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts is because they're two entirely separate groups, with somewhat overlapping-yet-different histories. In other countries, Guides and Scouts are often different, but frequently co-ed. The US has some overlapping co-ed groups still (the Explorers and several other older scout things, I think?) but the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts are definitely not arbitrary distinctions.

There are definitely co-ed groups still; I joined my best friend's 4-H group after trying to suck it up in the same Girl Scout troop with the girls who always bullied me. That rocked (I even got a blue ribbon in Woodworking at the 1978 4-H fair!)

I still think Scouting is awesome, though. Any group that genuinely supports kids and fosters tolerance is a good one.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:47 AM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


furiousxgeorge: "but if it is that kids don't have gender identities you are way off the mark according to the medical consensus"

Can you point me to this medical consensus? I've been trying to find something more substantial since I read this post and didn't come up with anything satisfactory. I'd like to see more background on this.
posted by falameufilho at 8:57 AM on January 12, 2012


Never mind, found it. Have some reading to do.
posted by falameufilho at 9:06 AM on January 12, 2012


Not exactly a "consensus" though.
posted by falameufilho at 9:07 AM on January 12, 2012


cass: "*ahem* Cadette troop leader here. I'll ship international. :)"

HOT DAMN!
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 9:09 AM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


OMG IS IT COOKIE SEASON ALREADY?

Yaaaaay! I love the Girl Scouts!
posted by Theta States at 9:21 AM on January 12, 2012


I was a scout in Australia, not sure exactly when the 'boy' part of that was dropped, but we had girls in our troop/cubs etc. I still remember the somewhat awkward instance that ensued in my mid adolescence as a result of that, but at least I got high. And some snoggin. I.t. w.a.s. a.w.e.s.o.m.e.

More seriously, I think we need to do more to support progressive, accepting, and inclusive organisations. Growing up is hard enough without this kind of bullshit.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 9:34 AM on January 12, 2012


And I should point out as well, being exposed and having to understand the concerns and hopes of young women is something I can't put a value on.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 9:39 AM on January 12, 2012


But what would the age cut-off point be for being able to dismiss open bigotry as "dumb stuff said due to young age"?

Never. But when the bigot is around 16 I stop blaming the parents for being assholes as well.
posted by coolguymichael at 9:44 AM on January 12, 2012


A boy playing with "girl" toy doesn't make him trans-gender, nor does a girl playing with "boy" toys makes her trans-gender. I thought Mefites were mostly against that kind of sexism. A girl can like basball, a boy can like dolls. That doesn't make them transgendered. Using the term on them is like when Peter Griffin calls himself African-American. He use it just as an excuse to make himself a victim and to get rewards and sympathy, and it disrespectful to the legitimate users of the term.
posted by BurnChao at 9:56 AM on January 12, 2012


BurnChao, you're still confusing gender identity/subconscious sex (one's sense of oneself as female, male, etc.) with gender expression (outward behaviors related to gender identity -- playing with dolls, playing baseball, etc.). Like ArmyofKittens said, a lot of us trans folks have very clear senses of our gender identity from a very young age, and outward expressions of gender only have a little to do with it. It sounds like you're pushing the tired old "trans women are actually self-hating gay men" line; if so, please stop.
posted by jiawen at 10:12 AM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


A boy playing with "girl" toy doesn't make him trans-gender, nor does a girl playing with "boy" toys makes her trans-gender. I thought Mefites were mostly against that kind of sexism.

.....We are. Where are you SEEING that kind of sexism?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:14 AM on January 12, 2012


The Girl Scouts rock. My wife is our daughter's troop leader and they do all sorts of great things. They're going to go to Washington, D.C. this spring with a few hundred thousand others to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouting with a sing-along. A sing-along! And they sell great cookies. Awesome.

The Boy Scouts suck, in comparison. Cub Scouts is OK, but mostly for the Pine Wood Derby, and even that's a thinly-veiled excuse for dads to perfect the cars that ostensibly belong to ther sons. And let's not even get into the popcorn or the dipshit politics of the BSA. At least the boys get to camp and do archery and such, but so do the girls.

I'll cheerfully overindulge in Do-si-dos, my ultimate cookies weakness, this year in extra support of my transgendered friends. Go Girl Scouts!
posted by cheapskatebay at 10:29 AM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


BurnChao, you're still confusing gender identity/subconscious sex (one's sense of oneself as female, male, etc.) with gender expression (outward behaviors related to gender identity -- playing with dolls, playing baseball, etc.).

