Though I don’t agree with everything the author says in this piece I must say they have one very good point. When it comes to letting girls into the Boy Scouts (now just Scouts) the author says, “I would argue that survival has no gender.” Indeed, I find I must agree with that conclusion. Though it is true that men are uniquely equipped for certain aspects of survival that ignores that a great deal of what human survival once entailed was actually done by women. Women needed to know what plants were edible, and which were poison. They needed to be able to start a fire. They needed to able to dress a wound. When out gathering the daily meal they had to be able to find their way home again. These are universally needed human skills, not just skills needed by boys.
Where I diverge with the author is over the idea of “boys being boys”. What is meant by that is not the activities themselves over which the boys bond but the behavior exhibited by the boys during the activity toward each other and their environment. To say that scouts provided a place for boys to act like boys isn’t the same as saying the things they did together aren’t things that girls could benefit from. It’s saying that boys act differently in the company of the female of the species. For now scouting is keeping the genders in different troops so when this subject comes up a lot of people brush it off for that reason. However, I do not think it will be long before that too goes by the wayside. It’s the company, not the activity, that really matters. Girls need this too, it isn’t exclusively male. Girls need to be girls and they act differently around boys.
The author writes, “So what people really mean when they say “boys can’t be boys if girls are in the Girl Scouts” is that boys are losing boys-only spaces.”
And that, I think, is the author’s real intent in writing to excuse these changes. They don’t feel that boys are deserving of boy only spaces. Girls, shouldn’t be left out of anything. The patriarchy has had its own spaces for far too long and we shouldn’t continue this one moment more. The author explains that girls are equally as disgusting as boys until, via gender conditioning, we teach them not to be. Let the girls into boy scouts so they too can fart and burp in public.
Even the image they chose to accompany the editorial speaks volumes about the author’s mindset. It shows male on male violence. It’s as if to ask the question “is this really what we want to preserve? Is this what we are arguing about? The right for boys to be cruel and learn toxic masculinity!” Which implies that the presence of girls will somehow subdue that savage beast. But how can this be so if girls only learn to be that way through gender conditioning? If they are with the boys, not learning to be girls, who will subdue the toxins oozing from every male pore?
No, boys should be boys first. Then they should learn to control themselves. John Wayne, as the character McKlintock said, “You’ve got to be a man first before you can be a gentleman.” For decades BOY Scouts have succeeded in doing BOTH of those things for young men. Though the author would like to skip over that and focus on the merit badges and how those skills are human skills (correct, they are) it ignores that there is more to it than that.
News that the Boy Scouts of America will drop “boy” from the name as it formally accepts girls into the program has resurfaced an old…