Sunday, January 15, 2012

Girl Scouts Get It Right, Trigger Reaction

It's Sunday morning, I've got a full pot of coffee, WPFW is on, the dogs have been out, and I am thinking about the Girl Scouts' acceptance of transgender girls and the firestorm it provoked.

You don't have to know a whole lot to respect someone's differences from you, but in this case it is probably useful to review some concepts. When you are born the doctor holds you up and looks you over and decides that you are a boy or a girl, based on visible anatomical features. This information is entered on your birth certificate and becomes a basic fact about your life from that moment forward. For most people this is never a problem, but some small proportion of individuals discover over time that the initial assignment just doesn't fit them. The sense of gender does not just come from what you have been told about yourself, it also derives from the immediate, subjective way you feel. It may seem odd to believe you are one sex when your physical body indicates otherwise, but if you talk to someone who has experienced this you realize they aren't joking, they aren't hallucinating, this is real for them, they know what they are and it is not what that first pediatrician said they were.

People whose gender was correctly assigned are called cisgender, where the Latin prefix "cis" means "to the near side" -- the opposite of "trans." Those people who discover as they mature that they have been mistakenly assigned are called transgender. And by the way, that is an adjective, it is not a noun, you don't say "Mary is a transgender," you say "Mary is a transgender person" or "Mary is transgender." While we're at it, since it is an adjective it doesn't require an "ed" on the end, there are not "transgendered" people any more than there are "gayed" or "straighted" people. Gender identity is who you are, not who you are attracted to, which is sexual orientation; those are two independent dimensions.

It is not unusual for transgender people to know their identity at an early age. It shouldn't be necessary to say this, but when a girl plays with trucks, when a boy plays with dolls, when children dress up, there is no reason to believe it indicates anything more than a good imagination. A child may or may not be able to express verbally the fact that they are not what they seem to be, there is no reason to jump to any conclusion, one way or the other. In an environment that does not judge them, children can feel free to express and explain themselves in good time -- it is for them to discover their identity through living, not for others to impose it.

I am talking about this because the Girl Scouts of America have recently had to consider what to do when a transgender seven-year-old girl -- reported here and in the national media as "a boy who likes girl things" -- wanted to join the Girl Scouts in Colorado. The local GSA chapter accepted the child, who then decided not to join. In the meantime, predictably, three Girl Scout troops at a Christian school in Louisiana disbanded in protest.

According to the Washington Post
Michelle Tompkins, a national Girl Scouts spokeswoman, said the organization “prided itself on being an inclusive organization serving girls from all walks of life”

“We handle cases involving transgender children on a case by case basis with a focus on ensuring the welfare and best interests of the child in question and the other girls in the troop as our highest priority,” she said.

Pretty cool.

This led, next, to the appearance on YouTube of a video where a young woman speaks out against transgender kids in Girl Scouts and calls for a cookie boycott. This is dumb but I'm going to show it to you anyway:

The robotic girl on the video stares into the camera (sometimes glancing at her script) and says, "Did you know that in October 2011 the Girl Scouts admitted that they allow transgender boys from kindergarten through the twelfth grade?" In fact, the whole video is bizarre, it entirely assumes that the viewer will be horrified by the thought of a transgender girl participating in the scouts. The Girl Scouts did not "admit" anything, and they do not allow "transgender boys" into the Girl Scouts, they accept transgender girls; transgender boys should sign up for Boy Scouts if they want a scouting experience.

I think we are supposed to believe that a transgender girl is really a sex-crazed boy who has figured out a way to sneak into the girls' tents, and that is absurd. If you do not make that assumption, the whole video is nothing, it is just a girl talking about the fact that the Girl Scouts have an inclusive policy. Her use of words like "admitted", and the placement of implicative text on the screen -- this video has been produced to look home-made but it's not -- are designed to imply that there is something wrong with the Girl Scouts admitting transgender members, but it is not clear what the problem is supposed to be. If you believe that "boys will be boys" nudge-wink then you might find this new fact disturbing; if you trust that the GSA leadership will make sensible decisions then there is simply no story here. There are transgender Girl Scouts, learning good values and skills in a fun environment, along with the other girls.

I think this was news because she calls for a cookie boycott-- this video got a lot of publicity. Because the Girl Scouts include transgender youth we are suppose to turn down our Thin Mints this year and shortchange our local troop. Great idea.

Compare the script-reading zombie Girl Scout to this one:

That is more like it.

This year the Maryland legislature will almost certainly be considering a bill to ensure equal rights for transgender people. You can be sure that the shower-nuts are going to be out in force, trying to convince the public that women will be in danger if gender-identity discrimination is prohibited. Their usual argument is that such a law will allow men to go into women's showers and restrooms, where they will ogle and molest women. The fact that this has never happened in any of the hundreds of locations with nondiscrimination laws does not deter them; logic is not their strong suit, you might say.

Through all this it will be difficult to keep cool heads. You can figure that a bill passed by the legislature is almost sure to face a referendum effort, which will require a massive public education campaign, since most voters don't know anything about gender identity. It is a good idea for conscientious citizens to take some time now to get up to speed, to learn a little something about our transgender neighbors, so we will be able to endure the inevitable onslaught of hateful propaganda without letting good values of fairness and respect get washed away in the flood of irrational fear.


Anonymous svelte_brunette said...

Between last night and this morning I’ve watched a couple of dozen videos regarding the attempt to generate a boycott of Girl Scout cookies. So far, I’ve only found one that indicated they were joining the boycott, one that was offended by the blatant discrimination but otherwise wasn’t quite sure what to think, and the remainder encouraged buying even more.

