This week’s crapdate comes courtesy of HonestGirlScouts.com, a website that shot up in popularity after a video posted by a 14-year-old Girl Scout went viral. In the video, the girl calls for a boycott of Girl Scout Cookies because of the Girl Scouts’ acceptance and support of transgendered girls.
Here it is, in all its glory:
The short answer: “Thank U Berry Munch! I love these cookies, and am so glad to see all the wonderful things that the organization does!”
I love it when assholes think that you have taken their assholery the wrong way and then have to justify and explain it to you.
NowTheEndBegins.com has an image of its own:
Based on the word “BOYCOTT!”, and the general atmosphere of the site, it is clear to me that they are on the same team as HonestGirlScouts.com. Based on the drool-inducing rendition of a Tagalong, the fact that BOYCOTT! seems to be written in chocolate, and the rainbow flag in the background, this might be a parody. The rainbow flag is used to support diversity, right? Right? Has this changed recently? Somebody might want to alert NowTheEndBegins.com.
According to the flier from HonestGirlScouts.com, Girl Scout Cookies “Promote abortion and LGBT agendas, Pay New Age consultants to train Girl Scout executives, Support United Nations anti-population goals, Introduce teen Girl Scout delegates to the concept of “Sexual Rights” for children without parental consent, and Rewrite all badge books to include radical activists and gay role models.”
If you can take a step back and look at the big picture (not the delicious delicious Tagalong, but a figurative big picture), it’s clear that there are two major problems that HonestGirlScouts.com has with the Girl Scouts: first, that they are connected to Planned Parenthood, and second, that they are inclusive of all children, including those that identify as LGB or T.
Because of a perceived connection to Planned Parenthood, the flier makes a leap to the promotion of abortion, anti-population goals, and “sexual rights” for children. Because they are perceived as too inclusive, they are seen as promoters of the LGBT agenda, and are setting gay people up as role models for the girls. As far as the New Age consultant, I think they are referring to a speaker in 2008. From lifenews.com: “‘Not to disappoint, GSUSA has once again invited a cadre of ultra feminists, a Planned Parenthood philanthropist, United Nations devotees and even a new age Taoist to inspire and instruct today’s Girl Scouts,’ Volanski told LifeNews.”*
I don’t know how to tackle that last bit. I really don’t. As far as I know from popular culture, “New Age” is used to portray somebody who is kind of annoying and unconventional, but I really cannot imagine how that is threatening to the readers of the flier. I’m going to have to leave that there and take the flier at its word, because I do not understand how it can be perceived as negative, or what it has to do with boycotting cookies.
So, the two major problems, according to the flier, are connections to Planned Parenthood and inclusiveness.
First: Girl Scouts do not fund or promote Planned Parenthood. This is a silly idea, because Girl Scouts of the USA is a non-profit organization. Planned Parenthood is also a non-profit. One non-profit doesn’t normally fund another non-profit, unless the transaction advances the donor’s charitable mission. The Girl Scout mission is to build “[G]irls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.” Planned Parenthood’s mission is mainly “to provide comprehensive reproductive and complementary health care services in settings which preserve and protect the essential privacy and rights of each individual” (full mission here). One deals with building confidence in girls, the other deals with reproductive health. It would be a stretch to convince donors that the money that they give to one organization should be forwarded to another in order to support the mission. If the Girl Scouts of America were funding Planned Parenthood, because they do not have similar missions, I can bet that the makers of this flier would be suing them for misappropriation of funds. But they aren’t. Because it’s not happening.
In case that’s not enough information, a friend of mine who works for the Girl Scouts of America confirmed in no uncertain terms: “Girl Scouts do not fund Planned Parenthood or give them monetary support.”
But the flier states that buying Girl Scout Cookies promotes abortion, and anti-population goals (through abortion, it seems), and introduces girl scouts to the idea of having sex without parental consent. Let’s unpack this.
My guess is that they are connecting the fact that some local organizations partner with Planned Parenthood, an expert on women’s health, to educate their members. The Girl Scouts are producing girls of courage, confidence, and character, and you know what builds courage, confidence, and character? Information and understanding of your own health. As far as abortions go, in 2010, abortion made up a whopping 3% of Planned Parenthood services. Contrary to the propaganda being floated around the internet, Planned Parenthood does not “promote abortion.” They offer it, relatively rarely, as a constitutionally guaranteed right to women. The other 97% of the time, they are busy being experts on women’s and reproductive health. If a student gets 97% of the questions wrong, and 3% right, does he get to pass? No. Abortions, whether you agree with them or not, are a tiny percentage of Planned Parenthood’s business, and of course the Girl Scouts team up with them sometimes. They are experts on women’s health.
