Oh, no–it had to happen: in response to news that the Boy Scouts will now welcome girls, a Girls Scouts USA representative is crying, "We're victims!"
Leaving aside the victim stuff, however, Davia Temin, a crisis management expert and nine-year veteran of the Girls Scouts USA board, does make a good case that the Boy Scouts' going coed is more a sign of desperation than anything else.
Ms. Temin writes in this morning's Wall Street Journal:
[Going coed] is a struggling organization’s attempt to stem its membership losses and improve its financial position by going after the 2.6 million girls and adults currently in Girl Scouts.
The BSA has no dedication to girls or girls’ leadership. It has no deep commitment to creating “girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place”—the Girl Scouts of the USA’s mission. What the BSA has is financial problems after losing hundreds of thousands of members in recent years. The BSA’s plans are effectively a hostile takeover bid, calculated to pounce on what its leadership perceives as easy pickings—a weaker organization, led by women.
Takeover activists disproportionately target companies that have female CEOs or more women on their board of directors, according to research from Arizona State University management professor Christine Shropshire. Activists often target what they perceive as feminine weakness, Ms. Shropshire suggests. The BSA is no different.
Well, I'd suggest that telling girls that women are victims whose perceived "feminine traits" make them a "target" for hostile takeovers in the business world is just the opposite of instilling "courage, confidence, and character" in young women.
If Ms. Ms. Temin is any indication, the Girl Scout's action plan is to . . . whine and claim victimhood.
Ms. Temin continues:
As aggressive as the BSA’s behavior has been, the Girl Scouts have not responded forcefully enough. Girl Scout leadership focuses on creating unique and supportive experiences for girls and adult volunteers, introducing new badges and cookies, and getting more girls into science, technology, engineering and math. The organization has been ill-equipped to mount an effective takeover defense.
Rarely has there been a time of greater consequence for girls growing up courageously. Confronted by today’s all-pervasive atmosphere of sexual aggressors (see: Harvey Weinstein), efforts to sexualize girls and women are everywhere. Given the BSA’s struggles with sexual assault—the Los Angeles Times in 2011 created a database of thousands of cases—I cringe to think of how this organization will protect, or fail to protect, their new girl members. They just want the money.
In hostile takeovers, the acquired company almost always loses its soul. It is turned into mincemeat and raided for its parts. The same will happen to America’s pre-eminent leadership organization for girls if this aggression succeeds. Parents, don’t let your daughters become Boy Scouts. They will suffer if you do—and the bad boys will win.
If you really do like strong women, this pathetic, weak defense will almost have you rooting for the bad Boy Scouts. Almost–Temin is right that this move reflects the decline of what was once the premiere non-church, non family organization for building character in boys.
But some would say that the Girls Scouts lost their soul years ago, embracing a progressive agenda focusing on promoting hard left positions on social issues instead of building character.
So what we are seeing here is the decline of not one but two formerly revered organizations.