“Boycott Girl Scout Cookies!” said the Girl Scout.

If you’ve been keeping up with your viral videos lately, you may have come across the 14 year old Girl Scout named Taylor.

Taylor posted a video advocating for this year’s Girl Scout cookie fundraiser to be boycotted because Girl Scouts allows transgender girls to participate in the program.

For my sweet, young n00bies: here’s a helpful graphic that will give you a quick introduction to the term “transgender”. You might also want to check out my related vid, SE-XXXY TIME. (More trans resources coming soon.)

A quick search for the story and you’ll find a huge uproar from LGBTQIAA folks/organizations about the ordeal. For good reason….the video reeks of transphobia. But, as usual, some of the internet overreacts & there has been a lot of hate in response to her hate, including particularly troublesome calls for her suicide.

Sounds productive, huh? Oh, internets…..

My thoughts -

There she sits with the cross around her neck, in righteous conviction, preaching the hatred she has probably adopted from other spaces that have had more impact on her than Girl Scouts. (Home? Church?…..)

But if you listen, she is speaking in defense of a woman’s space. I feel her on that. I think it’s important for women to have community too. I’m all about “DISCOVER! CONNECT! TAKE ACTION!”

Heeeeelll yeeeh.

However, I do think Taylor needs some schoolin’ on what “gender” is and what it means to be a woman. Her woman-space is not being violated. No, the only sort of violation is her sense of entitlement to decide other peoples’ gender for them. Good for the Girl Scouts for taking the high road here. There is more to being a woman than just a vagina.

Fortunately, it seems that Taylor’s intolerance has shed some light on what I have always thought is an underrated aspect of the Girl Scouts. They were the only all-girl organization I ever participated in that encouraged strength, self-sufficiency, and inclusion. That they are inclusive of different gender identities is a +109234203948203 for the GS in my book. I would encourage folks to do what you can for their cookie fundraiser.

I mean, how often can you eat delicious cookies AND support a good cause? Answer: NEVAR!!!11!

(Okay, almost never.)

As a side note, I find it interesting that the Girl Scouts has adopted such a progressive, inclusive stance while the Boy Scouts continues to be hateful assholes who do not allow atheists or gay boys to participate.

Hmm.

What do you make of the ordeal, peeps?

47 thoughts on ““Boycott Girl Scout Cookies!” said the Girl Scout.

  1. I think I suddenly need to go buy some Girlscout cookies to support an organization that is being inclusive instead of close-minded.

  2. As an atheist who is also an Eagle Scout, I have to applaud the Girl Scouts for doing the right thing, It truly is a shame today that there still is a way of separating between an “Us” and a “Them” and that it is still socially acceptable to deny entrance or rights based on which group you are in.

    • Agreed. I don’t understand how the boy scouts are lagging so far behind. I also don’t understand how they can use taxpayer dollars to support a discriminatory org…

        • I am also an Eagle Scout (who is an agnostic theist … I was not agnostic at the time) and I feel offended by it. Now I don’t think my scout master cared about gay or straight, theist or atheist, but the BSA did and still does. As The Tattooed Enigma said, it creates just another us vs them situation. The scouts did help me grow up into a fine young man, if I do say so myself :D, and it has helped a lot of boys, so I hope it continues to exist … BUT it needs to stop encouraging and enforcing bigotry. Otherwise it is going to continue deviating from its goal of encouraging healthy values in young boys by teaching hate and blind judgement instead of love and acceptance.
          Atheist … Homosexual … They are people. We all are people.

          Also some links:
          http://www.thehumanist.org/humanist/articles/bsa.html
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boy_Scouts_of_America_membership_controversies

          And the Statue at Washington DC
          … I think it is symbolic of the relationship between the Government and the Boy Scouts … Like I said, I want the Boy Scouts to exist, but I want every kid (sex, gender, color, religious or not, sexual orientation, …) to be able to be a scout and have the same enriching opportunities in scouting
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boy_Scout_Memorial

    • I know and hear you….I guess I am just hopeful that she IS young and will now hear a lot of different responses to her post. Much more diverse than she probably expected. My hope (and I believe that its a distinct possibility) is that she is going to see the world is a bigger place than she thought it was. Hopefully enough people can respond to her with reason and love to provide a much different picture for her.

  3. I find it interesting that this is such a hair raising issue. The girl scouts say that this is there “law”…”respect myself and others” with that respect I would presume (maybe to a fault) that they were be at some level acceptance. Now I haven’t seen the video (the link is private) and cannot tell from your blog if she as simply stating her opinions in a non-aggressive way or this was a hate spiel. If it was the former then by all means you have ever right as a human being to state your opinion even if I disagree with it, but if it was the later then your argument is invalid and not worth the anger.

  4. I am so happy that GSUSA have allowed transgender girls to participate in their program. As a lifetime member of girl scouts (16 years and counting, whaddup!), I know the positive impact that this organization can have on the lives and the character-building of girls and young women. And, as a sister of a transgender girl, I know how important it is for trans kids to be allowed to be who they are and to feel normal and accepted in their lives. If I had anything to do with it, every transgender girl would have the option to join girl scouts or a similar organization based around strength, character, and camaraderie. The reason that suicide rates in the transgender population are so startling is that these children with gender identity disorder grow up feeling that they don’t belong. In girl scouts, everyone belongs. In this setting, trans girls can learn that they really can be accepted for who they are, and the biological girls that get to know them learn that trans girls aren’t weirdos or something to be afraid of; they are just girls.. just like themselves.

    I have to say, Laci, THANK YOU for referring to these girl scouts as “transgender *girls*” One of the things that hurt me most while watching this video was Taylor’s constant reference to the children in question as “transgender boys”.
    A (MTF) trans girl is a GIRL. A girl at heart, a girl in her mind, and a girl all the way down to her soul. A trans girl is not a perverted boy, and in no way is she a threat to the girls around her in a girl scout troop.

    …which leads me to Taylor’s statement that the inclusion of transgender girls in girl scouts PUTS OTHER GIRLS IN DANGER. When talking about the dynamics of a trans child out in the world, at school, or in a girl scout troop, as long as the beliefs which Taylor has been taught exist, the party which is really in danger is the trans child himself or herself. The bullying that a gender queer or transitioning child or teenager faces is overwhelming and only complements and worsens the pain that he or she already feels. If it is not bullying, it is avoidance and exclusion. It is the uninformed, but so outspokenly self righteous, people who make this world an unsafe place for transgender children. If someone Taylor loved was subject to the violence and abuse that my little sister and all other trans children are in danger of, I feel that she would be jumping at the chance to find that loved one a safe haven, such as girl scouts, to feel comfortable and accepted in.

    This video alternately sickens, saddens, and enrages me. Girl scouts are an organization that teach girls to become strong people of character. A person of character does not hear the word “transgender,” become afraid and subsequently attack and seclude.
    I hope with all of my heart that this boycott movement flops and that GSUSA stands their ground on their decision to allow transgender girls into the organization. BUY MORE COOKIES.

    • Oh please!!!
      Scouting for Boys and Girls can be a very good thing that leads to many things that don’t include the military. It stresses the training of leadership in young people.

  5. Honestly, I’m deeply offended by the phrase “there’s more to being a woman than having a vagina”. Because as someone with a vagina, that is precisely what I have been aggressively pushing all my life. That’s all the word “female” means to me. “Nothing more than having a vagina.” It’s a clinical term. An empirical term. Telling me I have “a girl brain” (gender being “between your ears”) or some other shit like that is kind of insulting, especially where we’ve been in relation to men historically.

    I support all people wearing what they want at all times, including dresses and makeup if you’re born male.

    I support anti-discrimination laws of all stripes.

    I support the eradication of all traditional gender roles, in their entirety.

    I support the dismantling of boy groups and girl groups because I consider them to be arbitrarily divided.

    I support people doing what they want with their genitals, surgically and sexually, and if they choose to have sex changes, I support plainly referring to them by what they’ve changed into. It’s medical.

    I do not, however, support people telling me I have a special “female brain”. If gender is between your ears, I’m genderless. What exactly does that mean? Someone who wants the opposite gender role than society cast them in? That seems like we’re completely missing the point about dismantling gender roles to begin with and letting people be people and wandering off on a counter-progressive, role-affirming, tangent.

    • That’s the thing, though – gender IS what’s between your ears (not that it means “female brain” so much as how you feel and your personality). Sex is what’s between your legs. They are two different things, and I invite you to research the topic further.

      I have never felt that my status as female came down to the simple fact that I have a vagina. To say that the only thing to being a woman is having a vagina is rather insulting, not to mention it reaffirms the outdated belief that women are nothing more than baby makers. I am not my vagina, and it is not the be all end all of me.

      • What exactly does it mean to “feel like a girl”? I cannot imagine what a female feeling is, and I am one. Can you clarify what you mean by that?

        And female “personality”? What about really androgynous women? Can you think of an instance when a person, by virtue of not meeting certain personality standards, or by virtue of not behaving conventionally for their gender in response to a situation, and despite your knowledge of their sex, made you interpret them as the opposite gender? Where personality was the element that determined gender, though that person themselves may quite obviously take plainly no issue with their being medically male or female?

        There are no universal differences among men and women, no universal constants in terms of personality and emotions and preferences and behaviors, nothing beyond anatomy to render one capable of claiming some distinctly female mindset. Trends, of course, but no measurable, reliable, permanent qualities. In my opinion, becoming a non-genital-aligned woman is a directionless enterprise ultimately devoid of clear meaning.

        Also, I’d like to point out that lot of transgender people find themselves overwhelmed by the negativity they get, and if trans blogs are any indicator, tend to disavow social norms. But given the things they embrace in transition – heels, hair, makeup, women’s clothes – men’s apparel if they’re FTM – given the fact that these are manifestations of what is accepted in our culture for the genders within it – effectively our NORMS – is it not paradoxical that the very social norms they are (rightly) opposed to being shackled to are the things that they require to “change gender”, or, in effect, to indicate their new gender? Doesn’t that mean that their entire conceptual existence is really wholly contingent upon what society considers male and female? Aren’t we whirling around haplessly in a mess at this point?

        That’s kind of an anemic case for the mind determining gender. I think the real area for concern should be removing the social limitations and stigmas currently burdening people who don’t fit within the conventional framework of gender roles. If I had a daughter who wanted to dress like Superman all the time, I’d say “Honey, to your heart’s delight.” If I had a son who wanted to dress like Kate Middleton on her wedding day, likewise. I think we ought very well to be accepting. But telling people there are special personalities associated only with their penises or vaginas, that may or may not indicate that they are actually supposed to have different genitals, is kind of ludicrous in my opinion.

        • Ah, I can see where this problem arises. I’ve had a lot of negative experiences with people calling themselves feminists (not that I’m implying you are, or aren’t a feminist, that’s not really relevant.)

          However, I do find this an interesting question, because I sort of agree with you on part of this, yet at the same time, being a transsexual, I’ve then had to ask myself what it means.

          I’ve come to the conclusion that people that say ‘gender is in the head’ are misusing the term.

          Gender IS the social construct, the thing other people tell you you are, and all the expectations and ideas around it.

          Gender is the social role you have been assigned based on what people think your sex is. (It’s not based on verifying this though. You don’t actually have to prove you’re a particular sex to be treated that way.)

          But… As obvious as it is to me that this is what gender is, that sex is merely the thing between your legs is a little more problematic.

          Because like it or not, there is something in my head that tells me something about myself.

          I don’t call it gender, because that’s not what it is.

          Nor does it make sense to say “I feel like a woman”, because I have no point of reference as to what it means to feel like anything other than what I am. And without an external point of reference, how can I say what it feels like to be a woman, (or a man)?
          I only have my own experiences to work with after all.

          But there is another sense in which you can look at this.
          The brain has a lot of functional components, for instance the parts that process what you’re seeing, those that allow you to speak, and so on.

