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Girl Scouts Under Attack Again

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A few months ago, I wrote a blog post regarding a proposal by the GA legislature to enact a salesGirl Scout Cookies tax on the selling of Girl Scout cookies. I admittedly was stunned by the proposal to tax Girl Scout cookie sales, but I also found it a bit humorous and kind of silly.

However, it seems some within the Grand Old Party truly do not like the Girl Scouts.

Indiana Republican Rep. Bob Morris wrote a letter to colleagues claiming that the Girl Scouts was a “radicalized organization” that supports abortions and the homosexual agenda. Conservative groups like the Indiana Right to Life and the American Family Foundation have come to Morris’ defense after he became the butt of late night jokes and ridicule.

While I can understand, if not totally agree, with their positions on abortion, this attack on the Girl Scouts leaves me speechless. As a young girl, I was a Brownie and a Girl Scout. I still have my old brownie pin fondly tucked away in my jewelry box. I never experienced anything subversive about Girl Scouts, unless someone considers girls building confidence and self esteem, learning about nature and science, developing natural talents, and being active in sports somehow radical.

Perhaps Rep. Morris and his friends in those conservative groups need to learn something about Girl Scouts.

Founder Juliette Gordon Low organized the first Girl Scout Troop on March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Ga. On March 16, 1950, the Girl Scouts of the USA was chartered by the U.S. Congress. Today, there are 3.2 million Girl Scouts—2.3 million girl members and 880,000 adult members working primarily as volunteers.

Girls at home and abroad participate in troops and groups in more than 92 countries through USA Girl Scouts Overseas, and over 100 local Girl Scout councils offer girls the opportunity for membership across the United States. Through its membership in the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), Girl Scouts of the USA is part of a worldwide family of 10 million girls and adults in 145 countries.

More than 50 million American women enjoyed Girl Scouting during their childhood—and that number continues to grow as Girl Scouts of the USA continues to inspire, challenge, and empower girls everywhere.

From the Organization’s Fact Sheet:

Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) is the largest organization for girls in the world. Our mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Through activities in science and technology, business and economic literacy, and outdoor and environmental awareness, Girl Scouting provides girls with opportunities for fun and friendship, while fostering the development of leadership skills and self-esteem.

These attacks on the Girl Scouts cause me to wonder what has happened within the ranks of the GOP conservative movement.

First it was personhood amendments that put the life of a zygote ahead of the life of the woman; then an attack on women’s ability to have contraception included and covered by their health insurance plans; presidential candidate Santorum admonishing everyone that intimate relations are for procreation only; and now attacks on the venerable institution of the Girl Scouts.

Why has so much disdain for women suddenly reared its ugly head? If Barry Goldwater, who arguably founded the modern conservative movement with his presidential campaign in 1964, were still alive he’d be shaking his head in dismay at what has become of his Republican party.

In a 1994 interview with the Washington Post the retired senator said,

When you say “radical right” today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others [namely, Jerry Falwall for whom Goldwater had absolutely no admiration] who are trying to take the Republican party and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye.

I would add also, kiss the rights of women have the freedom and liberty to determine their own life choices for themselves.


Additional reading on Barry Goldwater:

HuffPo review, Pure Goldwater

Pure Goldwater by John Dean and Barry M. Goldwater Jr.

Goldwater vs Religious Right

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