Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Stacy Trasancos

6/17/2012 (2 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 (2 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 March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Marriage & Family

Woman's 'instincts' miraculously save husband's life Watch

Image of Nicole and Scott Mayhew

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Nicole Mayhew went home immediately after experiencing a bugging feeling that her husband was in trouble. Scott Mayhew was pinned under their Ford Explorer and had been yelling for help which no one apparently heard. She arrived home right on time to save him from ... continue reading


WHO IS THAT? Mysterious 'ghost child' appears in couple's wedding photo Watch

Image of Denis' wife, Christiana had been using it as her profile picture on Facebook before a friend pointed out the ghostly face hidden between them.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If a picture is worth a thousand words, some elements of a picture become known only long afterwards. A couple in Virginia had the fact pointed out to them that a macabre "photo bomber" lurks on their favorite wedding photo. The person appears to be a child, a ... continue reading


When culture no longer cares about marriage, family, everyone suffers, Pope says Watch

Image of The second of two talks on the complementary nature of men and women, Pope Francis says that the Book of Genesis shows how God created the heavens and earth, and then a special creature made in his likeness to care and watch over the earth.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis, in a homily earlier this week said that a culture that does not value "the stable and life-giving covenant between a man and woman is certainly a loss for everyone. We must bring honor back to marriage and the family." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Criminal family raises money for daughter's fake terminal illness Watch

Image of Neighbors alerted police officials of suspicious GoFundMe page.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

After a family falsely claimed their three-year-old daughter suffers from a dangerous heart disease, a family friend posted a page on the GoFundMe website for their support. The family trio from Marietta, Georgia is now arrested and faces charges of felony conspiracy. ... continue reading


Mother murdered and baby abducted after Indiana woman poses as social worker Watch

Image of Jones' family members stated Jones told them she had been pregnant with twins and one died.

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Horrific reports have come out that a woman, claiming to be a social worker, went to an apartment in Indiana where a newly-born child and her mother resided, with means to take the baby away. However, the woman was found to have never even worked in the child-welfare ... continue reading


Toddler's vivid nightmares suggest mother's death was not an accident Watch

Image of Natali Castellanos-Tyler was killed in what originally was believed to be a single-car car accident.

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Natali Castellanos-Tyler was involved in a single car accident after losing control of her Ford explorer and hitting a tree that resulted in her death, according to police back in February. However, her husband has observed their young daughter screaming about a ... continue reading


New breast cancer cases in the U.S. predicted to double by 2030 Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Recent government research projected an increase of new breast cancer cases up to 50 percent by 2030, as well as a change on its age distribution. The current statistic is one in every eight women will develop the disease during her lifetime. The surge will definitely ... continue reading


Elementary school under fire for transgender kindergarten lesson Watch

Image of Jazz Jennings grew up transgender and turned her story into a children's book.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Allowing young kids to read books about something controversial is considered by most as one aggressive move. Recently, in Mitchell Primary School, school officials publicly stated their apology for allowing kindergarten through third grade students to read a book ... continue reading


Inside the rebellious mind: MRI scans record teenagers' brain activity when trying to rebel and separate from parents Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study suggests that rebelliousness is triggered with teenagers' desire to separate from their parents in pursuing individuality. With the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), psychologists were able to track the brain activity of 22 teenagers responding to ... continue reading


Crazed father's attempt at suicide in hospital led to an unexpected 'miracle' Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A father went inside the hospital armed with a 9mm handgun with a plan to kill himself if his son died. George Pickering, 59, was going to commit suicide in order to die with his son, after the doctors told him he was already brain dead and would be pulled off life ... 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, Acts 4:8-12
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, addressed ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 118:1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 21, 29
1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh for he is good, for ... Read More

Gospel, John 10:11-18
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd lays ... Read More

Reading 2, First John 3:1-2
1 You must see what great love the Father has ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 26th, 2015 Image

St. Cletus
April 26: St. Cletus was the third bishop of Rome, and succeeded St. ... 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