What was one of the biggest news pieces last week? It was the announcement that Boy Scouts will open up recruitment to GIRLS! Did you gasp? I sure did! There were, and still are, more questions than answers. Various news reporters have mixed feelings about this, but they mostly keep their mouths shut so as not to attract negative attention (which in today’s world might lead to losing your job).
It is worth mentioning that in the year of 2013, Boy Scouts opened up their membership to openly gay males. In the year of 2015, they made it possible for the leaders in the organization to be gay. In the year of 2017, they decided to allow girls to join. 2013, 2015, 2017… hmmm… what is going to happen in 2019? It seems like some major changes occur every two years. Conspiracy or… Back to being serious. Earlier this year, it was made public that their doors are also open to people who self-identify as males, making it possible for people born as females to join.
While Boy Scouts might be perceived as “progressive” because of all the changes they are undergoing, I myself am not convinced that some of them are good ideas. A Girl Scouts’ representative pointed out the lack of a female role model in the Boy Scouts. That is quite an interesting and valid argument. If we live in the world of feminism, where women are to become the “better” gender (not necessarily a personal belief, just an observation of the world around me), why would girls feel the need to join Boy Scouts? What could they learn there that they could not in Girl Scouts?
Some girls are happy about the change, because it will enable them to achieve the ultimate rank of Eagle Scout, when they join Boy Scouts. “Why is that?” – I ask you? why would the girls have to join the boys in order to get that honor? Why is it that Girl Scouts cannot form a comparable rank for themselves within their own organization? Why do we have to go on changing something that does not belong to us, instead of changing something within our reach? Something we are already a part of? Why do we have to covet something we do not have? Why not be satisfied with what we have? But that is a deeper issue, and I could go off-topic…
The mission statement for the Boy Scouts is: “(T)o prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.” While the Girl Scouts mission statement says: “Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.” These two do not seem mutually exclusive. I do not understand why, if the girls wanted Girl Scouts to be different, would they not petition to their own leaders for a change in the curriculum? Or if they did, why was there really nothing done about it? Why did the Boy Scouts feel the need to step in?
From the very beginning of scouting, in the early years of the 20th century, there were some girls who wanted to partake in it. From the very beginning as well, there were various issues, prompting everyone time and time again to keep the boys separate from the girls. For example, some of the boys did not think the Scouts would be manly enough if it allowed girls; that they would not take it seriously. Biology proves that indeed, women are overall, physically weaker than men. Often times, females are unable to do what their male counterparts are able to do with ease. There is a reason why physical requirements are different for males and females when one applies to secret service, the army, etc.
Girl Scouts have always worked hard to empower their members. It is true, that at times, the girls were empowered to be housewives, but other times, they were empowered to transcend the stereotypical family roles and strive for a career outside of home. What is REALLY so appealing to them in Boy Scouts that they cannot get in Girl Scouts? Why cannot girls be girls and boys be boys?
The younger members of the Scouts might not look at the world in terms of a gender division and might want to play together, but when we start talking about 15, 16, 17 year olds, things get a little bit different. Puberty might be more difficult when in a mixed gender environment. It might also be increasingly difficult for the leaders to keep an eye on hormone raging teenagers.. You think the Hollywood sexual assault scandal is big? Just wait and see…
There are some countries, in which Scouts are co-ed. That is a little bit different, because it required a lot of effort to come up with a suitable curriculum, suitable rules and suitable chaperones. If Boy Scouts will let girls in, will that not become a co-ed organization? Will they drop the “Boy” part of their name? Surely, girls will not want to be in Boy Scouts, while there are still Girl Scouts. Surely, someone will sue Boy Scouts for discrimination in the name. Will this transition cause Girl Scouts to disassemble? Will Girl Scouts just wait it out, in hopes of negative publicity/ scandals in Boy Scouts (which are coming, trust me)?
After all that I have read on this subject, I am led to believe that Boy Scouts will monopolize the Scout market. It will not be easy and it will not be without hiccups, but it will happen. In this case – will the girls who decided to join Boy Scouts instead of Girl Scouts be responsible for killing Girl Scouts in a way? Will it not show the exact opposite of what feminists are trying to do? That girls suck and boys rock?
Bonus question (as if there were not enough questions already): “If they are so progressive, why are atheist kids not welcome in the ranks of Boy Scouts of America?”