The Boy Scouts of America announced this past May that it would be making a conscious effort to become more tolerant by separating gender and expression from one another, rebranding their organization as the all-inclusive, gender-neutral ‘Scouts BSA’ – a move that’s now being criticized by the still-gendered Girl Scouts, who announced yesterday plans to sue the former Boys Scouts organization.
The Girl Scouts organization’s legal action seeks both monetary damages and “permanent injunction against trademark infringement” against Scouts BSA, on the basis that when it comes to scout development programs inclusive of females, only Girl Scouts “has the right to use the Girl Scouts and Scouts trademarks with leadership development service for girls.”
Girl Scouts have yet to open up their organization in the gender-neutral manner that Scouts BSA are, which makes their legal actions, despite on paper seeming to be based in trademarks and semantics, register more as an organization blocking a child’s right to express and identify whichever way they choose as a means of maintaining their organization and membership. This hasn’t gone unnoticed either, with many condemning the narrow-mindedness that Girl Scouts are handling this situation with:
As a former girl scout, and mother to a current girl scout (and Venturing scout) this lawsuit is sickening. @girlscouts is showing it's ugly hand by this stunt and makes me only too glad to know my daughter is almost finished with the program before joining Scouts BSA @boyscouts
— KrisJ (@KJoslyn78) November 7, 2018
Can’t they just join together and work on inclusivity for everyone? This separation of the sexes thing is weird, and I feel like it would be a great opportunity for the Girl Scouts to expose young boys to gender issues and respecting women.
— Drew (@drewintuit) November 6, 2018
Scouts BSA has responded to both the lawsuit and Girl Scout’s continued insistence of gender-segregated Scout programs by reiterating that the core issue at hand is and should remain fostering leadership in children, regardless of how they choose to identify: “We applaud every organization that builds character and leadership in children, including the Girl Scouts of the USA, and believe that there is an opportunity for both organizations to serve girls and boys in our communities.”