In the last couple of weeks there has been some strange attack happening on the Girl Scouts.
First there was the attack pushed out by right-wing, conservative, republican, tea-party – whatever you want to call them – bloggers and FOX news hosts trying to say that GSUSA are pushing a “Liberal Agenda”
Then there is the most recent attack that GSUSA is trying to push a “gay agenda” and asking for a boycott of buying Girl Scout cookies.
What is most disturbing about both of these attacks is that they seem to originate from two young women claiming to be former Girl Scouts. Both young women set up blogs, both young women had been life-long Girl Scout members who have suddenly discovered the evils of GS and both young women are asking for a boycott. The first young women is Sydney, who is fifteen years old, a former Girl Scout who left because she suddenly discovered that the Girl Scouts partner with Planned Parenthood and because they site the use of two ‘liberal’ media sources in their handbook. The second young women is Taylor, who is upset because a troop in a completely other state allowed a transgender girl into their troop.
What is disturbing to me about both of these attacks is not just their similarities – using fear to discriminate, to stop sex-education, and the obsession with Planned Parenthood – but the use of young, teenage girls to attack the very organization that supports them.
It is clear from going to the websites that these two young women didn’t set these sites up or are running and maintaining them, nor was it their idea to do the videos – but adults with agendas and that these adults feel it is ok to use children to try and sell their hatred and misinformation.
I see these sites and the news stories generated from them and it breaks my heart. I rhetorically ask, ‘how did we get here’ and then I turn on the news and see our current crop of Presidential candidates, news shows, prime-time tv, commercials, or watch our elected officials. I open a magazine or turn on my computer and read story after story of hate and discrimination and gender bias and I become less and less surprised. Just overwhelmingly sad that we have not gotten very far down the road in changing any of this.
As a former Girl Scout myself – it mostly breaks my heart that these adults and I am sure some of them are moms – felt it was ok to use their daughters to attack other daughters. That as mom, they are attacking other moms. Women attacking other women – is this really the lessons they want their daughter to learn?
I often wonder, when we as women, if ever, will get to a place where we stop letting misogyny and patriarchal systems control us. When are we going to say enough and stop being divided. We will, never, ever, get to equality if we don’t stop this very kind of behavior and activity.
I call on all women, whether you agree politically or religiously to at least defend, stand up and support each other, as women, as mothers, as daughter and as sisters. United we stand, divided we fall.