          It would also appear to have a map of how your own body is constructed. Where everything is, and physical sensations of various parts of your body.

          They say people who have had their arm amputated can still feel sensations from their arm even though it’s no longer there.

          So, based on that speculation, and how I feel myself, the conclusion I’ve reached is that my mind has a faulty map of my body.

          I can therefore say ‘I feel like a woman’, not on the basis of some ideas about gender, but because my body feels physically wrong, and I get the sensation that it should be the body of a woman, instead of what it actually appears to be.

          Unfortunately, It doesn’t seem the various groups involved with arguing about this tend to see this part.

          I do wish the transgender community would take a closer look at what ‘gender’ actually implies, and then consider if what they’re saying is actually a reference to ‘gender’, or perhaps a reference to something else that doesn’t really get much consideration as an actual concept.

          It seems to me that there is such a thing as a ‘mental sex’, but thinking that it is ‘gender’, is a good way to create a lot of extra confusion

          Because whatever this ‘mental sex’ may be, I very much doubt it has much of anything to do with what clothes you like to wear, or what your interests and hobbies are.

          I guess I’m just trying to say that there are other ways of looking at this than the two being forwarded here.

          As to one point specifically raised, when I was younger people were consistently confused about my sex, because of how I behaved and looked.
          This alone tells me that people tend to be very superficial and conclude gender=sex, more often than not.
          Sure, if you are confident you know a person’s sex, you aren’t likely to conclude they are something else based on their gender expression, but if you don’t actually know a person’s sex, it is almost certain you will assign them a sex mentally based on their gender expression.
          People have done that to me often enough.

          And that’s why my own view on this is:
          Sex = your biology
          Gender = What sex other people think you are, based on your appearance and behaviour.
          ?? = Your own internal sense of your own body.

          Gender has all the negative implications you’d expect from using stereotypical ideas to decide something about another person. The only thing I can be certain of though is that gender definitely isn’t to do with how you view yourself.

          • First off, I have to emphasize my appreciation for your civility in discourse. (After coming back here, I thought surely I was in for it.)

            Anyway, I understand what you mean in terms of having a glitchy mind-body map. (Err – “glitchy” is unfair – “not in-sync” is better – but you get what I mean.) I’m also glad you recognize the anxiety I have about assigning personalities to gender and so forth. I’m just really weary of stereotypes and generalizations. They can just get to be demoralizing when you’re constantly bombarded by them, and I wish people didn’t have to feel so confined.

            One thing though: trans folks who don’t transition surgically. The ones that just adopt opposite sex roles and find happiness in that. Are they…missing the point? I’m starting to suspect y’all might be more fragmented as a community than I had originally thought.

            Oh, and yes. I’m a feminist. :)
            Thank you for helping to adjust a little my understanding of what “transgender” means.

            • heh. Sorry about the opening statement in my post. I realised it sounded a little akward, but only after I’d said it. (I’m a little defensive about this. Sorry to say through a lot of bad experiences I’ve developed a gut reaction to the word ‘feminist’, which isn’t really fair on anyone, nor very useful. In any event, I apologise if it sounded at all off.)

              I can’t really say much about anyone who considers themselves transgender who doesn’t transition.

              I think the problem is, that not everyone can see past the ideas about sex & gender that mainstream culture seems to use, even if they’re trangender.

              I think however, a bigger problem is that ‘the transgender community’ isn’t a real community.

              As near as I can tell, ‘transgender’ is a label often applied by others as a blanket statement to cover anyone who basically doesn’t fit within the typical, narrowly defined binary gender roles.
              By that definition, a lot of people are transgender that wouldn’t consider themselves as such.

              I personally find it one of the least useful designations ever, because it tells you almost nothing of any real meaning about a person.

              A transsexual is a person in a fairly clear and relatively well-defined situation.

              Saying someone is transgender could mean just about anything.

              And certainly if you don’t agree with conventional notions of gender you’ll have a difficult time making any sense of the ‘transgender community’ if there even is such a thing.

