Monday, August 28, 2017

Scouts at War

Girls Scouts Accuse Boy Scouts of Poaching Girls
Excerpt: The Girl Scouts of the USA has written a letter to the Boy Scouts of America calling out the organization’s “covert campaign” to recruit girls to boost membership, Buzzfeed News. In the letter, Girl Scouts President Kathy Hopkinah Hannan accused the Boy Scouts of testing a girls’ program among millennial parents, per Buzzfeed. The letter did not explain what activities such a program would include. Boy Scouts spokesperson Effie Delimarkos told The Washington Post that the organization is considering including girls not to increase membership, but as a response to requests from families who want their daughters and sons to be in the same program. She said no final decision has been made. (Interesting. Let’s add some background. Within the past year, the Boy Scout organization and the Girl Scout organization held talks about either combining or coordinating their activities and membership at the request of the BSA leadership. The Girl Scout leadership said no. There’s no point in speculating on why the interest wasn’t mutual, but it probably had something to do with their relative financial strengths. Over the past decades, we’ve seen innumerable lawsuits brought against the BSA, Little League baseball groups, Pop Warner football leagues, and nearly anything else that was once an exclusively single sex (male) social or athletic activity. In many of those cases, the “girls” won, either by prevailing in court or by negotiated settlements. Virtually all schools are required to include female players in formerly all-male sports. About the only place girls still don’t go is male shower rooms, and in professional sports, female “sportscasters” are routinely admitted even there. I admit I know of no such corresponding activity by males trying to play or report on the girls’ sports or social organizations, and I have to wonder why not. I can’t help wondering how many of those suits and complaints were just “a stick in the other guy’s eye.” How many 8 or 9 year olds do you suppose went to their parents saying “Mom, Dad, I think we should spend THOUSANDS of dollars suing those rotten bastards who wouldn’t let me play with them.” It was almost certainly the parents who “had to prove their point,” not the kids. Kids simply don’t have that long an attention span; they’d lose interest in a few weeks at most. So, why hasn’t anyone been suing for the boys to play on the GIRLS’ teams and have access to THEIR shower rooms? Why shouldn’t mothers of daughters have the same angst as fathers of boys? Do we really mean “equal in all ways” or not? Why SHOULDN’T a boy be allowed membership in the GSA or a girl in the BSA?
Perhaps an even simpler solution would be to found “American Scouts” that would admit all comers. There are many useful and valuable things I could’ve learned that were taught in Girl Scouting. There are probably some worth-while skills taught in Boy Scouting that girls could use. Wouldn’t it be advantageous for everybody to have responsible adults teaching ALL the kids useful skills? They couldn’t average out any worse than public school teachers, and like current Troop Leaders/Scout Masters, they would be unpaid volunteers doing it for the joy of teaching/leading children. Could that work? Or, would the emancipated non-human primates then try to find representation to sue for admittance? Link may not be live; if not, copy and paste in your browser. --Ron P.

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