Today with co-ed college dormitories, gender-neutral public restrooms, football teams containing both male and female players and other cases of melding (forcing) the two sexes together, at least the “Boy” and“Girl” Scouts are still intact.
But wait, this just in: Even that will be changing with a recent announcement by Boy Scout officials that their organization will begin accepting females within their ranks, thus ending a 100-year tradition of no girls allowed. This initiative also will include establishing a program for older girls to earn their Eagle Scout Awards.
On the surface, this might sound like a worthy move to make the Boy Scout membership more all-inclusive and welcome to everyone interested in joining.
However, it just doesn’t make sense when viewed in the same vein as football programs, for example, which don’t have teams specifically for girls. By the way, my opinion on that is, if a girl has a genuine love for the game and truly wants to play, then more power to her.
The same goes for formerly all-male military schools such as VMI and The Citadel. Society might question why a member of the gentler sex would want to subject herself to the rigorous physical training and other activities of those harsh environments. Again, though, if a young woman truly wants to go that route (as opposed to simply wanting to invade a traditional male domain), why should anybody gripe?
My problem with what Boy Scout officials are doing is that it is not a courageous attempt to be white knights in shining armor by admitting girls, or supposedly trying to make things easier for parents with multiple children who can have them in a single club. It’s a self-serving gesture on their part, given that Boy Scout enrollment has steadily declined for years.
The latest Boy Scout decision comes on the heels of one earlier this year to allow transgender boys to join the organization and another in 2015 to open up leadership positions to “open and avowed homosexuals.”
While there might not be all-female football teams or military schools for girls to enroll in, such a predicament does not exist with scouting due to the presence of the Girl Scout organization, which has branches in every corner of America. It only stands to suffer from the recent Boy Scout decision.
Another bothersome element to that move is it reinforces a left wing emphasis today on promoting a single-gender society where someone is neither a girl nor a boy. They can’t just be who they are based on the sex they were born with; they supposedly also can adopt the opposite one if they so choose.
In addition to diluting the Boy Scouts’ traditional role, permitting girls to join further plays into the notion among some that it’s bad to be a boy and devalues their individuality in an age where great care is exercised to safeguard everyone else’s identity.
It’s as if allowing boys to have a club all to themselves to revel in some “guy time” somehow is akin to gangs and will lead to them growing up to be sexual predators, barbarians or worse.
Assuming there is any basis for such fears, it’s all the more reason to make sure young men have an outlet that exposes them to worthwhile programs led by positive role-models, which allows scouts to channel their “boyness” in a productive direction.
So why can’t we just let boys be boys and vice versa without injecting all this social engineering and political correctness into the equation? First and foremost, they both deserve the right to just enjoy being a kid, while they can.
Youthful members of both sexes will grow up soon enough and face all the contradictions and turmoil of the world in which we live, and in the meantime people shouldn’t be forcing it on them before their time.
Will the Boy Scouts decision to admit girls lead to one by the Girl Scouts to let boys enroll? If that proves to be the case, we might as well do away with each of those organizations and convert them into one unisex scouting entity.
That would be a grave disservice to the unique, well-tailored attention both give to their respective members at an impressionable time in their lives. If Girl Scouts want to do more “guy things” such as camping, and Boy Scouts desire to learn more “girl things” such as cooking, it makes more sense for the individual scouting groups to add such components rather than destroying their identities.
After all, the goal of any youth organization should include teaching members to become better adults — not only instilling in them the distinct skills to be good moms and dads, but good people as well.
Tom Joyce is a staff writer for The Mount Airy News. He may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.