"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." ~e e cummings

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

solidarity

Tonight after dinner, as we feasted on the Girl Scout cookies that Mom Mom and Pop had delivered to us, Molly made an observation. "Mommy, some of the girls in my class are in Girl Scouts."

"They are!" I agreed. "In fact, your friend's mommy is the Girl Scout troop leader. Do you think you might want to join a troop when you're in first grade?"

She eyed her Thin Mint and the smile spread across her face, "Oh, YES! Yes, I DO!"

From the other side of the counter, another voice piped up. "And can I join, too? My friends are in Girl Scouts, too!"

Max's friends ARE Girl Scouts. A lot of them are, anyway. And, to be honest...we had tried to get him in a troop when he was in kindergarten. He didn't know that, though.

"We tried, buddy, I'm sorry. They don't make exceptions." I said, realizing that we had never shared the history with him.

"Wait, what? You're kidding, right?" he looked at me, incredulous as he processed what I was saying. "But I never asked you if I could join the Girl Scouts before. Are you joking?"

Time for full disclosure.

"Bud, when you were in kindergarten, your best friend's mom was starting a Girl Scout troop and, because we know that the Girl Scouts are a progressive and tolerant organization, she asked me if I wanted to be her co-leader. So, I emailed our district leader and explained our situation. I asked her if you could join the troop with me as the co-leader. She explained the Girl Scout policy to me and said that they don't make exceptions. She said they accepted transgender girls, but not boys who are gender fluid. It's a stupid policy and I'm sorry."

He got a little feisty..."Yeah! It IS stupid!" One hand on his hip, the other pointing...pointedly. Then, channeling his best Ariana Grande, "Dey don't even know what dey missin'! Uh-huh. You know it, Girl Scouts! You know you wanted me all up in yo' troop! And now you can't even have me!"

We kinda derailed a bit at that point...me bragging about what an amazing Girl Scout troop leader I would have been, him bragging about the general awesomeness he would have brought to the program....we ended up laughing about it.

Molly, however, quietly put down her Thin Mint. She furrowed her brow, crossed her arms across her chest and said, "If Max can't be in Girl Scouts, then I won't be in Girl Scouts."

Pure and honest #solidarity.

Sing it, sister. Stand up for your big bro. Stand up for ALL.

That's my girl.

Lesson Learned:
We still ate the cookies. And we always will. I just can't quit you, Samoas.

2 comments :

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  2. This is a hard one.

    In the UK, we have Scouting and Guiding. Scouting has, historically been for boys and Guiding branched out of Scouting in 1910 and consolidated the girls' Scout groups into a new organisation. Since 1990, Scouting has accepted girls as members into all sections and recently, there have been more girls joining as new members than boys. This is a good thing in my book. I'm not sure what the Boy Scouts of America's policy is on this.

    Guiding in the UK has always been a girls-only organisation and, on a wider scale, I agree with them. In our society, boys tend to have louder voices and get used to being able to speak whenever they wish, and will speak over girls without a second thought. Girls learn that boys will speak over them and that they need to wait to be invited before their voice will be heard. Too often, that invitation does not come. Within a girls-only space, girls learn that they do have a voice and that they are allowed to speak. This knowledge embeds and the girls then know that their voices are just as valid as boys' voices and can stand up for themselves because they are used to being heard.

    Having said that, my heart aches for Max. I know that he will thrive in a Girl Scout group and the group will be all the richer for his unique insight and style. In addition, the girls will learn a bit about diversity and will see that there are boys who are not cast from the tired stereotype.

    When I take over the world, I will make sure that Guides and Girl Scouts do allow local groups and districts to make exceptions for certain boys. Rarely does a blanket policy, imposed blindly, promote justice because humans are messy and one hard-and-fast rule cannot adequately address the full range of human experience.

    I agree with Molly that an injustice is being done here. Watch out, world, this girl is coming for you.

    EtF

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