Why peak 2017? We have the famously progressive, pro-choice-supporting Girl Scouts squaring off against the famously conservative and religious Boy Scouts over gender identity and integration. And guess which side each one takes? Wait for it …
The Girl Scouts of the USA have accused Boy Scouts of America of carrying out a “covert campaign to recruit girls into programs run by the Boy Scouts” in hopes of appealing to millennial parents and bolstering their declining membership, according to a letter they sent the Boy Scouts board on Monday.
The strongly worded letter — obtained by BuzzFeed News — alleged that BSA was “surreptitiously testing the appeal of a girls’ offering to millennial parents.” …
“Through various means we have learned that BSA is very seriously considering opening their programs to girls and we have made repeated efforts to engage with them and talk about the implications,” the spokesperson told BuzzFeed News on Tuesday.
I’m so old that I recall when people demanded that the Boy Scouts expand their membership to more protected categories, and when boycotts and marginalization were the only appropriate responses to male-only clubs and organizations. Wouldn’t it be better for girls to have a choice in scouting organizations? According to the Girl Scouts, no way:
“It’s a potentially dangerous and bad idea,” the spokesperson said, citing research supporting “single gender programming” which says that girls learn best in an all-girls environment when it comes to scouting.
Why would that be limited only to scouting? It’s also arguably true in other forms of education, too. Even the NEA conceded in 2008 that data exists to suggest that girls and boys do better when educated separately. Other data suggest that there is no difference in outcomes, and the issue continues to be debated.
The core issue in this debate over educational and social outcomes is whether boys and girls are different from each other — not unequal, not incapable, but simply different — and that effective educational and social efforts should account for those differences. Treating gender as if it doesn’t matter is a stumbling block to good policy and decision-making, according to those who recognize those differences. Making that argument part of a memo on how to better engineer diversity programs got James Damore hounded out of his job at Google and labeled a misogynist by the Left. Now the oh-so-progressive Girl Scouts are lambasting the Boy Scouts for its “potentially dangerous and bad idea” to open their membership to girls, using the same argument for which progressives demonized Damore.
The Girl Scouts have a good point here, but don’t expect the Left to be consistent on this. The next Damore who cites the Girl Scouts’ demands for a non-poaching policy from the Boy Scouts will still be History’s Greatest Monster Du Jour, no matter how many citations he includes. Or she includes.
Addendum: Jane the Actuary isn’t all that impressed with the Girl Scouts’ argument, which basically consists of ridiculing the Boy Scouts over its inadequate progressivism:
The Girl Scouts, Hannan says, have developed a program which works magnificently at meeting the needs of girls, while she implies that the Boy Scouts have failed in their mission, taunting them that 90% of boys do not participate in Boy Scouts, and implying that they are not putting in sufficient effort to recruit African-American or Hispanic boys, or are even unwelcoming of those boys. (Scouting is primarily a parent-child organization and for that reason, it seems to me, very difficult to bring into communities where there is no existing tradition, and all the more so if there aren’t dads around, and single moms are hoping for men to arise from, well, somewhere, to fill the father-figure role for boys.) The Boy Scouts, she says, are attempting to recruit girls and “undercut” the Girl Scouts as a result. …
Unlike the Boy Scouts, there’s nothing in the program itself to ensure that camping occurs, and the “Journeys” element ensures that the “mandatory” part of Girl Scouts is focused on social justice/environmentalism and other “political” topics instead. And since each grade has its own troop, with the leaders typically being parents who follow those girls through the progression until they lose interest, there’s not the same sort of continuity as with a multi-age Cub Scout pack or Boy Scout troop where leaders pass the torch onto new parents. The American Heritage Girls goes too far in the direction of being sectarian, but I rather like the way they’ve structured the troops.
In other words, they’re very different experiences. Perhaps those parents who don’t want their daughters to get indoctrinated into progressive causes might like the Boy Scouts’ focus on, well, scouting.