No, that exact opposite of what I'm doing. I'm trying to call out people confusing the two. Hence the statement "A boy playing with "girl" toy doesn't make him trans-gender, nor does a girl playing with "boy" toys makes her trans-gender."
posted by BurnChao at 10:44 AM on January 12, 2012


A boy playing with "girl" toy doesn't make him trans-gender, nor does a girl playing with "boy" toys makes her trans-gender.

Of course not. This is not about playing with a toy. Here's how the Girl Scouts define their policy: "Girl Scouts is an inclusive organization and we accept all girls in Kindergarten through 12th grade as members. If a child identifies as a girl and the child's family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout."
posted by argonauta at 10:49 AM on January 12, 2012


Burnchao, there's a difference between a boy saying "I am a boy and I want to play with dolls," and a boy saying "I am a boy and I want to be a girl". One of those two boys is transgender, one isn't.

I leave it to you to ascertain which is which.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:56 AM on January 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


What EmpressCallipygos said. BurnChao, it sounds like you're only concerned with what the kids are playing with, rather than their own sense of who they are.
posted by jiawen at 10:59 AM on January 12, 2012


who's saying playing with gendered toys make them that gender? can you quote where you're getting that from? and if it's ArmyOfKittens' comment, maybe you can read the rest of the comment and realize that isn't about girl toys.

if you're going to "call people out" - call them out directly.
posted by nadawi at 11:21 AM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


who's saying playing with gendered toys make them that gender?

No one is. I think BurnChao is responding to arguments he believes others are thinking, are that have been made on other forums.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:26 AM on January 12, 2012


The Boy Scouts suck, in comparison. Cub Scouts is OK, but mostly for the Pine Wood Derby, and even that's a thinly-veiled excuse for dads to perfect the cars that ostensibly belong to ther sons.

I don't know where you grew up, but the actual experience of being in the Boy Scouts is just fine. Camping and hiking is awesome. And to be honest, Pinewood Derby is the worst part of Cub Scouts.
posted by smackfu at 11:43 AM on January 12, 2012


i think it really depends on your troop (and how attached to the mormon church they are). my brothers had an awful time in boy scouts - lots of moralizing and rewarding the favorites in the troop while ignoring the "problem kids." lots of jockeying for position. lots of church BS brought into the troop. troop leaders wanting to have more badges given out than the next ward over so they'd have a class where they talked through merit badges, didn't do any of the activities, and still gave everyone a badge. eagle scouts not even showing up for their own eagle projects. eagle scouts creating eagle projects that weren't actually service projects, but helping themselves or a buddy in weird quid pro quo sort of set ups.
posted by nadawi at 12:00 PM on January 12, 2012


Wow. I have to say, I've never been in the Scouts, and this thread has been very informative. I had no idea there was so much palace intrigue and politicing within this group.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:29 PM on January 12, 2012


I reluctantly let my son join the cub scouts, and thus far he seems to really dig it. Nobody has said anything to us about religion or whether we belong to a church. (we dont) I'm not sure when/if that'll become a problem, but for now he's digging the camping and archery and stuff.
posted by dejah420 at 1:07 PM on January 12, 2012


i think it really depends on your troop (and how attached to the mormon church they are).

What would mormons be doing in Boy Scouts???
posted by smackfu at 1:11 PM on January 12, 2012


the mormons are deeply entrenched in boy scouts. there are a lot of arguments that the BSA's position on gays and athiests comes more from salt lake city than anywhere else.

from wiki: . The LDS Church is the largest single sponsor of Scouting units with over 30,000 units nationwide, which comprise about 13% of BSA's youth members.

from the LDS page: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints formally affiliated with the Scouting movement in the United States in May of 1913 as its first institutional sponsor, and today sponsors more Scouts and Scouting units in the United States than any other organization. Hundreds of thousands of young men are enrolled as Scouts in groups or units sponsored by the Church.

from an anti-mormon site: Mormonism has morphed the Boy Scouts into a religious organization in which they use to indoctrinate the young men into a lifetime of church membership. Awards and rewards are based on Mormon Priesthood rules and regulations. More emphasis is placed on indoctrination and obedience to the Mormon Gospel. Young men are accelerated through the program faster than boys outside the Mormon controlled BSA. Mormon boys can receive an Eagle Award simply by placing bags on neighbor doors to collect food for homeless shelters.

from scouting.org - a fact sheet on mormons and their involvement in scouting, including mormon only merit badges that are based upon church participation/tithing/priesthood
posted by nadawi at 1:35 PM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


BSA's position on gays and athiests comes more from salt lake city than anywhere else

In related (ironic) news: Salt Lake City tops 'Gayest Cities in America'.
posted by ericb at 1:56 PM on January 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wacky. I'm pretty sure there was no secret Mormon plot in my Boy Scout troop.
posted by smackfu at 2:32 PM on January 12, 2012


smackfu, I think I was a little glib. I too was a Cub and Boy Scout and generally enjoyed it. I think a lot of this is local. My son seems to like Cub Scouts, and the Pack is OK, but my daughter's Girl Scout troop is awesome and her experience reflects that.

