Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Stacy Trasancos

6/17/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A mommy convert contemplates why not to sign her girls up

It has been said that severing ties with Girl Scouts might be a sacrifice for some Catholic families, but I do not agree that it is a sacrifice to forego a social institution with flawed messages for girls. I think our girls might be better prepared for true leadership if they are at home learning to serve their family by doing kind little things like baking cookies, rather than out selling them as little future-activist fund-raisers.

1912 Founder Juliette 'Daisy' Gordon Low with two Girl Scouts

1912 Founder Juliette "Daisy" Gordon Low with two Girl Scouts

Highlights

By Stacy Trasancos

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/17/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in Marriage & Family

Keywords: Girl Scouts, GSUSA, femininity, homemaking


WASHINGTON,DC (Catholic Online) - With the bishops in the United States investigating the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) this question seems to be on a lot of people's minds. Do the Girl Scouts really help girls? In many ways, what they teach goes against how I want to raise my own girls, but I never really thought about why. The Girl Scouts have this whole attitude about them that is just, frankly, not feminine.

I grew up with the "you can be anything a man can be" cultural message, and I took it seriously. As a child, I tried to run faster, climb higher, and make better grades than the boys in my classes. Heck, I even hauled hay and shot rifles (still can) as a teen. When Hillary Clinton made her comment about staying home and baking cookies and having teas, I even remember thinking how proud I was that I was just like that in my twenties.


Nope, no standin' by my man like Tammy Wynette. At that point I was a single mother, and an unstoppable force as a scientist on a career path of success (so I stupidly told myself). Older, wiser, and full of regrets, I have come to regard such messages to young women as dangerous to the institution of the family - and to a young woman's own sense of happiness and fulfillment.

Enough of the trip down memory lane. Do Girl Scouts help girls now?


Rather than base my opinion only on my personal experiences though, I decided to ask my friend Mary Rice Hasson about it. She is also a mother of seven and a lawyer who serves as a Fellow in Catholic studies at the conservative think tank in Washington D.C., Ethics and Public Policy Center. She is an expert on these issues, particularly on Catholic women's views of  faith, conscience and family. A LifeNews article cites her as agreeing that the bishop investigation is needed, and then quotes her.

"A collision course is probably a good description of where things are headed," she said. "The leadership of the Girl Scouts is reflexively liberal. Their board is dominated by people whose views are antithetical to the teachings of the Catholic Church."

That got my attention. I asked her about the Girl Scouts, and for advice about raising girls in general. I am more interested in guiding principles than details. I was struck by this advice: "My parents raised us girls (7 of us) to believe we could do anything---but to value motherhood and to retain the sense of femininity that flourishes by embracing womanhood, not aping masculinity." Bingo!

Value motherhood. Be feminine. Embrace womanhood. Do not ape masculinity.


At her suggestion, I took a look at the current Girl Scout campaign, TogetherThere, and winced. No, I do not want my girls exposed to such career-oriented myopic hubris; it is all too familiar.

"A girl who doesn't believe she has what it takes to be a leader isn't likely to run for mayor one day. A girl who is laughed at by peers for being outspoken in the classroom isn't dreaming of sitting at the head of the table, running a board meeting. A girl who hides her abilities in science and math won't find the cure to illnesses that affect us all."

It almost sounds good, but think about it. The end goal of developing character is not to run for office, be a corporate officer, or become famous for discovering cures. That turns you into an object held up for scrutiny based on what you accomplish professionally, and it sets unreasonable expectations. It is anything but feminine. What about all the girls who do not become those things? What about all the girls who do not even want to become those things? The Get the Facts page is all about becoming a high-profile leader in government, industry, or academia, and how those areas are dominated by men.

There is no mention of the natural leadership position for women - Motherhood.


The slogan for the TogetherThere campaign is "When girls succeed, so does society." The text goes on to say that the status of women in society is a direct measure of that society's success. But hang on! Define success. Is a woman only successful if she achieves a leadership position outside the home?


Also, by definition, not everyone can be a leader, so instilling this ideology in girls only sets most of them up for unrealistic, false failure, a sense of failure that is not really failure at all. The power of being a woman is not constrained to the office, boardroom, or laboratory. In fact, I would put that way down on the list of ways women can positively influence society.

Further, why isn't being a mother and raising children listed as success? Why isn't picking a valiant knight for a husband who dotes on you, provides for you, and admires you for the sacrifices you make to raise your children considered high status?