              I know there is at least some coherence among various people that are considered ‘transgender’, but this almost seems a purely defensive reaction in trying to support each-other against the wider world, rather than a real acknowledgement that we necessarily have all that much in common.

              Oh, I did just remember, about those who choose not to transition surgically, I would guess that if this is entirely motivated by gender roles then that group would probably cease to exist if gender was no longer a concept anyone actually worried about.
              However, I think there’s also some groups that genuinely feel ambiguous, but also a few who are simply unhappy with the state of surgery at the moment.
              It’s far from perfect, and subjecting yourself to something that invasive when the results are not necessarily as good as you’d hope is a decision that has to be considered carefully.

              Anyway, I guess a lot of this depends on context. ‘Transgender’ is largely a concept dependent on the existence of fairly rigid gender roles, irrespective of what they are, or how many there are.
              Some of the groups that have been included under transgender somehow have issues above and beyond any actual gender roles, but at best that merely suggests which of these various concepts would simply evaporate if you got rid of gender, and which would still cause problems for people.

    • I also think you raise a good point about this “gendered personality” thing, but at the same time I don’t think that was the implication.

      When you said “That’s all the word “female” means to me,” I had to think – well, what about people who consider themselves female, but who were born with genitalia that wasn’t exactly a vagina? From my understanding and readings, something that might be intended to be a vagina might come out a little “deformed” (medically speaking) at birth, and thus might not seem like a vagina at all at first glance. If a woman is only defined by having a vagina, and an individual was born not with a penis, but not quite with what seems like a vagina, what then? The same issue arises with chromosomes.There seems to be just as slippery a slope in biology as there is in psychology.

      Additionally, while I do like the idea of breaking down gender binaries too, not everybody does, and this goes for transgender people as well. In an ideal world we could do away with it and all the crap that comes with it. But if you have someone who was born one gender and feels they are the other, if that’s how they identify themselves, it doesn’t seem right to tell them they should just live ambiguously, never use a public restroom labeled only M or only F, and have to explain to every government official why they refuse to check off M or F on the form.

      All this to say that I don’t think anyone meant “gendered brain,” but rather how you identify yourself in your brain and to others. :> Gender is a pretty big spectrum with so many facets it makes my head spin sometimes. Anyhow, I just wanted to share another perspective, I hope it didn’t come off the wrong way. ^^;

  6. I just had a mini heart attack. At first glance I thought she wanted us to boycott girlscout cookies because they WEREN’T letting transgender girls in. It’s unfortunate that she was raised to think this way and be discriminate, however I’m relieved that I can still eat my girlscout cookies this year guilt free. (Well, almost guilt free hah) Perhaps I’ll use this as an excuse to purchase MORE girlscout cookies than usual to make up for all the ones not bought by all the transphobic folk :)

    But on a more serious note, I’d say you’re exactly right, Laci. This girl feels uncomfortable and violated for understandable reasons, because she lacks education about transgender people. I think she just doesn’t realize that trans girls are indeed GIRLS. She doesn’t see it that way, she can’t get passed the physical form in front of her. I hope she takes an alternative view on this matter into consideration, and hopefully some day develops a better understanding.

  7. even if there is a chance of being a marketing scheme, i would still buy some on principal just in case there is a chance i actually am contributing to equality. it’s bad enough gays are struggling, it’s disgusting that people born different get put down. thanks for this post laci!

  8. I’m ‘hoping’ this is just reverse psychology to increase cookie profits from the non-straight community.

    I kinda identify in a strange way. I’m a male, no attraction to other males (But even I know Ryan Reynolds is perfect), attraction to very few women though. And the few women I’ve actually met in my life that I find truly beautiful aren’t like the ones on TV or in Movies, in fact those ones usually give me that ‘dirty’ vibe that puts me off.
    [Girls I know, that I like: photobucket.com/errantbeauties]

    But the thing is, when I… Well hell, its that kinda place. WHEN I MASTURBATE I “empathize” the feeling/pleasure of the girl getting pounded, instead of taking the guy’s perspective. Not anally, but I guess its probably my prostate that actually feels it when I get to it, but without any extra stimulation (ie: one hand on the pole, the other pushing along the top of my thigh). I have no idea what that makes me, I don’t imagine a guy or anything though, just the feeling. Like there’s just a black void in front of me and the feeling in that one spot.