(But the cookies vs popcorn comparison really is lopsided in favor of the Girl Scouts!)
posted by cheapskatebay at 3:58 PM on January 12, 2012


It's cookie season in RI right now. I'll ship anywhere and my troop has a paypal account. Just saying.

I've mentioned before on here that I'm a troop leader, and I really, really love Girl Scouts. We really are inclusive, and I love being able to give my girls experiences they might not get elsewhere.
posted by Ruki at 5:43 PM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do you realize even a man can be a Girl Scout, if he takes the pledge? Somehow it makes me feel better even though I haven't. My wife and daughter have enough fun without me joining in -- though so far this has been a great year for cookie sales from my colleagues, just on the basis of supporting inclusion!

We also pick up some Trail's End when my nephews come a-calling, but if I were going to join either it would be Girl Scouts.
posted by britain at 6:44 PM on January 12, 2012


Do you realize even a man can be a Girl Scout, if he takes the pledge?

I can remember being 8 or 9 years old and giggling at our first meeting that year when we saw the checkbox on the enrollment form where you could check "male" or "female." We asked about it and the leaders explained that it was usually needed for parent leaders. We were like "A BOY can be a GIRL Scout?" and one leader said actually, yes, her teenage son had been volunteering at one of the local campgrounds and was signed up - everyone who volunteers with Scouts is a Scout. So you're right, Britain, this isn't even something new.
posted by Miko at 6:47 PM on January 12, 2012


A lifelong Girl Scouts reply!

I love that reply so much.
posted by SuzySmith at 6:47 PM on January 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I am just reporting this: I placed an order for a dozen boxes yesterday with my favorite girl scout.

3 shortbreadss
4 thank you berry much
3 thin mints
2 dulce de leche

I'm just getting started.
posted by spitbull at 5:20 AM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, that reply video is awesome.
posted by spitbull at 5:22 AM on January 13, 2012


I'm pretty sure there was no secret Mormon plot in my Boy Scout troop.

Which is a strange way of saying, "Wow. I had no idea the Mormon church was so heavily involved in scouting. Thanks."
posted by mediareport at 6:03 AM on January 13, 2012


No, I just don't think the national organization has 1/10th the influence of the local one. I guess you disagree, but don't try to speak for me.
posted by smackfu at 6:22 AM on January 13, 2012


But you weren't aware of how deeply the Mormon church is involved in scouting, right? That's a fair statement, isn't it?
posted by mediareport at 6:46 AM on January 13, 2012


13% of Boy Scouts is a whole hell of a lot. That was news to me and I was very interested to learn it. Because I loved Girl Scouts, my parents enrolled my little brother in Boy Scouts, and he had a fairly lousy experience. The troops didn't do much and were full of "rah-rah" chants and slogans about not much of anything, and there was a fair amount of bullying and silly ranksmanship that just didn't work for him. So he quit. Then later, when the atheism and gay-scout issues came along, it just started to be clearer that the Boy Scout set of lived values wasn't one we really would have endorsed as a family anyway. Conformity to convention seemed to be the paramount one. Girl Scouts were never like that. When I was younger I had an active "never date an Eagle Scout" policy, but as an adult I've met some really decent guys who were in Scouts or made Eagle who weren't assholes, so I've had to revise my policy - but it seems on the whole like Boy Scouts is not driven by the same idea of sincere interest in personal growth and empowerment for individuals and collaborative work for good as Girl Scouts is. Since the socially conservative agenda is such a big part of Boy Scouting, it's interesting to get some sense that one church drives 13% of the organization. Add that to the pretty large number of all-Catholic Boy SCout troops and it's no wonder there's such a kibosh on freethinking and freedom of sexual identity.
posted by Miko at 7:04 AM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I had absolutely no idea how connected Boy Scouting is to religious institutions of all kinds.
Religious organizations host/sponsor over 60% of the approximately 123,000 Scouting units in the United States and use the Scouting program as part of their youth ministration.[6][7] Officials from various religious organizations—including the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon), Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, and Presbyterian churches—are included on the BSA National Executive Board, its Advisory Council, and the BSA Religious Relationships Committee.
The number of secular/independently affiliated troops is totally dwarfed by the number of church-based troops. In fact, "68.4% of all units and 62.5% of all Scouts are chartered to faith-based institutions." No wonder they're so hostile about the god and gay stuff.
Top 10 Chartered Organizations associated with the Boy Scouts of America, by Total Youth[42]
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Total Units:37928 Total Youth: 412720
United Methodist Church
UNits: 11287 Youth: 371499
Catholic Church
UNits: 8795 Youth: 286733
Parent-teacher groups other than PTAs
Units: 4039 Youth: 160007
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Untis: 3714 Youth: 126969
Lutheranism
Units: 4030 Youth: 121096
Groups of Citizens
Units: 3782 Youth: 110248
Baptists 4282 108435
Private schools
Units: 2975 Youth: 97869
Parent-Teacher Association/Parent Teacher Organization
Units: 1775 Youth: 72321
It makes me wonder about a couple of things. 1. When did this happen? I don't know quite enough about Scouting history to know whether the religion thing was really important to Lord Baden-Powell and the early promoters of Boy Scouting in America. This author has a theory:
What was so much at stake that the Boy Scouts could not follow the example of the Girl Scouts and move to accommodate religious diversity?

