Big, Bad Republicans Are Starting Fights With … Girl Scouts?

Radical right-wingers have called for a national boycott of the GSA’s cookies. You’ll never guess why. (Well, you might.)

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For over a hundred years now, the Girl Scouts of America has dedicated itself to educating and empowering young women. So, is it any wonder then that the Republicans want to take away their cookies and send them back into the kitchen where they belong?

Radical right-wing anti-abortion zealots, spearheaded by the Texas anti-choice group, “Pro-Life Waco,” are demanding a nationwide boycott of Girl Scout cookies—Thin Mints, Do Si Dos, even the time-honored nearly tasteless yet treasured, Trefoils. They’re calling it, ridiculously enough: “CookieCott 2014.”

The Samoas are about to hit the fan.

Why boycott Girl Scout cookies? In the past boycotts have been called because the Girl Scouts are a secular group. They don’t pray before meetings, they don’t promote hatred toward minorities, gays, or transgendered people, and it’s rumored they prefer orange juice with pulp. This year it’s because, in January, the Girl Scouts of America retweeted a link to the Huffington Post inviting people to come to the site and weigh in on “Incredible Ladies Who Should Be Women of the Year for 2013,” asking if there’s anyone you’d add to this list.

Who should happen to be on that page crowded with extraordinary women? The pink-sneakered scourge of the Grand Old Patriarchy, Senator Wendy Davis. Although those goofs in the GOP would prefer you to refer to the female Democratic Texas State Senator, as “Retard Barbie,” or if that’s offensive to you, the nickname they gave her after she led a heroic 11-hour filibuster against an abortion ban in the Texas legislature, “McAbortion Barbie.” (Does that abortion come with a side of fries?)

The Girl Scouts didn’t express support for Wendy Davis, or offer any sort of endorsement. It was merely by suggesting that followers look at a page—one that also featured Beyoncé, Gloria Steinem, and Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai—that the fresh-faced radicals crossed the line.

And now that Davis has set her hat on the Texas Governor’s saddle and started fund-raising, her enemies are scrambling for ammo. In the process of attempting to portray Davis as a slick opportunistic gold-digging liar, the GOTea gets to hit the sweet-selling Girl Scouts where it hurts, right in their change purses.

But can CookieCott succeed?

Conspiracies about the political leanings of the GSA have existed for years. One wacko pastor called them “wicked” for being agents of lesbianism and abortion.

The radical GOP would have you believe that Girl Scouts today earn badges in Arts and Crafts, Archery, and Overthrowing the Patriarchy all while learning valuable survival skills such as camping, outdoor cooking and performing late-term abortions. If I recall from my own Girl Scout days, I think there is even a campfire song about castrating men who want to deny them equal pay for equal work. As ridiculous as this sounds, though, this is not the first time there has been a Girl Scout boycott, and the results have hurt GSA’s fund-raising efforts.

(For your information, the Girl Scouts of America will not teach you how to perform an abortion. But they can teach you how to splint a broken leg. Which, if the GOP has their way and guts the Affordable Care Act, you’d do well to learn.)

Speaking of the ACA and women’s health, as you know the he-man-woman-haters in the GOP are on a quest to shut down every Planned Parenthood in America. They’re winning. Their mission to outlaw abortion altogether is gaining traction across America. Which serves their purposes perfectly. In an age where no one wants to enlist in a military that is dispatched to fight hobby wars, or die for oil, they need to create a military class. The best way to do this? Deny women family-planning services, particularly young women in underserved neighborhoods—those who often end up as poor, single moms of children, who, thanks to rolled back government programs and education, end up forced into service.

That is, unless of course they are able to save themselves. Work hard, and get lucky. Much like Wendy Davis who began her life in poverty and now finds herself one of the most inspiring and respected female figures of our time. Don’t take my word for it, look at the Huffington Post’s most-inspiring list.

But I digress.

There used to be a saying, “If you keep repeating a lie long enough it becomes the truth.” Today that saying is, “If you keep repeating a lie long enough it becomes politics.”

The lie that the Radical Right Wing has been manufacturing for years is that a “relationship” exists between Planned Parenthood and the Girl Scouts of America. This despite the fact that there is no official or unofficial relationship or partnership between the two organizations. Except, wait: Planned Parenthood is in the business of providing safe and affordable sexual and reproductive health-care services and education. Girl Scouts do have brains, bodies, and vaginas. Got it. Totally partners. Most likely lesbians. Orgy-loving, goat-god-worshipping lesbians.

It has become an age-old tradition at this point for conservative members of the Grand Old Patriarchy to attack the Girl Scouts for “promoting” as role models human rights/pro-choice advocates such as Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Hillary Clinton, and Faye Wattleton, and for linking to organizations such as Amnesty International, OxFam, the Sierra Club, the ACLU, the World Health Organization, and NOW, all of which, in the blinkered eyes of GOP Conservicans, are pro-abortion advocacy groups.

The Girl Scouts also support the Sierra Club. So it’s possible that the “Whose earth? My earth!” GOP, just to spite these budding conservations, will next dump gene-mutating toxins into the ocean or slaughter an endangered species of miniature pony.

This, along with the Girl Scouts of America’s involvement with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, an organization representing a coalition of 145 member organizations with approximately 10 million members, which supports global female empowerment, has anti-choice activists in a raging froth.

Which I can understand. Any group whose mission includes supporting human rights, responsible stewardship of the planet, and improving the quality of human life around the world, while educating and empowering young women—and selling some of tastiest cookies on the planet—should be vilified.

Just to be clear, the GSA takes no position on abortion—that’s between a girl, her god, and her parents. Nor do they necessarily support Wendy Davis. What they are aiming to do, according to the Girl Scouts of America’s official web site is: “Help girls develop their full individual potential; relate to others with increasing understanding, skill, and respect; develop values to guide their actions and provide the foundation for sound decision-making; and contribute to the improvement of society through their abilities, leadership skills, and cooperation with others.”

During her lengthy filibuster, Senator Davis read letters from opponents of the legislation, quoting from one, “We cannot allow the extremist minority, propelled by ignorance, misogyny, hypocrisy, political showboating, and the unconstitutional desire to impose their personal religious views on others to control what women do with their own bodies.”

So, what then must we do? BUY GIRL SCOUT COOKIES. I pledge to buy at least four boxes of cookies, and if you are likewise outraged, buy at least four boxes of cookies, and then tag at least ten friends to do the same. If Girl Scout cookies aren’t your jam, buy four boxes and give them to people who are making a difference in the lives of young women in your community. Teachers, coaches, bus drivers, doctors, clinic defense workers…

Don’t just get mad—get engaged.


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