    It might just be lack of sexual experience. Only ever did it once back when I was 19, wore a condom and couldn’t feel a thing except for the 3 times she purposely squeezed, I didn’t “finish” even after going 2 hours straight, and only stopped there because a cop interrupted. And there was of course the rare experimenting with objects when I was like 13 till 15. That didn’t feel anything like this.

    I’m not that popular with women. Nearly always friendzoned unless I take the forceful route, or at least it seems forceful compared to my usual nature. Grab a girl, pin her with her back against a wall, tell her “I wanna kiss you”, study her eyes for a second before they close in preparation, and for some reason I get my way. But I just rarely ever do that because that side of myself actually scares me, just the though of how different that is from how I usually act is so unnerving.

    • “I have no idea what that makes me” … it makes you closer to the middle of the gender continuum than maybe you’re thinking you “should” be.

      You might wanna check that domination thing. It may “work,” but examine closely why you’re doing it, and consider the fact that there may be an element of coercion. Some women are more resistant to that than others, but either way, it’s something you’d better think about before you try it on a girl who hasn’t yet figured out how to stand up for herself and thus put everyone in a real shitty situation.

  9. I’m surprised by your final comments about the boy scouts! I new things were different in the USA, but not quite so different. In Britain, we have Scouts, which is traditionally boys, but also accepts girls, and the Guides, which is exclusively girls. I’m a girl, but i’ve been a scout for 6 years and counting, and our group is very inclusive and non-judgemental. We’re a mix of boys and girls, probably more than half of us are atheist or agnostic, and sex & sexuality is surprisingly frankly discussed among us, both jokily and seriously. Last summer camp we spent severl hours discussing everything from periods to masturbation very frankly, in a mixed group. Even our leaders, two married blokes with daughters in the group, joke with us about them being a couple. We’re an explorer unit (age 14-18), so sex is often on our minds. On several camps, especially those with groups of scouts and guides from across the country have resulted in members of our group (including me!) having ‘liasons’ with random strangers. Our leaders trust us to be safe and responsible, and encourage us to make our own decisions about what’s best for us. On the issue of gay scouts and leaders, if girls are allowed in, and female leaders can serve, what’s the difference in allowing gay people to be part of the movement? I’d like to emphasise that not every group in the scout movement is bigoted, and certainly in britain, the vast majority are hugely accepting and friendly people.

  10. first off i agree that anyone can do/dress/act however they want.
    but i dont think the whole transgender thing does anyone any good mentally or physically, i mean if a guy feels like a girl or visa versa let him act like it/dress like it, let them be what they want to be, …

    but the surgery thing goes overboard, and in my eyes is merely self mutilation (same as someone going to the doctor asking their leg to be amputated while there’s nothing wrong with it) at wich point these people might need to be protected from themselves, even tho they have their genitalia destroyed and turned into something that looks like the other gender doesn’t make it so…

    your real sex is in your genes no matter what your head says or your body looks like, and to this day there’s nothing you can do about that. and eventually all these people are left with are mutilated genitalia, after a few years often still feeling something’s wrong, getting depressed and even try to commit suicide :( .

    in poor geek terms its a software problem* (*well i wouldn’t go so far as say its a problem but by lack of a better word) not a hardware problem*
    just like even tho it may temporarily make you feel better, punching/smashing your monitor wont fix your computer.

    if anything i think these people would be better off having some help to accept their bodies as they are, and themselves as who they are.

    then there’s the other thing, i dont think it helps that at a young age some people allready tell their kids that they’re a boy in a girls body (or visa versa) and start them on a hormonal treatment, let them be/act like they want see what comes from it and let them deside when they’re old enough, but messing with their hormones at such early age cant be healthy at all …

    ps: i dont understand america, so many people against gays/lesbians/etc
    yet they let people that feel like a clown freely dress and act like one …

    • I can’t find any girl scouts to buy cookies from!! Going forward I will happily go out of my way to support such a wonderful group.

