Gender policing’s teachable moments

By now, I’m sure all y’all have seen the video of a Colorado Girl Scout complaining that your Thin Mint dollars are being spent on including transgender girls in the organization.  Sprinkled throughout last week’s Facebook timeline were sighs of relief, for our cookie addictions can now be reclassified as Important Political Statements.  I love when things come together like that!

What a cutie. I wonder what chromosomes ze has?  Normally I wouldn’t ask, but it seems everyone’s talking about what’s under those green skirts.  Used to be we just cared about the cookies, not the genitalia.

On a related note, my post on the conundrum of feminist mental health garnered this comment, with some unexpected advice:

the only thing helpful i have to offer is this: the more i move into separatism, the more i do whatever it takes to have less and less to do with men and male-identified women, the happier i become. and the easier it is to be happy and at peace. just personal experience, but it makes a lot of political sense too. 

As an aghast Mr. Beinstock said to Daphne and Josephine in Some Like it Hot (watch the clip here): “I BEG your pardon, miss!”

Occasional bouts of misandrist rage, I understand.  Patriarchy can turn any woman, whether cis- or trans-, into a lunatic.  But separatism?  Isn’t that what we’re fighting with our cookie purchases?

Admittedly, I always feel prickly whenever it is suggested that heterosexual feminists like me are Doing It Wrong.  Personal rebuff aside, it implies that Rick Santorum is correct in his belief that sexuality is a choice, which leads us all into a bullshit-filled rabbit hole.  And I defy any radical separatist to come to my house to have a crack at the difficult daily work of raising a feminist son.  I might even go out on a limb and suggest that it’s the most important work of our movement–that is, if I were the sort of person prone to the kind of “nyah nyah, my feminism is better than yours” that I try to avoid.

Really, I do.

You know who’s an unequivocally GREAT feminist, though? That boy of mine.  He could out-feminist a wannabe like Sarah Palin in a heartbeat.  And with his gorgeous hazel eyes, he’d look amazing in a green and white uniform.  Say, why does it have to be Girl Scouts, anyway?  Isn’t it time we had Kid Scouts, open to anyone interested in hustling Thin Mints for merit badges? (please don’t talk about Boy Scouts, that haven for god-fearing pedos who lack the patience to join the priesthood.)  Is there some way we could convince Kate Bornstein and Chaz Bono to spearhead a movement that untethers Scouting from gender entirely?

And for once, can we let cookies be cookies and kids be kids, regardless of flavor?

 

2 Responses to “Gender policing’s teachable moments”

  1. Denise Schultz says:

    while the thought of “kid scouts” does get me thinking…I do fall back to thinking that there is a place for girl scouts, and even, with all its warts, boy scouts. The beauty in the organizations, I feel, is that there is some flexibility in how each troop is geared, for better or worse. Our experiences have been mostly good. We’ve also (as parents) chosen to lead both cub scouts and girl scouts. My children are active in both organizations…and they each learn positive lessons, that I am not sure if they’d be exposed to somewhere else. For my son, he’s not a sports kid, he’s tried a bunch, but the one thing he continues to like is Boy Scouts. My daughter is only half way through her second year of girl scouts, but its a fun space for her and it is an opportunity to give girls great leadership skills. I wonder if the organizations would function well if they were merged. How do the summer camp experiences change if they are co-ed? I hear you with the gender message…but I think inclusion is the better way to go, as the Colorado Council has shown. Just my 2 cents.

  2. BatGirl says:

    There is! It’s called CampFire USA. I was a member for a few months back in the early 90′s when I was like 6 or 7. (Lasted twice as long with them as with the girl scouts….scouting really isn’t my thing). At the very least they are co-ed and appear to value diversity.

    Here’s a link to their core values page: http://www.campfireusa.org/Mission_and_Core_Values.aspx

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