When I heard about Santa Rosa, CA girls wanting to join Boy Scouts because Girl Scouts are too girly, it made me wonder what this female-only organization is all about. I was never a Girl Scout, not because I was worried about gender biases, but because I have an aversion to polyester clothing and iron on badges.
So to find out more about this sexist organization, I went to their website, and found out the ugly truth about their founder:
Juliette Gordon Low envisioned an organization that would prepare girls to meet their world with courage, confidence, and character. In 1912, in the midst of the Progressive Era—and at a time when women in the United States couldn’t yet vote…
Whaaaat? The progressive era was 100 years ago?? And women couldn’t even vote?
The Girl Scouts website goes on to share even more revealing information, “These first Girl Scouts blazed trails and redefined what was possible for themselves and for girls everywhere. They played basketball. They hiked, swam, and camped.”
That’s right. In 1912, women couldn’t vote, but they could camp, hike and swim. They were campers, just like the Boy Scouts. The original Girl Scouts weren’t cookie salespeople, they were badasses. They were girls doing boy activities. And you don’t know tough until you have set up a tent in 90 degree heat, with 100% humidity wearing a long-sleeve dress that goes to your ankles.
And no one knows more about badassery than their founder who put the original girl in Girl Scout. She came from a “long line of strong and independent women” and was able to make her mark in history after overcoming a “calamitous marriage” and near deafness.
So it seems that even though the modern Girl Scouts have grown into a massive organization (over 2 million members), it has lost the spirit of it’s founder. It happens. Amazon is no longer a dude selling books out of his garage and Apple is no longer headquartered in Steve Jobs parent’s garage.
Former girl scouts include Taylor Swift, Mariah Carey, Abigail Breslin, Gwyneth Paltrow, Dakota Fanning, and Carrie Fisher. They aren’t famous for being Girl Scouts, but I guess the experience didn’t totally disable their ambition.
And although the Girl Scouts have grown since the original 18 girls in Savannah, GA, the Girl Scouts membership has seen have seen massive declines. Since 2003, the number of members has plummeted 27%.
And Boy Scouts of America saw a 7.4% decline just last year!
The girls in Santa Rosa, CA did both the Girl Scouts and the Boy Scouts a favor. They got both organizations in the news again. I’m sure the publicity is welcome for the two struggling gender exclusive clubs.