I'm speechless right now. I'm horrified at how ignorant some people are and how deep their hate runs. I'm talking about an opinion piece that ran in The Washington Times by Cathy Cleaver Ruse.
I kind of just want to link to the article and let you check it out and just say: Yeah, and leave it there. Instead of doing that however, I will throw in my two cents on this whole thing. (I always throw in those two pennies, don't I?)
Ruse's piece chronicles her personal choice to stop buying Girl Scout cookies because the Girl Scouts have a "left-wing" agenda. She describes the organization as abortion supporting, pagan, flaky, and rat-like. She even flat out refuses to believe that the Girl Scouts is an important organization for empowering girls because she doesn't think girls face barriers. She said, "the Girl Scouts have declared 2012 to be 'The Year of the Girl,' announcing that they will be 'working to break down societal barriers that prevent girls from leading in their own lives.' What barriers? What does 'leading in their own lives' even mean?"
Um, ok...? Either Ruse lives in a fantasy world where men and women actually ARE on totally equal footing or she and I share a radically different world view. I suspect it's the latter, which is fine. Ruse (I love that her name is that!) can believe what she wants and spend her money however she sees fit. (For example, I don't support the Boy Scouts.)
So, yeah, when it comes to her obviously strange and highly inaccurate view of Girl Scouts, that's her thing. I can brush it off. I can chalk her up to another right-wing hate mongerer who can't look past their own experiences to show compassion for other people. But when she launches into her INCREDIBLY transphobic tirade, I draw the line. I have to say something.
Most of us have heard of the Colorado Girl Scout council which allowed a 7 year old transgirl to join. There was a teen girl who called on a boycott of Girl Scout cookies because of this and a woman, Rebecca, who sent her a wonderful response. I've been keeping up on the situation in general, but haven't felt moved to say anything until I saw Ruse's take on the whole thing. She said,
Last year, the Girl Scouts decided to admit boys who dress as girls. When asked to admit a cross-dressing 7-year-old boy, a Colorado troop leader demurred, explaining to his mother, with tact and irrefutable logic, that her son couldn’t be a Girl Scout because he has “boy parts.”
The troop leader was chastised by the mom as being insensitive and promptly was overruled by the Girl Scout top brass, who, in a statement said, “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.” Perpetuating this cruel charade on the little boy and forcing little girls to participate in it is “inclusiveness” to the Girl Scouts. To others, it’s child abuse.Ruse's hatred and ignorance here are mind boggling and extremely sad. It is amazing how grown adults still have no concept of the difference between biological sex and gender identity and expression. I am still learning about the trans experience and to be more inclusive, but it is very clear to me that the Girl Scouts have not admitted BOYS into the Girl Scouts, they have affirmed that Girl Scouts is for girls.
Again, if Ruse's transphobia makes her uncomfortable with this, she can stop buying Girl Scout cookies and call it a day. But she certainly doesn't need to perpetuate the myth that transpeople are "cross-dressing" confused people and that to accept a child as she is can be considered child abuse. (Seriously?) In fact, I suggest that Ruse check out that response letter from Rebecca that I posted before. Because Rebecca wrote it for a 14 year old, it's written in a manner which should be easily digestible to even the most ill informed about trans issues.
As for what the rest of us who support ALL girls can do--PLEASE join the counter boycott of Girl Scout cookies and buy them! As someone who has close friends who achieved their Gold Awards and who has worked in a professional capacity with the Girl Scouts for numerous years, I can attest to the fact that they are an organization which cares deeply about cultivating intelligent, socially responsible, mature, confident female leaders.
So buy a box of Thin Mints. Or 20.