Part of the answer lies in the historical connection between Christianity and an aggressive version of masculinity. It is useful to examine a bit of history on this connection. And perhaps the best way to get at this history is to look briefly at the five main figures who came together to create the Boy Scouts of America—Ernest Thompson Seton, Daniel Carter Beard, Edgar M. Robinson, John L. Alexander, and James E. West—for these men embodied much of the ambivalence and tension that connected Christianity with masculinity at the turn of the twentieth century... In the 1890s, Seton began to formulate his "Woodcraft Idea," a theory for youth work based on the Darwinian instinct psychology of G. Stanley Hall. The model woodcrafter, thought Seton, was the American Indian...
What follows is a weird tale of how Seton was repudiated for not being an American Citizen and for having questionable beliefs about religion (Native spirituality being his thing). Apparently at the start of the Boy Scouts, Seton and others who had this fuzzy idea about the noble savage united with another set of guys from the YMCA and other mainline Protestant organizations. They settled on talking about a Scout being "reverent" and that boys should have religious training, but not from the troops, which should be "non-sectarian." This is pretty much where GSUSA is today - that you choose your own spiritual path, and a Supreme Being referred to in the Promise can be whatever you conceive it to be. The religion question in the Boy Scouts was not emphasized and left pretty vague until the 1940s and particularly 1950s, when this author says the Boy Scout Law codified around the Judeo-Christian, American-patriotic God of "public religion" of the 1950s.

2. What is the current makeup of the National Council of the BSUSA, religious-affiliation-wise? The Girl Scouts' leadership was easy to find. After a lot of strikeouts I found this BSUSA strategic plan which lists council members, but I'm not going to be arsed to look up each of these people and figure out their connections, as my opinion of that organization is already low. One interesting thing is that the strategic plan is aggressively targeting growth and increased relevance and being "cool" with today's youth, which seems to me to be completely at odds with the anti-gay and God-requirement policies. Any growth they're going to experience will really have to come from religious sectors, because of these policies. They've also got a lot of challenges to deal with in the sex-abuse issue and I suspect that will increase.

Looking at the Boy Scouts' page on Charity Navigator is sobering - the first thing you hit is a donor advisory, mostly about the many sexual-abuse lawsuits. The Girl Scouts' page seems yet to have been hit with the anti-GS Hydra, except for one review complaining about a mention of abortion.
posted by Miko at 7:57 AM on January 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Although all of my GS troops met in church buildings, I never got the feeling that we were in any way affiliated with those churches. The Wikipedia Girl Scouts entry notes In contrast to Boy Scout troop chartered organizations, Girl Scout troop sponsors do not own the troop.
posted by hydropsyche at 10:50 AM on January 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


A lifelong Girl Scouts reply!

I love that reply so much.


