This Far and No Further

After the announced LCWR “crackdown,” I was in a Jo-Ann fabric store. A few women in line were deriding the Girl Scouts for being “radical feminists.” I had to butt in and note that if being competent is radically feminist, then Girl Scouts are.

I made a lot of jokes about my being “2 for 2” as a radical feminist that week.

Now the USCCB is attacking the Girl Scouts.  I felt this coming, somehow. Groups of women gathering, independently, just stick in their craw the way a lot of other things—and I think you know what other things I’m talking about—don’t.

The USCCB is concerned that a troop on Colorado accepted a 7-year-old transgendered girl. That’s Troop Business, Bishops. If the girls in the troop think that’s fine, it’s dandy. Girl Scouts are free to make their own decisions. Which of course, might be the problem.

Other complaints about nonexistent positions on sexuality and birth control and a “liberal” board and a brochure available at a UN-sponsored event—should the place have been swept beforehand?—just stack up high into Ludicrous Heaven. I’m not going through the extremely sketchy accusations being made. I just wonder where all this nonsense originated and why it is being propagated.

I’m beginning to suspect that the mere notion of girls meeting, gaining skills and becoming competent human beings is a threat. Are Catholic girls no longer being encouraged to follow their own dreams? To speak their minds? To lead others? (Not to mention doing community service, camping and crafts!)

How did we get here? One of the important things about Girl Scouting is bringing different types of people together and learning about each other’s culture. That is: inclusion. Conservative-hatched American Heritage Girls, the new challenger, seems to offer only Godliness and Countryishness. Girl Scouts is international! AHG, not so much.

It’s a super-classy move to announce this on the eve of Girl Scouts’ 100th Anniversary, too. Way to pop balloons and leave the cake out in the rain.

Bishops: stand down. Stop trying to besmirch things that are wonderful! Stop casting aspersions! You are attacking our girls. Americans! Defend your Girl Scouts. As far as I’m concerned, Girl Scouts is one of the best organizations our country has ever produced. If a line in the sand is being drawn, I know which side I’m on. Scouts.

Mary Valle lives in Baltimore and is the author of Cancer Doesn't Give a Shit About Your Stupid Attitude: Reflections on Cancer and Catholicism. She blogs on KtB as The Communicant. For more Mary, check out her blog or follow her on Twitter.