Last October, Girl Scouts USA welcomed a 7-year-old transgender girl among its ranks. The organization released a surprisingly but welcomingly progressive statement: “Girl Scouts is an inclusive organization and we accept all girls in Kindergarten through 12th grade as members. If a child identifies as a girl and the child’s family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout.”
The action provoked outrage among cissexist parents, who have been– at least, as it appears in pro-boycott videos– teaching their daughters that these transgender girl scouts threaten the safety of others and the integrity of the program. These parents and scouts have indicated that it’s now easy for young “boys” to rape girls, since they simply have to pretend to be transgender at age six, then rape and assault other girl scouts while sharing a tent with them. Because it’s that easy to be a sexual predator who pretends to be trans, with your parents’ support, when you’re barely old enough to read.
Let’s call this what it is: overt, disgusting, inexcusable transphobia. I can’t even imagine the sort of adult who would accuse seven-year-olds of premeditating rape and assault– when they’ve done nothing more than ask to be included in normal childhood recreation.
And let’s not forget the obsessive perpetuation of the gender binary. Many parents think that letting these “boys” into scouts will destroy the essential feminine camaraderie of Girl Scouts.
A series of transphobic viral videos have called for a boycott of Girl Scout cookies until the organization expels all transgender participants. It seems this boycott could put a huge dent in the budget of Girl Scouts USA. If the transphobes have it their way, the organization will be severely punished for their choice to allow transgender girls.
I don’t want to see this happen. While I once boycotted Girl Scouts because of their enforcement of the gender binary and patriarchal views of femininity, I want to see them rewarded, not punished, for making a bold and necessary move toward improving the rights of trans youth.
I hereby propose a counter-boycott. We should rally the feminist, queer,and children’s-rights communities to support Girl Scouts in 2012. Buy as many cookies as you can, and call your local chapter to let them know that you support their decision to include transgender girls in their programs.
Cookies go on sale Saturday… and you’ve never had a better excuse to chow down on Samoas and Thin Mints!