It has been said that severing ties with Girl Scouts might be a sacrifice for some Catholic families, but I do not agree that it is a sacrifice to forego a social institution with flawed messages for girls. I think our girls might be better prepared for true leadership if they are at home learning to serve their family by doing kind little things like baking cookies, rather than out selling them as little future-activist fund-raisers. Dare I say, they might be better prepared for true success if they understand the magnificent importance of standing by your man.

As for being educated, that is for the edification of their souls and development of their God-given gifts, and it is a journey they will be on for their whole lives if someone does not convince them the only purpose of education is to earn a title on a business card...or patches, pins, stars, and crests, or something.

Come to think of it, yes, we will definitely be foregoing the green uniforms and sashes for something a little more mysterious and lacy - like chapel veils. [Did she just say that out loud?] Sure did.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Marriage & Family

Viral video shows 5-year-old boy's heartwarming reaction to mother's pregnancy Watch

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A five-year-old boy living in Scunthorpe, UK expressed an adorable reaction when his mother, Sarah Bromby, told him he would be a big brother soon.  MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) -The Blaze reports that the enthusiastic little boy asked his mother, "Is ... continue reading


Adorable twin baby girls caught hilariously pretending to sleep when mother speaks over baby monitor Watch

Image of Both girls lie prone in attempt to fool their mother.

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Video footage of adorable twin girls pretending to be asleep after hearing their mother made its rounds via social media, gaining nearly 14 million views since its initial Facebook upload. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The video shows twin baby girls Miya ... continue reading


5 ways to find happiness in life through the darkness Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Life has taught us that living is not easy. Even our great Bible heroes experienced struggles and suffered. With God's love, darkness is not endless; it is a part of life that makes us stronger and encourages us to live brighter lives.  MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES ... continue reading


Family of deceased teen claim she was 'screaming for help' from inside her tomb Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

16-year-old Neysi Perez was buried earlier this month after suffering the effects of what her family believed was a demonic possession. After her burial, muffled cries for help could be heard from her grave site in the Honduras. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic ... continue reading


Body of a 25-year-old woman stolen from funeral home in San Antonio Watch

Image of Julie died peacefully on August 8 after a lifelong battle with cystic fibrosis.

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Julie Mott's body was reported stolen from her casket after her funeral service on Saturday and was discovered missing the following day. There were no signs of forced entry and it wasn't until the funeral home staff was preparing for her transfer to the crematorium ... continue reading


'WE MUST DO BETTER BY OUR DAUGHTERS': Georgian mother responds to how Anna Duggar handled husband, Josh Duggar's latest scandals Watch

Image of Mother with the viral Facebook post, Jessica Kirkland and her two daughters. [PHOTO BY: Jessica Kirkland/ Bethany Deschamps]

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Leaked information from the extramarital affairs website Ashley Madison put a spotlight on thousands of men who sought partners outside their marriages, celebrities included. Alarmed at the outdated view of a woman's roles in society, Jessica Krammes Kirkland posted a ... continue reading


6 wonderful inspiring tips for couples who want to pray together Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Award-winning author and founder of the Woman to Woman Mentoring and About His Work Ministries, Janet Thompson, now understands what to tell couples when seeing them pray. By experience with her husband Dave, Thompson finds it enlightening, rewarding and binding to ... continue reading


Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai scores high in school - three years after being shot in head for standing up for education Watch

Image of Malala has overcome great obstacles.

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Malala Yousafzai was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy for girls' rights in Pakistan where she was shot in the head during a failed assassination by the Taliban. Yousafzai has shown her remarkable intelligence, aside from her courageousness, by achieving a ... continue reading


'This is a dangerous sign for America': Israeli author calls out Americans and urges repentance Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Jonathan Cahn, author of the book "The Harbinger," issued a video attempting to answer some questions and concerns about the end of the Shemitah year this Sept. 13. According to the WND report, the messianic Jewish rabbi explained that since he cannot answer all the ... continue reading


Hilton hotels pull the plug on piped-in pornography in rooms Watch

Image of The connection between pornography and sexual exploitation has gained increasing attention in recent years.

By CNA/EWTN News

International hotel and resort chain Hilton Worldwide has changed its policies to eliminate on-demand video pornography from its hotel rooms across the globe, according to an advocacy group. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - The National Center on Sexual ... continue reading


All Marriage & Family News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Thessalonians 3:7-13
7 And so, brothers, your faith has been a great ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 90:3-4, 12-13, 14, 17
3 You bring human beings to the dust, by saying, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 24:42-51
42 'So stay awake, because you do not know the day ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 27th, 2015 Image

St. Monica
August 27: St. Monica was married by arrangement to a pagan official in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter