The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

80° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Column: GSA And Gender

For more than 103 years, Girl Scouts of the United States of America has supported an experience for young women to become “girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.” In recent years, GSA has become a hotbed of dangerous activities: their cookie sales support pornography, directly benefit Planned Parenthood (the largest provider of abortions in the country!), provide resources and inclusion for transgender and non-gender-conforming youth, and (gasp) support feminism. At least that’s what Fox News and their army of blond idiots want you to think.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck, talk show host and conspiracy theorist, wants you to know that “Being a girl is about to become optional for future Girl Scouts.” Hasselbeck and the American Family Association apparently just noticed a four-year-old proclamation by the GSA leadership that allows transgender girls into the ranks of Daisies, Brownies, Cadettes and the rest of Girl Scouts that plague this nation with their progressive, liberal agenda. It goes without saying that they’ve spearheaded a campaign against the policy.

While the national leadership made this policy change, it is important to note that, with regard to individual chapter participation, the choice is still up to local leaders. According to Andrea Bastiani Archibald, Girl Scout USA’s chief girl expert, “Inclusion of transgender girls is handled at a council level on a case by case basis, with the welfare and best interests of all members as a top priority.”

On its Frequently Asked Questions page, GSA noted: “That said, if the child is recognized by the family and school/community as a girl and lives culturally as a girl, then Girl Scouts is an organization that can serve her in a setting that is both emotionally and physically safe.”

In their petition, the American Family Association continued to perpetuate the ideology that individuals who do not conform to the gender binary are a menace to society, far more likely to be sexual predators or to endanger the life of “normal kids.”

This mindset is the same used to argue against gay members and leaders of the Boy Scouts of America, who — with their big, flaming, gay agenda — threaten to destroy the sanctity of an organization that, in its oath, demands that its members be “morally straight” and “Clean.”

For the BSA and the GSA, the squeaky-clean image of their organizations has already been appropriated by adults, gay and straight, in “sexy” Halloween costumes. If you haven’t seen an adult man wearing just khaki cut offs and a sash full of badges on Halloween or a grown woman wearing her actual Daisy uniform, you need to go to a different Halloween party.

AFA’s petition, and representative Bryan Fischer’s inchoate diatribe on why they oppose the “normalization of transgenderism,” speaks volumes to the ignorance and hatred that still surround the identity.

“This means girls in the organization will be forced to recognize and accept transgenderism as a normal lifestyle,” the petition reads. “Boys in skirts, boys in make-up and boys in tents will become a part of the program. This change will put young innocent girls at risk.”

The problem with viewing a transgender existence as a lifestyle, which was dutifully pointed out by Caitlyn Jenner recently, is that it isn’t one. Unlike working for Fox News or choosing to handpick bible quotes suitable to an ignorance-based agenda, being transgender is part of someone at birth, when their autonomy is revoked and they are assigned a gender on the basis of their genitalia.

That GSA is willing to support inclusion of transgender girls is a major step to greater inclusion. Robert Gates could learn from their policy, as he announced on May 21 that Boy Scouts of America’s ban on gay leaders was “unsustainable” — not deleterious, or hateful or inappropriate, but “unsustainable.”

I stand with Ellen Kahn, director of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Children, Youth & Families program, who writes, “Scouting is such a big part of many children’s lives, if you’re a girl, you belong here, and who are they to question someone’s gender identity? They [GSA] recognize that’s not for them to do.”


Nick Havey is a junior studying physiology and Spanish. Follow him on Twitter.

More to Discover
Activate Search