Counter-Boycott the Girl Scouts!

Originally posted in Community Blog

Last October, Girl Scouts USA welcomed a 7-year-old transgender girl among its ranks. The organization released a surprisingly but welcomingly progressive statement: “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.”

The action provoked outrage among cissexist parents, who have been– at least, as it appears in pro-boycott videos– teaching their daughters that these transgender girl scouts threaten the safety of others and the integrity of the program. These parents and scouts have indicated that it’s now easy for young “boys” to rape girls, since they simply have to pretend to be transgender at age six, then rape and assault other girl scouts while sharing a tent with them. Because it’s that easy to be a sexual predator who pretends to be trans, with your parents’ support, when you’re barely old enough to read.

Let’s call this what it is: overt, disgusting, inexcusable transphobia. I can’t even imagine the sort of adult who would accuse seven-year-olds of premeditating rape and assault– when they’ve done nothing more than ask to be included in normal childhood recreation.

And let’s not forget the obsessive perpetuation of the gender binary. Many parents think that letting these “boys” into scouts will destroy the essential feminine camaraderie of Girl Scouts.

A series of transphobic viral videos have called for a boycott of Girl Scout cookies until the organization expels all transgender participants. It seems this boycott could put a huge dent in the budget of Girl Scouts USA. If the transphobes have it their way, the organization will be severely punished for their choice to allow transgender girls.

I don’t want to see this happen. While I once boycotted Girl Scouts because of their enforcement of the gender binary and patriarchal views of femininity, I want to see them rewarded, not punished, for making a bold and necessary move toward improving the rights of trans youth.

I hereby propose a counter-boycott. We should rally the feminist, queer,and children’s-rights communities to support Girl Scouts in 2012. Buy as many cookies as you can, and call your local chapter to let them know that you support their decision to include transgender girls in their programs.

Cookies go on sale Saturday… and you’ve never had a better excuse to chow down on Samoas and Thin Mints!

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16 Comments

  1. Posted January 12, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    After reading this, I really want to buy some Girl Scout cookies.

  2. Posted January 12, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Some of the links (“parents and scouts” in paragraph 2, and “huge dent” in paragraph 5) reference a different boycott altogether, something about Minnesota scout councils selling off camps. Find more information on the trans-related boycott here.

  3. Posted January 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Remember when Girl Scouts Rhiannon Tomtishen and Madison Vorva (http://twitter.com/#!/girlscouthonor) learned during their Girl Scouting that Girl Scout cookies (like every major cookie brand) are made with palm oil, a product linked with ENORMOUS amounts of (illegal) rainforest destruction (As Tomtishen says, “rainforest destruction and orangutan extinction have no place in Girl Scout cookies or any other consumer product.”), and using what they learned in Girl Scouts, urged Corporate the stop using palm oil, even partnering with the Rainforest Action Network and Change.org to put pressure on the national headquarters and CEO Kathy Cloninger and IT WORKED, (kinda : http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44718393/ns/world_news-world_environment/t/girl-scouts-pledge-limit-palm-oil-use-cookies/#.Tw9A0oHlqSo)?

    That is what being a Girl Scout is about, not about bigotry and exclusion.

    http://www.good.is/post/girl-scouts-are-awesome-saving-the-rainforest-from-their-cookies/

    • Posted January 12, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      Er, the twitter link is: http://twitter.com/girlscouthonor

    • Posted January 14, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      Wow, that is so beyond amazing. I was already planning on loading up on Samoas and Thin Mints before I heard of their view on transgendered girls (because I fucking love girl scout cookies), when I did learn about it I said I’d just roll up into the Acme parking lot and tell someone to fill up the trunk. Now I think I’m going to drive around the tristate area and buy all the cookies.

  4. Posted January 12, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    I’d be interested in hearing about what problems you’ve had with them in the past – I briefly volunteered with my local girls scouts quite some years ago, and at least in terms of the policies I questioned them on, they were pretty progressive.

  5. Posted January 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Not only is this transphobic (the trans girls in question are “really” boys) but incredibly misandrist and rape-normalizing as well (the trans girls in question are “really” boys, and are therefore going to try to rape the cis girls). It’s completely absurd and completely repugnant.

  6. Posted January 12, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Everyone should be allowed in scouts.

  7. Posted January 12, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Here is a link one video of a girl scout talking about the organization allowing transgender girls in.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/teen-calls-boycott-girl-scout-cookies-transgender-members-article-1.1005123?localLinksEnabled=false

    I figured this link is better than linking directly to their website which is honestgirlscouts.com which is filled with ridiculous information — such as, the organization is promoting ‘pro-lesbian, pro-abortion, and pro-promiscuity” agenda.

  8. Posted January 12, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    the youtube video became private. if that video was originally an example of a transphobic video (as opposed to a video criticizing such videos) then wow there’s a real lack of principle and reason in the bigot’s message indeed.

  9. Posted January 12, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    I read about this yesterday, was outraged by the news, and dismayed when the Girl Scout site turned up no cookie buying locations less then 60 miles from our zip code :( . But a few calls to out of state relatives have several boxes of thin mints and those lemon powder ones (forget the name) on their way to us. Hey, it’s a whole loft full of people. They won’t get a chance to go stale.

  10. Posted January 13, 2012 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    I’ve seen the video with the girl talking about the rules and calling for the boycott. It is transphobia and it is sad. I think it’s great that transgender girls are allowed in the girl scouts. I can also see why the girl in this video would feel challenged by this decision. She identifies the transgender girls as boys, and she is afraid of the male gaze and epistemic authority overriding the “girl” experience and empowerment. On the one hand, you have the advantage of temporary, strategic essentializing spaces where girls can lower their defenses (to some degree, since a lot of girls think like boys and internalize patriarchy anyway), but on the other you have a new kind of hegemony formed within the girl scouts, that is challenged by a body out of place (this definitely has its advantages). This is a very messy issue with no 1 answer and while this girl is being transphobic, it is stemming from her fear of patriarchy. I’m not trying to excuse her but I’m trying to also not see her as pure evil either. The girl in the video needs to learn more about queering gender and think this through better, but she is speaking out of the danger of the male episteme challenging a place that is empowering to girls. It’s sad and gives me a lot to think about when it comes to temporarily essentialized spaces that claim to empower one group.

  11. Posted January 13, 2012 at 3:38 am | Permalink

    I think I will but lots of cookies this year and donate them to a food bank or something. I can’t eat them, I am currently trying to eat less sugar and starches in an effort to fix my metabolic disorder, but I want to support the Girl Scouts because they are wonderful. Boy scouts let religous fanatics ruin them, but the Girl scouts are standing up for what they believe.

  12. Posted January 14, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    OPERATION DO-SI-DO

    It’s so on.

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