By now it’s old news that Girl Scouts U.S.A. allowed a transgender child to join a troop in Colorado. The reason this is resurfacing is that there are still people protesting about it. Some of my friends and I are still seeing messages on Facebook. I have at least one acquaintance who sends me frequent messages about why my daughter should not be part of such an “immoral” organization. And just a few days ago, a friend whose daughter wants to join Girl Scouts had her post removed on Facebook because someone reported it as “abusive.”
Having already dispelled the myth that Girl Scouts donates part of their proceeds to Planned Parenthood or that they’re giving out how-to sex tracts to 8-year-old girls, protestors have moved on to the next Big Bad Evil. Unfortunately, this one won’t go away, because it’s true. Girl Scouts states that if a child is living as a girl and her parents present her as such, she may join a troop. Right this minute, unbeknownst to anyone, there may be any number of transgirls in troops across the U.S.
I think I understand the fear behind the protests, ridiculous though it may be. The fear is that we’re sending our girls out into the world, under someone else’s care. We want to know that they are safe. The mistaken belief that a transgirl is really just a boy in disguise muddies our sense of security. There’s a fear that a “boy” amongst a group of girls will try to take advantage of them. Maybe not at age 7, but certainly by the time puberty hits.
Already, from an early age, we are teaching our children two falsehoods: That boys and men are to be feared, and that transpeople are just pretending to be something they are not. This fosters a sense of impending victimization in young girls. It also fails to understand the truth about transpeople. And when we then refuse to allow our daughters to participate in Girl Scouts, they miss out on having a safe place to learn healthier interactions.
Anyone has the right to refuse his or her daughter participation in Girl Scouts. No one is being forced to support the organization by purchasing cookies. And even if the issue is not wanting to have a daughter in the same troop with a transgirl, then parents are welcome to look for another troop or leave their daughter as a Juliet (a scout without a troop). But protesting the organization and demanding that they change their policies to one that becomes less inclusive is not appropriate, especially given that Girl Scouts is a non-religious organization. And reporting someone’s Facebook status because you don’t like the fact that another girl might join, that another parent is making a different choice than you would have, is downright cowardly.
You know what I say to that? Right on, Girl Scouts. You’ve now assured that I will be continuing to allow my child to participate and that for the rest of my life, I will make sure that I continue to support your organization.