Boy Scouts of America announced on Wednesday plans to allow girls to join its Cub Scout program and to develop a scouting program for older girls that would enable them to reach the rank of Eagle Scout. Responses to the news have been ... mixed to say the least.
There are a number of perspectives at play ― from traditionalists who consider the move a triumph of “political correctness” to girls’ empowerment advocates who worry about the decision’s effect on the Girl Scouts of the USA and the girl-centered curriculum and leadership the organization offers.
On Twitter, many have expressed their support and criticism for a variety of reasons.
Some people are praising this decision as a step toward equality and inclusiveness.
Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts are two different orgs w/ two different approaches. Both are great, but I like that girls have a choice now.— Charles Clymer️ (@cmclymer) October 11, 2017
As a former Boy Scout, I’m happy BSA is admitting girls that want to join, and also happy my daughter loves the Girl Scouts.— Ryan Godfrey (@rgodfrey) October 11, 2017
Many parents with sons in Boy Scouts of America programs say they already bring their daughters to meetings and events, and that this change will be a great way to let these girls fully participate and let people get involved in scouting as a family.
Several parents also said BSA’s curriculum is more suited to their daughters’ interests.
My daughter never wanted to do Girl Scouts, but when her brother joined Cub Scouts she went to his meetings and events. Different interests.— Nancy Meister (@grimalkin65) October 11, 2017
I'm heavily involved in scouting. I'm in favor of this. Glad my daughter will be able to participate with her brothers.— SeeUinHell, Johnny! (@SeeUinHellJohny) October 11, 2017
My daughter REALLY wants to make a pinewood derby car, which I think is wonderful.https://t.co/UgWNeHhSSs— Spencer Kellis (@spencerkellis) October 11, 2017
My oldest daughter was very disappointed in Girl Scouts after seeing what her brothers got to do in Boy Scouts.— John Taznar (@Taznari) October 11, 2017
My experience in Girl Scouts Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts is that my daughter had more fun with her brothers than in her own troop— Melissa (@myssissippi) October 11, 2017
My daughter hated Girl Scouts, but loved going with her brother to Boy Scouts and the activities. Much better coordinated than Girl Scouts— CocoWalz (@cocowal2913) October 11, 2017
And it's not like girls weren't already attending some pack or den meetings already. But not officially. That was some Mad Men bullshit.— Arnaud H (@arnaudh) October 11, 2017
May switch my daughter from Girl Scouts to Boy Scouts. Less cookies, more camping.— carlita spookita (@NautilusCarly) October 11, 2017
On the other hand, there are those who see this change as a distressing rejection of tradition.
I am an Eagle Scout— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) October 11, 2017
Only boys should be in Boy Scouts
Only girls should be in Girl Scouts
Don't change things that work
SHAME ON THEM! Where's the tradition anymore? Isn't girl scouts enough for girls & boy scouts enough for boys? https://t.co/9PbQ57Jdpa— gypsySoul (@DigitalpicsSoul) October 11, 2017
So we guess that the honor and tradition of scouting is out the window now also. Now girls in boy scouts.isnt this why they had girl scouts?— Red Blooded American (@ImNoSnowflake) October 11, 2017
@boyscouts I worked hard to earn my Eagle Scout rank years ago, and now you gut its prestige in the name of gender equality?— Brian Catton (@brianjcatton) October 11, 2017
Many conservatives and traditionalists have also blamed “the left” and “social justice warriors” for the BSA’s decision.
The Left ruined the NFL, comedy, colleges, movies, and the Boy Scouts. They ruin every damn thing they touch.— The Columbia Bugle (@ColumbiaBugle) October 11, 2017
Boy Scouts lost me a long time ago when they banned water fights because they are "unkind." Wouldn't want to promote hyper masculinity!— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) October 11, 2017
Apparently, caving to gender politics is a virtue in the Boy Scouts.— Mark Pantano (@TheMarkPantano) October 11, 2017
You had a nice run.
