I've seen more than a few boxes of Do-Si-Dos and Samoas around lately. It's hard to look askance at the Girl Scouts when there's so much sweetness in the air. But there is reason for keeping the Girl Scouts out of the "mom and apple pie" category. For one thing, the organization has a think tank, a nongovernmental organization and a welcome mat out to Planned Parenthood.
At a meeting of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women this month, the World Association of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides held a session for young people in which the International Planned Parenthood Federation distributed a brochure about living with HIV titled "Healthy, Happy and Hot." (Gratitude to U.N. watchdogs like C-FAM for keeping an eye out for such nefarious nonsense.)
The brochure sets itself up as a feel-good guide for dangerous behavior. "Young people living with HIV may feel that sex is just not an option, but don't worry -- many young people living with HIV live healthy, fun, happy and sexually fulfilling lives. You can, too, if you want to! Things get easier (and sex can get even better) as you become more comfortable with your status."
And since there is considerable sexual advice offered, advice on "safe abortion" naturally follows in the brochure.
This presentation served as a backdrop for a joint statement from the several U.N. organizations making up the U.N. Adolescent Girls Task Force. The task force declares its support for programs "that empower ... adolescent girls, particularly those aged 10 to 14 years." No innocence preserved.
The Girl Scouts aren't shy about the causes they embrace. A 2008 post-election survey of girls and boys between 13 and 17 initiated by the Girl Scouts' think tank, the Girl Scout Research Institute, found overwhelming support for then President-elect Barack Obama, and noted concern for a laundry list of international and domestic issues, including the war in Iraq, the economy and "the difficulties women face in reaching leadership positions in our country."
I don't mind an arm of the Girl Scouts gathering information. But I do mind a group we associate with Tagalongs, tying knots, and basic life skills -- with protecting the innocence of children in an otherwise hyper-sexualized and politically fraught culture -- doing exactly the opposite. I mind leftist activists at national conventions. I mind faux empowerment laced with the persistent whine of victimization.