Who knows, it could be a banner year for cookie sales thanks to this young lady!

Have a nice day,

Thin Mint Cyn

January 16, 2012 10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, cinco, I've already put my order in and am not withdrawing

I personally think boycotts should be reserved for really evil stuff, like to stop those who fund abortion

that being said, I doubt the boycotts will cause a significant increase in sales

there is a new 100th cookie out this year so that may but I doubt it

this is a non-story

January 16, 2012 12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thin Mint Brownies

• 1/2 box of crushed Thin Mints Girl Scout Cookies
• 1 box of brownie mix
• 2 eggs (3 eggs for cake-like brownies)
• 1/4 cup of water
• 1/2 cup of vegetable oil

Crush Thin Mints into medium size chunks. Mix all ingredients into mixing bowl. Do not use electric mixer — batter will be stiff. Spread batter evenly in greased baking pan (13 x 9 x 2 inch). Bake in center of oven at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting. Serve with mint-flavored tea.

Yields 6 servings


January 16, 2012 11:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

remember, this is a TTF blog

you forgot the six grinded tabs of LSD

January 17, 2012 12:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's funny that the only commenter to talk about drug use is the showernut.

"Anonymouse's" hallucinations are something else.

January 17, 2012 8:19 AM  
Anonymous svelte_brunette said...

In regards to the Thin Mint Brownie recipe… I LOVE Thin Mints. Good walnut brownies are a close second, so this sounds delicious.

I only see one problem with the recipe.

Whenever I’ve had a Thin Mint in my hand, the next place it goes is invariably into my mouth. I don’t see how they’re going to make it into a bowl to get crushed. It would seem to require a violation of the laws of physics.

Have a nice day,



January 17, 2012 10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's another one you might like, Thin Mint Cyn!

Chocolate Thin Mint Pizza Supreme


1 pkg. (18 oz.) refrigerated chocolate chunk cookie dough
1/2 pkg. (19 cookies) Girl Scout Thin Mints
1/2 cup white chocolate morsels
Vanilla ice cream, optional


Press cookie dough evenly in the bottom of an ungreased 12-inch pizza pan or a 13x9x2-inch baking pan. (Dough will barely cover the pan.) Break Thin Mints into halves or thirds; press cookie pieces into dough, covering evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Place white chocolate morsels into a small self-closing bag. Microwave the bag of morsels on MEDIUM HIGH (70% power) for 40 to 50 seconds or until melted. Snip one corner (about 1/8 inch) off the bottom of the bag. Hold bag tightly at top and drizzle white chocolate stripes over top of pizza. When cool, cut pizza into 8 or 10 wedges. If desired, top each serving with a scoop of ice cream.

Makes:8 to 10 servings

Submitted By: ABC Bakers

Maybe if you start with a whole box of Thin Mint Cookies, you'll manage to get half of them broken and placed on the cookie dough!

Good luck!

January 17, 2012 3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cinco's right

gays have no self-control

those cookies would never make into the brownies

January 17, 2012 5:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right, and you have so many gay, er, excuse me, I'll use your word again, "deviant" friends that you know all about them.

Oh, that's right you don't.

On the issue of self-control, let us see a picture of you -- obscuring your face, of course -- so we can compare how svelte you are to how svelte Cynthia is, as shown in this photograph on Vigilance. Cynthia is the lady in the little black dress in the third photo from the top.

I daaaaaaaaarre you to send your pic to so Jimk can publish it for all of us to see for ourselves.

January 17, 2012 9:29 PM  
Anonymous svelte_brunette said...

Anon retorted:

“cinco's right

gays have no self-control

those cookies would never make into the brownies”

You seem to be a bit confused Anon, the Girl Scout Cookie boycott is about trans girls getting in to the Girl Scouts, and I’m trans as well; this doesn’t have anything to do with “gays.” I’m not sure if you were trying to insult me personally, or if this is just another manifestation of your compulsive need to denigrate gay people.

Allow me to try and clear things up for you. When we talk about “GLBT” around here, it does not refer to “Gorgonzola,” “Lettuce,” “Bacon,” and “Tomato. The acronym stands for “Gay,” “Lesbian,” “Bi,” and “Trans.” At times you may also find other letters tacked on like I, Q, or A for intersex, queer or questioning, and androgynous or asexual. Although these letters (and their associated people) often get lumped together (for better or worse) they refer to very different types of folks.

As a post-operative transwoman, I live my life day in, day out, year after year as a woman. I’m on hormone replacement therapy (estrogen and progesterone), have hormone induced breasts, and a functional, surgically reconstructed vagina.

I suspect you are pretty well aware of the general defining characteristics of gay men – men who prefer their romantic relationships to be with other men.

It should be obvious that gay men (especially if you ask them this yourself) are not very much like transwomen at all. In my particular case, the difference is even larger because the most accurate description of my sexuality happens to be “asexual,” meaning that I am quite unlikely to have sex with anyone – man, woman, straight, gay, lesbian, or bi. I’m just not that interested in sex.

So if you were trying to insult me personally, and deride my sexuality, it would have been more accurate and acute if you had said:

“asexual transsexuals have no self-control”

But I suspect that would not have denigrated a large enough segment of our society for you.

I would have still refuted your assertion though. After all, metaphorically speaking, I’m still typing with one hand behind my back.

Have a nice day,


January 18, 2012 10:56 AM  

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