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In Defense of the Girl Scouts

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The Indiana State Congress recently moved to pass a seemingly-innocent resolution celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts, and all the organization has done for American women. The resolution, unsurprisingly, had almost total support -- with the exception of one man, Rep. Bob Morris. Morris declined supporting it, instead saying in a letter to his fellow congressmen that the majority of the women the Girl Scouts consider role models are "feminists, lesbians or Communists," and that the organization is rampantly "sexualizing young girls" with a radical, pro-homosexuality agenda with goals similar to that of Planned Parenthood.

Now, I was an active Girl Scout for over seven years. While I was in the troop, I did a lot of things that were, at the time, strange and different for me -- such as taking a karate class, Christmas caroling at the nursing home and learning how to camp. I wasn't -- as Rep. Morris seems to believe -- taught how to be a liberal or forced to become a Planned Parenthood supporter. In fact, the only time the troop ever even mentioned politics was when we talked about why it's important to vote and what "radical women" like Betsy Ross and Susan B. Anthony accomplished in their lives.

In a statement to his fellow congress members, Morris alluded to the Girl Scouts' recent decision to allow a young 7-year-old transgender self-identifying girl into a troop in Colorado, with the organization eventually deciding that the Girl Scouts were open to having any members that identified as girls and desired to be in it. As for the criticism that the Scouts sexualizes young girls (because, you know, there's nothing more sexualizing than merit badges), the Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana Michiana released a statement clarifying that the organization believes its role is to "help girls develop self-confidence and good decision-making skills that will help them make wise choices in all areas of their lives," and that they leave all matters regarding human sexuality, birth control and abortion up to the parents to address.

Rep. Morris, there are a heck of a lot of things in this world that we can consider a threat to America -- terrorists, fast food chains, nuclear weapons, the list goes on. But the only thing radical about the Girl Scouts are their cookie prices. Young girls today are growing up in a scary, scary world -- every day, the news is filled with stories of bullying in schools, and even the Disney Channel stars are baring all just to get attention. In this kind of landscape, the Girl Scouts of America serves a truly unique function -- it's a place for kids to just be kids. Through meetings, activities and community service, these young girls develop a moral compass, are inspired by positive role models and meet people who may be very different from them, thus broadening their entire worldview -- and making each and every girl involved feel a little more special in the process. If these are the kind of things that Rep. Morris thinks are bad for America, then I am terrified to hear what he thinks our country actually does need. Through the past one hundred years, the Girl Scouts has fostered generations of powerful, inspired female leaders. And, hopefully, they can continue to foster many, many more.

Plus, any organization that can come up with something as heavenly as Samoa cookies can be nothing but great news for our country.