      As for “the whole transgender thing” I find your reply, DLSS, simplistic and dismissive.

      Thankfully, what other people do with their genitalia is not up to you, or what you think. Nor should it be. Would you personally know the difference seeing someone post operation? No. It has even less to do with you than you originally thought now doesn’t it? Unless, of course, your a bit phobic yourself.

      Where are all your references to the people who have had surgery that resulted in depression, suicide, and attempted suicide?

      Of course smashing your monitor doesn’t help. Only a chimp would do that. Refurbishing it or replacing it to work with the rest of your system will. See how nicely that could work out? The best thing is, other people’s opinions won’t affect how it works. :)

      • how is it simplistic or dismissive ? i take it seriously, respect their choices, and think that they can act/dress/love/… however and whoever they want, but i’m also a realist, and think that no-one should practice any form of self harm … especially if irreparable

        phobic ? not at all as i said i dont have a problem with them or anyone for that matter, and i agree with you that its not my buisness what they eventually do, and i never claimed it was, i have however stated that it’s my opinion that such procedures do more harm then good and that in a lot of cases the feeling of something being wrong returns.

        as for knowing people irl i only know 2, 1 of which was a teacher (mtf).

        a lot of my opinion is base on what i’ve heard from them, heard from documentaries like those from telefacts, and some common sense …

        now if you could give these people a fully functioning version of the genitalia they want this probably wouldn’t be as much a problem in my eyes, but still people should be accepted, and accept themselves as who/how they are …

        • Ah, well, I can see where you might feel that way, but the damage of having to live with a body you think of as wrong is pretty high.
          And the reason people start with kids is because puberty causes a lot of irreversible changes.
          You might argue let the kid decide for themselves, but the thing is, forcing someone to go through a lot of irreversible physical changes they don’t want just because you don’t think they’re old enough to make up their own minds isn’t exactly a kindness either.

          Now you’ve made it more difficult for them to fit in, and more challenging to accomplish the changes they wanted, and you’re only reason for this was… ‘well, you might change your mind later’?

          Anyway, as for sex being in the genes, I find that to be one of the most flawed ideas of all.
          But then, I’ve looked into how human development works quite deeply, and it becomes evident why it’s flawed when you look at how it works.

          DNA isn’t what you are, it’s a blueprint for what you should be, if everything develops according to plan.

          Now, you might say then, obviously, someone with a ‘male’ blueprint is male then right?
          Well, yes, except there’s no such thing as a ‘male’ blueprint.

          The DNA of a human being contains 46 chromosomes, arranged into 23 pairs. Each chromosome in a pair is entirely redundant, containing a different variant of the instructions for the same thing as it’s counterpart. This helps compensate for faults on one or the other chromosome.

          However, there is a 24th pair that varies by sex. Faults aside, men have an XY pair, and women an XX pair. The XX pair is like all other pairs, fully redundant. The in the XY pair, the Y chromosome is almost entirely faulty, containing almost no useful information. (One reason why things like colour blindness is much more common among men. – the genes involved are on the X chromosome, which has no spare in men.)

          Ok, so what has that got to do with a person’s sex though? Well, if the Y chromosome is so useless, where does the information to make someone ‘male’ actually come from?
          The answer is it’s distributed along the entire genome. Just like all the information needed to make someone female.

          Thus, everyone, regardless of sex has the full instructions needed to make them either sex. The only thing that happens is that the Y chromosome has a little trigger on it that sets off a set of things to enable all of the ‘male’ development stuff, and disable all the things that would otherwise make a person female.

          But… There’s a pretty long list of things that all have to be set in motion to make that change happen properly.

          Comparing it to a computer program would imply it’s a program designed to create humans of either sex, with a single-bit trigger and a lot of options along the way.

          But if the computer running said program fails to read those handful of triggers incorrectly, can you really argue that what results isn’t really whatever sex it would seem because the instructions claim otherwise?

