If a 14-year-old girl named Taylor had her way, I'd have said "No thanks" yesterday when my friend suckered me into buying four boxes of Girl Scout cookies. (And by "suckered" I mean "asked." Thin mints? Twist my arm.)
Taylor and Girl Scouts USA watchdog outfit HonestGirlScouts want to hit the Girl Scouts where founder Juliette Lowe likely never thought they'd live: a boycott of cookie sales.
Taylor speaks at length in a YouTube video about the danger of the inclusion of a seven-year-old Colorado resident named Bobby Montoya in a local Girl Scout troop.
Girls will be girls, and boys who may identify as girls do not belong in the Girl Scouts, Taylor says, reading the whole time from a script that skillfully weaves Girl Scout doctrine and staff statements into an argument against itself.
I don't think Taylor wrote this script, is what I'm saying. Check me on this one:
[Editor's Note: The video has been made private by the hosting account since it went viral. You can visit Honest Girl Scouts for more about the video itself.]
The side eye reading of the script and repetition of "Quote!" every time she references a statement from Girl Scouts rep Rachel Trujillo ups the creep factor significantly, but what is more concerning is the agenda behind the camera, represented by a pre-teen girl and her stated love and concern for an organization.
The oratory is enhanced by text overlay a la Stephen Colbert. These phrases, among others, appeared on the screen while Taylor read:
"Transgender girl scout = boy who wants to be a girl."
"Funnels money to adult agendas like transgender promotions."
"Is it safe to hide boys in Girl Scouts?"
"Where do transgender boys sleep on overnights?"
The insinuation that "transgender" equals "predator" occurs throughout. What will happen when Bobby (who does not identify as a boy anyway) turns 18? What will the girls do then?
"Right now, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. ... is not being honest with us girls, its troops, its leaders, its parents or the American public. Families trust that the girls will be in an environment that is not only nurturing and sensitive to girls' needs, but also safe for girls," Taylor opines. "GSUSA cares more about promoting the desires of a small handful of people than it does for my safety and the safety of my friends and sister Girls Scouts."
This is not the first time that Montoya has been in the news. The story first broke in the fall, when his mother Felisha Archuleta spoke to Denver's 9-News about his identity and desire to join a scouting troop. (Bobby's mother uses the pronoun "he.")
Bobby identifies as a girl, and he's a boy. He's been doing this since he was about 2 years old. He's loved girl stuff, so we just let him dress how he wants, as long as he's happy."
At that time, the family stated that the local leader's hostile reaction to his attempt to join the troop resulted in him not participating in scouting activities. The Girl Scouts of Colorado told the station:
"Girl Scouts is an inclusive organization and we accept all girls in Kindergarten through 12th grade as members. If a child identifies as a girl and the child's family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout. Our requests for support of transgender kids have grown, and Girl Scouts of Colorado is working to best support these children, their families and the volunteers who serve them.
Bridgette LaVictoire wrote at LezGetReal in November about Bill O'Reilly's assessment of Bobby Montoya as a "transvestite" and "cross-dresser," words that HonestGirlScouts picked up as well. Three Louisiana troops disbanded in December following the Girl Scouts' statements of transgender inclusion, telling the Christian Post that they were off to more gender-specific pastures. Focus on the Family reps quoted in the same article indicated that girls in the troop would essentially "catch" gender confusion if they were forced to associate with a scout like Bobby.
If the uptick in pleas for cookie purchases at my office, on my Facebook and in my email is any indication, Honest Girl Scouts likely found this prime time to reinvigorate this story, and Montoya's story is just one of the many in their "Hall of Shame", or what they refer to as Girl Scout "Entanglements" with supposedly unseemly populations and platforms. A scan of this list would indicate that GSUSA is far too busy advancing radical agendas to swing a simple camping overnight, much less manage a cookie empire.
Girl Scouts spokesperson Michelle Tompkins told the Washington Post this week that inclusion of transgendered children is considered on a "case by case basis."
Other reactions to the Taylor clip from other teenagers are springing up on YouTube, as they do.
"I don't know whether she's going for a 'hate' or a 'prejudice' badge?" asked Olgafaceee. "I'm going to buy 20 boxes of Samoas to support the Girl Scouts and what they do."
LewistheClark, another YouTube member and former Girl Scout who identifies as transmasculine/genderqueer posted this response to Taylor, suggesting that a greater understanding of what it means to be trans would be useful.:
"People who are not trans should never worry about specifically trans people attacking them. It's usually the other way around," she said. "Queer and trans people/youths who want a scouting experience generally have no where else to go except Girl Scouts, because I know that Boy Scouts has a very irresponsible position on admitting queer youth, and Girl Scouts has always been very progressive and interested in teaching scouting to everyone."
Taylor makes an odd plea for alternative funding at the end of her video, encouraging viewers to give money to individual Girl Scouts (for what? for why?) and suggesting that troops should hold garage sales to support...official Girl Scout activities?
Oh my merit badges, I am mentally clutching at them now.
"That's right, America! They're trying to take our cookies away!" say the folks at Bangstyle. "2012 marks to 100 year anniversary for the organization, and they even launched a new cookie called Savannah Smile just after the new year. Let’s hope we all get a chance to try it, and transgenders continue to make the world a better place in Girl Scouts of the USA."
So it looks likely that the Honest Girl Scouts people will not keep our Samoas, Thin Mints, Tagalongs, and Trefoils from us, and in fact may have been a handy marketing tool, because how am I going to walk past that table of tiny radicals at the grocery store now without forking over four dollars? This in spite of the fact that I failed Girl Scouting myself, not because of any failure to conform to a nefarious agenda that was supposedly being shoved down my throat, but because of my general loathing of forced group activities and the shame associated with failing to correctly sew a faux-suede skirt.
Sometimes it's just that simple. May it continue to be so, for whomever finds her badge-loving way there.
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