Sisterhood Blog

The Right's Latest Target: Girl Scouts

By Sarah Seltzer

  • Print
  • Share Share
Columbia Pictures

The Girl Scouts have long been synonymous with wholesome American girlhood, with their cookies and their uniforms and their appearance in a late ‘80s movie with Shelley Long. But recently they’ve come under attack because some affiliates have decided that young girls on the cusp of puberty might want to know the facts of life, based on science, evidence, and individual choice — the of healthy, judgment-free ethos that Planned Parenthood promotes.

The problem is that Planned Parenthood, once championed by the likes of the Bush family and Richard Nixon, is now public enemy #1. After efforts to defund and discredit the storied institution have taken root, suddenly the health provider has become a pariah. And now those opposed to Planned Parenthood using a single brochure from the organizations to make the case that the Girl Scouts possess a “radical feminist” mission to corrupt the young women of America. And, what, turn them into tolerant, self-assured, confident young women in charge of their own sexuality? Heaven forbid.

The scandal du jour comes courtesy of two former Scouts, the Volanski sisters, now being backed up by several major anti-choice organization after they started a blog dedicated to exposing the Scout’s supposed secret agenda. According to The Daily Beast’s Alizah Salario:

They say this agenda’ includes everything from providing information about reproductive health and birth control, to lauding leaders like Margaret Mead and Hillary Clinton.

Will the horrors never cease? The Volanskis’ accusation that has caught on in the conservative media is that the Scouts took a select group of young women to a United Nations conference on the status of women, at which they accessed information about reproductive rights and safe sex via a brochure printed by the International Planned Parenthood Federation called “”Happy, Healthy, and Hot.”

It’s worth noting that the Girl Scouts have attracted negative attention in the past for offering sex ed, as well as individual events honoring labor leaders and the lesbian folk duo the Indigo Girls — all tame transgressions, to be sure. The real horror here is not what the Girl Scouts are doing, but how right-wingers lobbing around Planned Parenthood as a smear has become acceptable instead of laughable.

As for how the Girl Scouts leadership has responded to this controversy from their former ranks? They praised these two girls for speaking their minds and advocating their cause, evidence of good Girl Scout values.

“…[W]e will continue to support girls who care deeply about an issue and have the courage to stand up and take action,” GSUSA spokeswoman Michelle Tompkins told The Daily Beast, “even if we do not agree with what they say.”

That’s the last straw. Thanks to the Volanskis and their rabble-rousing, I’m convinced. Instead of nodding and smiling at the mention of the Girl Scouts, I’m actually going to consider recommending the program to the young women I know — just as soon as they stop putting palm oil in their cookies, for which they’re also attracting heat from another pair of scouts.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Girl Scouts, Planned Parenthood

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.