Too bad you voluntarily destroyed yourselves. https://t.co/zeXzcyY7sl
Boy Scouts will allow girls to become members.— GRANT J. KIDNEY (@GrantJKidney) October 11, 2017
Um... why not just join Girl Scouts?
Answer: ‘social justice’.
However, others theorized that the decision was less politically motivated and more due to declining membership.
Not sure if Boy Scouts is opening its ranks to girls because of "inclusivity" or because of declining membership due to video games...hmmm— Lauren Cooley (@laurenacooley) October 11, 2017
Rivals fighting over a shrinking demographic. Boy Scouts declining 4% a year. Easier to recruit from Girl Scouts than to innovate— focariis (@focariis) October 11, 2017
Boy Scouts membership peaked 30 years ago and has been declining since then. Let’s not pretend they’re extremely relevant right now pic.twitter.com/0pTd4kIjUA— Ryan Dougherty (@ryanfdoc) October 11, 2017
Some Twitter users have pointed out the BSA’s less-than-stellar track record when it comes to gay rights, religious tolerance and sex abuse. Though the BSA has taken steps to right past wrongs, the Girl Scouts of the USA typically has a more progressive reputation.
they still don't like atheists, host pedophiles, and have some not great attitudes on gay folk. I know progress is incremental but...nah...— Fae McSinnes (@theJayeMcInnes) October 11, 2017
And what Dad in his right mind would put his daughter around the molester scout leaders in Boy Scouts?— Call me Rickye (@Under6ftNoBeard) October 11, 2017
no thank u to Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts promote diversity and equality. All faiths, religions, or no religion welcomed in GS.— Maith (@jmflatham) October 11, 2017
Many girls’ empowerment advocates are concerned about this decision’s effect on the Girl Scouts of the USA, which focuses on developing “courage, confidence and character” in girls and helping young women become leaders in their communities.
I don't find it awesome, actually...the Girl Scouts are such a strong, powerful place for so many girls. I'd hate to see that diluted.— Erin Altman (@AltmanErin) October 11, 2017
As a former Girl Scout, I'm torn. I suppose it feels like it may be diluting the girl scout's mission of the empowerment of young women.— Kerri McGinty (@mcginty_kerri) October 11, 2017
I’d need a lot more assurance that Boy Scouts is an org whose values align with what I want for my daughter. So no.— impliedobserver (@impliedobserver) October 11, 2017
FYI, I'd rather send my son to Girl Scouts than send my daughter to Boy Scouts.— Sara Manela (@MidianiteManna) October 11, 2017
I was a proud Girl Scout. So is my daughter. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I don't want the history & tradition of Girl Scouts gone.— Buttercup ️ (@ButtercupPB) October 11, 2017
Why? The Girl Scouts is a great organization that centers and empowers girls. Why would it be better for them to be in the Boy Scouts?— Mary Foster (@marylynne1) October 11, 2017
On a lighter note, many Twitter users are taking the opportunity to make “Parks and Recreation” references.
Everyone should pls refer to the Pawnee Goddess / Pawnee Ranger debate of season 4 episode 4 of parks and rec bc it nailed this issue pic.twitter.com/fZHh85q1Xc— Tracy Black (@tracyblackbird) October 11, 2017
Thrilled to hear girls will be able to become Eagle Scouts, but personally I'd still choose to be a Pawnee Goddess. pic.twitter.com/HpEDaYqbbp— President Knope (@POTUSKnope) October 11, 2017
I think the girls who are thinking about joining the boy scouts should consider other groups like Girl Scouts or the Pawnee Goddesses.— Bryan Mortensen (@Bemorte) October 11, 2017
Although Parks and Rec seems to have anticipated this with the whole "Pawnee Rangers becoming Pawnee Goddesses" episode: pic.twitter.com/Q1Pbgpgyz9— Josh-O'-Lantern (@joshuaray) October 11, 2017
Could this potentially affect recruiting for the Pawnee Goddesses? https://t.co/22IiNcswCa— Ben Mc (@McMurtch) October 11, 2017
Girl Scouts of the USA has yet to release a statement about the decision and did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.