Hells yes - awesome reply - it's a perfect mix of the very routine "can't we all just go camping!?" and very serious "growing up is hard. this makes it harder."
posted by odinsdream at 10:55 AM on January 13, 2012


Female-to-male (FTM) transsexual Buck Angel, who was a Girl Scout, gives a 'shout out' to GSUSA and encourages folks to buy Girl Scout cookies.
posted by ericb at 2:35 PM on January 13, 2012


Also, I have to note: since Keebler stopped making Pitter Patters, Do-si-dos are the best peanut butter cookies out there.
posted by jiawen at 9:02 PM on January 14, 2012


It's true a boy can be a Girl Scout, since I was a volunteer at Girl Scout day camp for two summers I was a Girl Scout in high school. I helped with the Daisy troops and got to teach how to build and launch model rockets to the cadets.
I did enjoy my time in the BSA as well, but I'm not sure I would have my child participate in it. Maybe 4-H, I was far more active in that anyway.
posted by MrBobaFett at 7:38 PM on January 15, 2012


I am conflicted about BSA for a long list of reasons. OK, that's not true. I'm not conflicted about the anti-homosexual, anti-athiest stuff [I'm against it]. Nor am I conflicted about the lack of procedures related to sexual abuse [before or in the aftermath].
I'm conflicted because my personal experience with Boy Scouting is so different from the negatives I usually see.
My brother became an eagle scout in one of those awesome troops-secular [although they were very happy to help you with the religious-affiliated awards], welcoming to all [there's no way on any planet that a kid would be kicked out for issues of theism or sexuality], multicultural in make-up and outlook, full of leadership training and opportunities and REALLY full of backpacking. Like, hardcore. It was [and is] also full of a committed group of adult leaders who have continued to make the troop a central part of their lives long after their sons aged out-my dad is a vital member of the adult leadership 20 years after my brother became an eagle scout and graduated from high school. And he's not the only one.
My dad and I had an elongated "conversation" during the first [or second?] time the anti-gay stuff really hit the news. My dad, to our family's chagrin [because it's ugly] wears a boy scout baseball-style hat almost all the time. I was concerned about his involvement and membership in a national organization that espoused such positions, but also his constant visual promotion of it. My dad is not a homophobe. [And not just in the "I have gay friends" crap. He's pro-gay everything, and if you even try to say "fag" in a jokey way you'll get a talking to].
But if he wasn't a homophobe why was he still involved?
His answer was twofold: (1) he wanted to attempt to change the council/national system from within. If he left, and everyone else who agreed with him left, the people who were left would never fucking change; and (2) it's just not like that on the local level. There's never an opportunity for the national org or council to realy step in and ask for some anti-gay/anti-atheist loyalty pledge. The running of a troop is up to said troop.
I wasn't thrilled with his answer, but I understand it. Things look very different on the inside of any org. And he sees way too much good in the org locally and what he can offer to young boys to walk away.
It's less satisfying for me, but I get it.
posted by atomicstone at 8:34 PM on January 15, 2012


There's never an opportunity for the national org or council to realy step in and ask for some anti-gay/anti-atheist loyalty pledge.

Your dad really does sound like a great guy and I have learned that there are some really good Boy Scouts, and Boy Scout troops and leaders, here and there out there.

The problem, though, is that all it would take is one dissatisfied parent of a kid in a troop like that to immediately make it a national issue, and the decision would not come down on your dad's side. That's what's happened in every one of those athiest kid/gay kid incidents.

I think your dad's service is cool, and his stance is cool, and certainly the experience of the lucky boys who ended up in his troop rather than the next town over's is cool, but really it's only cool in the grand scheme of things if he is actively actually doing something about changing the national organization from within, other than leading a troop that's not actively promoting the existing policies. At present, though, he has no backup from the national organization, so if some uptight kid's dad got mad about the conversation his kid had with that atheist kid around the campfire on the camping trip, he doesn't have any support. He'd end up being the one in the wrong, automatically. And unless he is somehow influencing policy at the national level, now that I've seen how their leadership is put together, I wouldn't be optimistic that it's just a matter of time until the policies change, as it was with the Armed Forces. It looks like the bias is heavily weighted against those policies ever changing, and the more the secular and non-homophobic folks get hounded away from Scouts, the more it will concentrate to those viewpoints, leaving people like your dad even more in the minority.

That's what's been good about watching this GSUSA incident. The Girl Scouts just calmly say "our policy is inclusive" and move on. The troop leaders know they have backup, the council knows, the state council knows. They aren't about to have the rug pulled out from under them.
posted by Miko at 8:47 PM on January 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yay! Slate did a piece on the broader conservative Christian attack on GSUSA/Planned Parenthood. Glad the story is getting bigger than the transgender kid and anti-transgender video, because it is an even bigger tale.
posted by Miko at 3:14 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Totally apart from the hatefulness and bigotry of that video, I'm surprised that I'm the only one who thinks her delivery is completely robotic. I'm not even sure she understands what she's saying. As for logic and rationality, I would so have loved to see one of my high school debaters take that argument apart. It would not have been pretty, and it would have been a lot more sincere.
posted by bardophile at 7:53 AM on January 18, 2012




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