Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Scouts Do Lead People Forward, After All

This is actually the most awesome thing I've heard about a kids' social activity in a long time: the Girl Scouts are allowing transgendered boys to join as girls. The second most awesome thing is that the usual bigots are losing their shit in exactly the ways you'd predict from something like this - I found out about this from the American Family Association, whose 'call to action' (read: 'oh no people are moving further from the 1950s and megachurches') email list I've hooked into for laughs.

The seven-year-old's name is Bobby Montoya, and she (biologically the kid's a boy, but identifies as a girl and frankly at that age there's no real difference) was initially rejected by the Girl Scouts of Colorado because of plumbing that won't be anyone's business for at least another eight or nine years:

“I said, ‘Well, what’s the big deal,'” Bobby’s mother, Felisha Archuleta, told KUSA. “She said, ‘It doesn’t matter how he looks. He has boy parts, and he can’t be in Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts don’t allow that [and] I don’t want to be in trouble by parents or my supervisor.'"

Hey, bureaucracy used as a thin veil over something that looks a fuck of a lot like pointless biological determinism. Who'd have thought? Only problem for this buttcloud is that the Girl Scouts as an organisation actually doesn't see it that way, and takes a much more accepting approach to the whole thing: the Girl Scouts of Colorado have released a statement saying that that's bull and the kid is welcome to join.

“We accept all girls in kindergarten through 12th grade as members. If a child identifies as a girl and the child's family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout,” according to the statement.

“Our requests for support of transgender kids have grown, and Girl Scouts of Colorado is working to best support these children, their families and the volunteers who serve them," the statement continued. "In this case, an associate delivering our program was not aware of our approach. She contacted her supervisor, who immediately began working with the family to get the child involved and supported in Girl Scouts. We are accelerating our support systems and training so that we're better able to serve all girls, families and volunteers."

That troop leader had better be fucking grateful. The organisation's just covered their arse out of the goodness of their hearts, even if it was an honest mistake - for one thing, a troop leader in an organisation that looks after young children had BETTER know all the fuckin' rules. On the other hand, if it wasn't an accident, and the troop leader was actually discriminating against the kid based on their own ideas of biological determinism rather than following the Scouts' rules, then the Scouts had better give the motherfucker a long talking-to.

And as usual, there's some motherfucker who's declaring this to be dangerous. How dare children play together!

But others think the Girl Scouts should be more steadfast in its policies, letting boys be boys and girls be girls.

To cross that line “is child sexual abuse, the violation of children’s genetic reality aided by a society that is reverting back to the dark," said Judith A. Reisman, visiting professor of law at Liberty University School of Law. "If he has male parts, he is a male. The children in a given society always reflect its belief systems. Until the 1950s the Western world was built and run by adults largely clear about their sexuality and their beliefs. People used to ask which is stronger, nature or nurture. Now we are so 'smart' we don’t even know we have a nature.”

I love the fucking false equivalency there. Letting kids be kids means ignoring that they're doomed to have sinful sexual thoughts about other people when they grow up!

Fox News' Keith Ablow, a fucking retard in his own right and a self-proclaimed 'doctor' with no actual medical qualifications (with a history of this shit - when that transgendered dancer Chaz Bono was on Dancing With The Stars, Ablow compared being transgendered to anorexia and cutting off one's own legs) has weighed in on this too. Starting with "I know a lot of experts will disagree with me" - because they're experts after all, they know what they're talking about - called this "a form of abuse" and said it should be stopped until more data was available on what potential harm it could do (because, y'know, there are ways to gather data on things without observation of their effects. Rush Limbaugh's never looked at something before complaining about it in his life).

“On the face of it, it seems to be expecting far too much psychologically of young girls to ignore the anatomy of a boy and act as though he is a girl," Ablow said. "The girls are just developing comfort with their own bodies, after all.”

How fucking loony is this man? He thinks these seven-year-olds won't be able to play together because THE GIRLS WON'T BE ABLE TO STOP THINKING ABOUT THE BOY'S PENIS. Because even that early in life, as far as Ablow's concerned, that's all women should focus on.