          That seems the least reasonable definition I can think of.

          Having a penis making you male, and having a vagina making you female, I can follow the logic of. Being male or female depending on how you act seems a little dubious, but at least it has a practical basis.
          But saying your genes tell you what sex you really are, in spite of more immediate and practical concerns seems kind of silly. (Also genes don’t really seem to work that way anyway.)

          • I started to lose you in the last few paragraphs, but my distillation of the basic point is that sex isn’t binary (ie, implied by the presence or absence of a Y chromosome, assuming XX to be the default). Of course not. But the variance is almost certainly not just in the “triggers” but also in the code, AND possibly in the environment (think androgen exposure during pregnancy).

            Sexual preference is a continuum. For something as complex as “sex” to be truly binary would be far more unusual than for it to be a continuum as well. We in the USA conflate sex and gender and then assume they’re both binary because gender is a social construct.

            Our forebears have done some bullshit constructin’. The human race has many more colors than black and white. :)

            • I very much doubt there’s any meaningful variance in the ‘code’ as you put it, because most if not all of the code between males and females is outright identical.

              Think about it for a moment… Where is the variation going to come from? 50% of your genetic code comes from your mother, and 50% from your father.
              If there were distinct differences between ‘male’ and ‘female’ genetic code, that would mean any child would by definition end up with 50% male, and 50% female genetics… Which, after several generations would simply result in a random mix of ‘male’ and ‘female’ genetics regardless of your actual sex.

              The Y chromosome is the only uniquely identifiable sex-linked chromosomal difference, and all the research I’ve read on the matter (admittedly not a huge amount), shows it doesn’t really code for much of anything.
              Worse still, women have 2 X chromosomes, and by the nature of how chromosome pairs work, all men have whatever instructions women have on their X chromosome.

              It seems incredibly unlikely there are actual bits of code (beyond the most trivial of instructions), that only one of the sexes has.
              Far more likely that some of it just gets turned on or off as appropriate. (To go with a programming example it’s more like conditional compilation than it is like having two actual distinct, independent computer programs.)

              The environment on the other hand is definitely a big factor. Most of the research on intersex conditions points to the hormonal exposure during two key points in pregnancy.

              Of course, whether this ‘environment’ is caused by the mother, or by the foetus itself is another question. (Both, most likely.).

              As to the logic of binary thinking… Yeah, we’re pretty messed up like that. You only have to consider the old racist ‘one drop’ arguments to see that… Because apparently, even having 1% black ancestry makes you black, but having 99% white ancestry still doesn’t make you white.

  11. WOAH WOAH WOAH!!! idk about u but im a boy scout and i have achieved the rank of eagle and even at the board meeting to which u must pass, they do not discriminate against religion or sexuality, there are tons of atheists in my troop and no one cares and even in my other friend’s troop they have like a handful of gay guys! sooo idk where ur gettin ur info from…:P

  12. The video’s been taken down, so I couldn’t see it for myself (though I’m not entirely sure if I’d want to).

    It’s really amazing to hear what the Girl Scouts are doing – one more step to acceptance and equality for everyone! It’s a shame, though – from the sounds of it, she does want it to be a “woman’s space” in a good way. But her feelings that that’s being violated to me echoes the cries that “gay marriage violates the meaning of our heterosexual marriages,” and I find that a shame. Why would you feel *less* by being inclusive of people unlike you? Why would that put you or your beliefs in danger? You don’t have any less value by including others.

    Anyhow, power to the Girl Scouts – I hope this only continues. The Boy Scouts have a thing or two to learn from them!

  13. I am a Girl Guide- the UK equivalent. I just thought it might be helpful to point out that at the moment our promise doesn’t allow for atheism either, just like Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts. However, the girl guide promise is under review, so fingers crossed. Fingers crossed too, that the American Scout people follow suit…

  14. Funny, boy scouts in Ontario accepts gays, atheists, and even girls! Go Canada!

    (The pledge still mentions God though, but they say it’s not for an actual deity if you don’t want it to be one. On the website, they say it’s solely for tradition)

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