Today is one of my favorite days on Capitol Hill. It is the annual Roe versus Wade protest. I love it when Americans1 exercise their rights. The rights of assembly and petitioning are American hallmarks of freedom. I do not love the mess and trash these protesters leave in their wake though. Discarded signs featuring aborted fetuses and the flotsam of a large crowd are always strewn across Capitol Hill. The protest might be somewhat peaceful,2 it will definitely not be environmentally friendly. Conversely, last week’s Occupy Congress protest was completely trash free. There was no protest residue that showed that the “damn hippies” were here. The fight over tradition and family values, however, is never boring.
Cat fights associated with traditions and family values are uberawesome. Nothing is hotter than a cat fight. Two women going toe-to-toe is awesome.3 Hair pulling, paw clawing, and bitch slapping make it entertaining.4 Seems the Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) is in the midst of a cat fight. A minority of members, alumni, and parents are opposed to transgendered and “nontraditional” children being admitted to Girl Scout troops. These “Honest Girl Scouts” are also opposed to what they feel is a GSUSA pro-lesbian and pro-choice agenda. Inclusiveness isn’t something they are too happy about. However, when your organization receives federal funding it might be a good thing to do.5
The Honest Girl Scouts are so pissed at GSUSA that they have started a cookie boycott.6 It also appears this group of ladies, young and old, are wanting the good old days that were similar to the time of their founding in March 1912. When one says they want a traditional lifestyle or organization, I don’t think they really think hard about it, because this was a typical Girl Scout’s future in 1912:
– If the Girl Scout grew up to be unmarried or widowed, her employment was probably going to be a domestic servant (maid).
– If married, her role was to stay in the home and raise children with no say in family finances or decisions.
– She had no right to vote and couldn’t own property.
– She was categorized as her husband’s “helpmate.”
– Her marriage was probably going to be the result of money, status, and the sake of not being unmarried.
– If she got divorced, she was shunned.
How traditional does the Honest Girl Scouts want to be? Do they want to empower women and provide them information on choices in life?… well certain, conditioned, choices. I do not support their stance against restricting their membership in a way that would harm a single child regardless of its sexual orientation or “lifestyle.” I do support them (in theory) if they want to set up their own, more traditional, Girl Scout type organization. But we have been down this road before with kids.
In 1955, South Carolina had 61 all-star (all-white) Little League baseball teams refuse to play an all-star (all-black) team7 from Charleston in the state’s Little League championship tournament. The team won through forfeit because all of the other all-white teams pulled out. The Charleston team wasn’t able to play in the regional championship tournament due to their state win through forfeit. The 61 all-white teams removed themselves from the Little Leagues of America the following year and started their own Little Boys Baseball league which changed its name to Dixie Youth Baseball following a law suit. Many Southern states followed suit in an attempt to maintain the racial divide in children’s sports. I guess they thought there was something wrong and non-traditional about kids playing with other kids of a different race.
Dixie Youth Baseball was integrated in the late 1960s, and Charleston’s All-Star team was honored at the 2002 Little League World Series. For the record, GSUSA began desegregation in the 1950s. So if the Honest Girl Schouts want to have their own organization they better be ready for the legal and moral arguments that will reveal their ignorance.
Traditional and tradition can only mean so much. Historical hindsight is not accurate if one doesn’t take in all the events and facts from the past. I really don’t give a shit about tradition if it means exclusion, racism, sexism, or pure hate. As a lover of Girl Scout cookies, I will not be participating in this boycott. I will happily buy my cookies from a Girl Scout of any color or “lifestyle.” Honestly, I would buy my cookies from a Boy Scout.8
1. An interesting observation about the anti-abortion crowd on Capitol Hill is the fact that it is always extremely young. Unscientific counts show it to be somewhere around 60-75% youth groups… specifically, private Catholic school youth groups. My unofficial theory is that the anti-abortion movement has to rely on organizations like churches and schools because it is one based on forced (or groupthink) participation. Church and private school youths do as they are told, thus if told to go protest… they go protest. Who in the Hell didn’t want to get out of high school classes for a mandatory class field trip? Additionally, I believe this movement has to rely on youths because their adult members are busy at work earning a living.
2. The Supreme Court and Capitol Police will not use pepper spray on this crowd, that is reserved for the “undesirable” protesters. Pepper spraying Catholic high school students is a public relations nightmare.
3. As long as I am not between them, angry women scare me and I don’t want my ass kicked by two of them. Especially if I had to get in the ring with these women.
5. GSUSA has received $11 million since 2000. Chump change, but that is $11 million in tax dollar supplied funding.
6. “Teen Girl Scout delegates” are introduced “to the concept of ‘Sexual Rights’ for children without parental consent.” Being a nonparent, and a nonperv, I was completely ignorant of the idea and discussion of children’s sexual rights.
7. The Cannon Street YMCA All-Stars.
8. I haven’t bought a box of cookies from a Girl Scout in years, I always get my fix from overeager parents who put the sale sheet on the door… however, last year one dad did make his two Girl Scouts come into work and personally deliver the cookies and thank their customers.