At least according to one young girl in California. Recently a video was posted by a young teenager from California who says that she has been a Girl Scout for 8 years and is really upset that the Girl Scouts have a policy in place that welcomes transgender girls (she repeatedly calls them transgender boys) into full inclusion and community with the Girl Scouts. She encourages us to boycott Girl Scout cookies, either by not selling them if we’re a member of Girl Scouts or by not buying them if we’re just part of the cookie loving masses.
Thankfully most of the response I have seen from my friends has been “let’s buy extra cookies this year to support the Girl Scouts and their policy of inclusivity.” That’s great! That is positive activism, that is change through love. There have been the few comments I’ve seen on Facebook calling this girl stupid, calling her a bitch, calling her things that NO parent would want to see their kid called. Names I don’t want to see any kid called, either.
She is a kid. She’s 14 I think, and it’s clear this movie wasn’t totally her idea. The editing is a little too sophisticated, her reading a little too stilted, everything just a little “too” to be completely written, planned, filmed, edited, and posted without adult intervention somewhere in the process. None of that is to say it might not have been her idea, or something that she mentioned at dinner that a parent latched on to. But more than likely she’s a girl who was put up to something by her conservative parents who were upset about the possible inclusion of transgender or gender varient girls in Girl Scouts. That kind of thing CAN sound scary if presented in the wrong way to a young girl (or, frankly, to anybody) and I have no doubt that she does believe what she’s saying.
It’s scary when something is presented to you in a way that makes it sound like something you know and love is changing. If a young teen is told “we’re going to let boys into your Girl Scout troop!” I can see how that could freak a kid out. The problem, of course, being that boys aren’t being allowed into Girl Scout troops. There’s a good chance that this girl has no way of knowing that; if she’s been fed the typical right-wing rhetoric about what transgender means then… yeah, she has it wrong and it probably does sound scary. That rhetoric usually goes something like “unstable men who like to dress up like women so they can use the girl’s bathrooms and possibly hurt girls.”
I have no doubt that this girl was raised in a conservative Christian household; every sign is there. She wears a cross, the video was immediately up on a very Christian-centric website, and even the script she was reading from was very “family values”-centric. Read the terminology they use… all those words are carefully chosen and come from the same place as Focus on the Family, the American Family Association and other innocuous-sounding-but-hateful groups.
I feel bad for this girl. I feel bad that it’s clearly going to be awhile before she has any actual chance to explore the world a little and meet people not in her religious, social, and political demographic. I feel bad that she’s probably getting a lot of hate directed at her right now from liberal folks and that that is just going to enforce the points she has been fed. I feel bad that she was used in this way to push an agenda that she clearly doesn’t know much about. I just feel bad for her.
Let’s keep this boycott-of-the-boycott positive. Let’s buy a ton of cookies and let’s send letters of support to Girl Scouts, thanking them for being inclusive and forward-moving. Let’s not demonize a 14 year old girl for something I have no doubt she’ll regret at some point. She really is just a kid.