As far as teaching adolescent girls about sex, once again, the mission of the Girl Scouts is to produce girls of courage, confidence, and character. Withholding information about sex is antithetical to that mission. Instead of producing girls of courage, confidence, and character, it would produce girls that are unsure and ashamed about changes and feelings that are happening within themselves. They have a right to know and to understand, and to make informed decisions about their own bodies.
But there are those that say that teaching adolescents about sex will turn them into slutty slutty sluts who then bring society to its knees with their immorality. That just isn’t what happens. Teenagers who have access to information about sex are not more likely to contract STDs than those who do not. They are, however, less likely to get pregnant at an early age, and slightly less sexually active than those who are taught only to abstain.
What I’m saying is that the Girl Scouts should be proud of the sexual education they are providing to their members. Knowing that they are treating the topic responsibly, rather than trying to hide it behind a wall of shame, makes me more likely to buy cookies. Instead of the flier frightening me into a boycott, I’m relieved to find out that that’s what the cookies are funding.
But the connection to Planned Parenthood, no matter the form, is being used to fuel the fears of potential cookie buyers. The writers of the flier have used an old Soviet tactic to spread propaganda: a little bit of truth, a lot of space to read between the lines, and inflammatory language.
Some Girl Scout troops work with Planned Parenthood + a small percentage of Planned Parenthood’s business is performing abortions = Girl Scouts of America promotes abortion = Girl Scouts of America is trying to control the world’s population = if you buy cookies, you are supporting genocide. That’s like saying that because I have done work on an Apple computer, I am the developer of Angry Birds (I am not), and have caused your kid to fail out of school because he is always playing it instead of doing his homework. It’s simply absurd, and it’s hyperbole used to frighten people.
So. Girl Scouts of America sometimes teams up with Planned Parenthood to teach girls about their bodies and their health. Oooh. Scary.
And the other terrifying information that I deserve to know: Girl Scouts do not hate gay people.
I tried to find out what the LGBT Agenda is, because I hear so much about it. The best I could find was a Wikipedia entry which listed several bullets, and the only one that I think fits here is “non-governmental campaigns and individual actions that increase visibility and cultural acceptance of LGBT people, relationships, and identities.” Which the Girl Scouts do not deny. They are accepting anybody that identifies as females into their midst. While the flier makes that sound really terrifying (OH NO! THEY HAVE AN AGENDA!), you know who else had an agenda of loving his neighbor? You guessed it. The Lord and Savior of the editor of the website, Susan Riedley, and the probable mother of the girl in the video. Riedley’s Facebook page lists several interests, including: The Christian Post, HonestGirlScouts.com, Verdicts for pastors who preached of sin, and the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) 2011 Official Page, among others.
It is impossible for me to see why a biological boy that identifies as a girl is so threatening to so many people. She’s a little kid. She deserves to be loved, and included. Why is it that the people who have so much trouble grasping this are the same people who claim to follow the teachings of Jesus? To look at a 7-year-old and scream AGENDA! AGENDA! SHE IS TRYING TO RUIN SOCIETY!!, and then to try to bring down an organization that treats her like a human being? What they want, it seems, is to bully an organization into hating a kid. It’s so Christian.
That last sentence was sarcasm, in case you didn’t catch it.
The HonestGirlScouts.com website states this as their goal: “[W]e are advocating for a change back to simply building girls of good character.” Apparently, that is code for “treating human beings like they are less than human, refusing to let girls know about their own bodies, increasing the risk of teen pregnancy, and spreading hate along with cookies.” The owners of the website need to take a hard look at what it means to be of “good character;” for most people, that phrase is not synonymous with hate and ignorance.
The good part about this crapdate is that it’s pushing a lot of people to buy more cookies this year. I intend to do this as well, purely for political reasons, and if I am forced to eat extra Samoas and Thin Mints, well, it’s a price I’m willing to pay. I urge everybody to buy as many boxes as they can reasonably afford, and if there isn’t room for them in your freezer, I’ll gladly take them off your hands. For purely political reasons.
*Girl Scouts of the USA is an organization for girls. It says so right in the name. Why is it strange that they would have feminists speak at their conventions? Feminists support the equality of girls and women. This is”¦a bad choice? For an organization that exists to support girls? I’m so very puzzled.