My daughter joined the Girls Scouts this last week. Most would not consider this that noteworthy. After all, 3.4 million girls and women are members of this “world’s preeminent organization dedicated solely to girls.” Over 50 million have passed through the ranks of the Girl Scouts. They were one of the leading organization on desegregation. They supported the war effort after the bombing of Pearl Harbor by growing victory gardens, operating bicycle courier services, and more. Prominent women such as, Barbara and Laura Bush, Tipper Gore, and actress Debbie Reynolds have been involved in the Girl Scouts. Their website claims: “In partnership with committed adult volunteers, girls develop qualities that will serve them all their lives, like leadership, strong values, social conscience, and conviction about their own potential and self-worth.”
What’s not to like, right?
Until I sat down last week and did some research, the only thing I knew about Girl Scouts was what I had “learned” growing up in a Conservative Christian home. And that was that the Girl Scouts were evil. They were partnered with Planned Parenthood, encouraged teen sex, promoted abortion and lesbianism and were all commies. Of course none of this is true nor was it taught to me outright. I can’t honestly remember having any conversations with anyone about the Girl Scouts and yet, I had these impressions.
It is always strange to question things you’ve grown up with, beliefs so deeply ingrained you don’t even realize they are there until you are blindsided by it. And I was completely blind-sided. When Jayme invited Jael to Girl Scouts my first reaction was to smile and nod and get away from this psycho as quickly as possible. Obviously she was evil and would work to corrupt my daughter if she had access.
And then I realized, wait a minute. What do I really even know about the Girl Scouts? … They sell cookies.
That was it.
They sell cookies.
That’s what I knew about the Girl Scouts, all nicely summarized in one sentence. They. Sell. Cookies. More research was needed and that’s what we did. We started with “What’s the big controversy regarding the Girl Scouts?”
Shirley Dobson says: “Jim [Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family] is also determined to protect children from indoctrination by “politically correct” ideas that are promoted by…homosexual activists who want to manipulate young minds …within the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.”
James Dobson himself said, in a 2002 letter to his followers, “[indoctrination] is what is behind the massive effort to install homosexuals and their influence into the Boy Scouts organization. The Girls Scouts have already been invaded, and now, according to one report, a third of Girl Scout leaders are lesbians.” This quote is followed by a little number 20 which, if you click on it, takes you to the reference which is one Kathryn Jean Lopez’s article, “The Cookie Crumbles” from National Review, 23 October 2000, p. 30.
Alrighty. Let’s find this report. Some time on UMUC’s library database and I’ve got it. Culture Watch is the column (which I think is an opinion column…of course, I think that National Review is largely an opinion publication anyway), Kathryn Lopez is the author and here’s what she had to say:
The Girl Scouts’ leaders hope to make their youthful charges the shock troops of an ongoing feminist revolution. It’s been a long slide…they dropped “loyalty” from their oath…in favor of “I will do my best to be honest and fair.”…[The Girl Scouts] executive director, Marsha Johnson Evans, has impeccable feminist credential: She had a 29-year career in the Navy, during which she earned the title of rear admiral, only the second woman ever to do so…she was the mother of the 12-12-5 affirmative-action policy, a mandate to make the Navy look more like America: 12 percent African-American, 12 percent Hispanic, and 5 percent Asain/Pacific.
Wow…I didn’t realize that being successful at your job gave you “impeccable feminist credential[s].” And shouldn’t we be proud of Evans for being only the second woman to become Rear Admiral? Isn’t that something to be proud of? I guess not.
Lopez goes on to say that the Girl Scouts advocate for sexual equality in sports (GOOD GOD! Girls playing sports! The horror!) and that the Girl Scout constitution has a “ringing endorsement of affirmative action in ‘recruitment, hiring, training, and promoting.’ Girl Scout moms are anti-gun…” Wow…I had no idea I was anti-gun. Huh. Who would have thought their mind control devices were so strong that with the signing of Jael’s registration form I became anti-gun.
In this same negative tone Lopez continues writing. She writes, regarding a Senior Scout resource book:
Some activities “you can do as a Girl Scout to address contemporary issues” include “organiz[ing] an even to make people aware of gender bias” or “help[ing] organize an Earth Day celebration.”…Girl Scouts can now earn the “Ms. Fix-It” badge for learning how to fix a leak, rewire an electrical appliance, or re-caulk a window, and the “Car Care” badge for checking fluids, filling tires to the proper pressure, and performing safety checks…Victimization is central to the Girl Scout worldview…
I’m confused. So, the Girl Scouts are bad for encouraging girls to learn how to take care of themselves and then they are bad for talking about victimization? Which way do you want it, Lopez? Oh…you just want to pretend that victimization just doesn’t happen. After all, we are in a post-feminism era with no further need of equality, right? Must be nice to be you.
Now Lopez brings out the big guns. Lesbianism. The Girl Scouts have them. She quotes from a book titled On My Honor: Lesbians Reflect on Their Scouting Experience. It is a collection of memoirs from lesbians who were in the Girl Scouts. Lopez writes, “Girl Scout staffers writing in the book claim that roughly one in three of the Girl Scouts’ paid professional staff is lesbian.”
And that’s it. That’s Dr. James Dobson’s “report.” Wow. A collection of memoirs, in which someone NOT speaking for the organization, claims that 1/3 of the paid professional staff is lesbian is a “report.” Reeeeeeaaaaaally? Also, “paid professional staff” and “Girl Scout leaders” are two VERY different things. When someone says “Girl Scout leaders” you think “troop leaders,” which are ALL volunteer, spend a lot of time with your kids and are NOT paid professionals. Holy. Freaking. Cow.
I’ve got other things to work on (like my first assignment in Women’s Studies…hmmm. Maybe Girl Scout people are raging feminists…).