Advocate for the Girls

Life Story Club Contributor

Okay. So that’s me, and that’s my mom, and that’s my dad. And I’m God knows how many months old there. But I figured, let’s start at the very beginning. And I thought I would do that. And as you’re getting a good shot of my hand as I move the camera back. So, anyway. What I want to talk about. You asked about a question about what have I supported. And what I’m supporting now is… the girls becoming Eagle Scouts in the Boy Scouts of America. I have been since I’ve…or since 2009 at least, if not earlier. A good friend of mine, her name is Sydney Ireland. And this Thursday, she’s having her official border review for the Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scout. When she was 4-years-old, quatro años… pequeña niña, her older brother who is four years older, quatro años older, was a Cub Scout. And she wanted to be a Cub Scout.

And so she became sort of an unofficial Cub Scout mascot you know, kid sister running around. As she got older and saw that her brother had moved into Boy Scouts where he could advance to Eagle Scout, and then get all kinds of really great rewards like scholarship applications, and potential things like that, and recognition for leadership skills -she wanted to do that. And she couldn’t understand why when she went to the girl scouts, there was nothing that aligned with the veneration that the Eagle Scout award has for the Boy Scouts.

So she said, “Well let me in. Let me become a Boy Scout.” And there was precedent there within the Boy Scouts for admitting girls and women to be an Explorer. There was a division of scouting for teenagers called Explorers. Today it’s a lot mature. 
And you can be… they shed boys and girls together. Now, they dismiss that for the Boy Scouts themselves. So now, she has…because of her campaign which was endorsed by Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, the Presbyterian of New York, National Organization for Women NYC, and a host of other important officials and other humans, the Boy Scouts have now allowed girls and young women to join. However, they put serious restrictions on it.

At first, instead of opening doors to every girl who wanted to show up and join immediately, the way they did for disabled scouts and boys that were of the LGB, you know, gay scouts, is that they said, “Oh no. We’re gonna overload the troops.” The Boy Scout troops and the Cub packs. So they only started with Cub Scouts. And they made girls wait a full year after they were eligible to be Cub Scouts.

And then instead of honoring the first female Eagle Scouts, the way they honored the first gay Eagle Scout, the way they honored the first disabled Eagle Scout… the way they’ve done it internationally where they…in the first. They’ve lumped all the girls into a herd, into a class, where there’s no recognition for the first. And I’m sorry, but on the heels of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, the timing to be anti-young girls is just not there in my head. Especially since this centennial of the freedom for all women to participate in all elections at the national and local level.

Because while some women were allowed to vote in the territories like Nebraska and Wyoming when they were building the states, they still were not allowed to vote for the president of the United States. Even back when they gave the… or enabled African Americans to vote, it was just for African American men. All right? I mean, African American men got the right to vote prior to women of all flesh tones, all backgrounds to vote. And it wasn’t until 1920 when my mother’s mother was 26 she was able to cast her first vote. My father’s mother was only 15. She had to wait till she was 21 which is another 6 years later or 7 years later.

But the point of the matter is, they were keeping the women down. The fact that Sydney has broken through that glass ceiling, the pink ceiling of the Boy Scouts, and is now on the threshold of reaching her dream and her goal to be an Eagle just like her older brother is heartwarming to me. Especially heartwarming to her dad who was unfortunately widowed about a year and a half ago. So it’s been like, you know all kinds of other extenuating circumstances. So that’s what I’ve been doing as far as, you know, carrying forward. And I’m happy to do that, you know? 

Okay. So that's me, and that's my mom, and that's my dad. And I'm God knows how many months old there. But I figured, let's start at the very beginning. And I thought I would do that. And ...

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