scouts-l Mail Archive for June of 2000: Re: Ahem and sexism in Scouting
Mick Cole (MicCCole@AOL.COM
Sun Jun 11 2000 - 12:35:19 CDT
According to the official BSA website (http://www.scouting.org/nav/about.html), "The purpose of the Boy Scouts of America, incorporated on February 8, 1910, and chartered by Congress in 1916, is to provide an educational program for boys and young adults to build character, to train in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and to develop personal fitness."
I see nothing whatsoever in this purpose that suggests that only adult males can provide a role model for building character, providing responsible citizenship, and developing personal fitness. In the Otetiana Council, there are many fine women serving both as professionals and as volunteers. The competence I have seen demonstrated by female SMs and ASMs has convinced me that the time is long past when BSA female leaders should be restricted to supporting roles, based purely on their gender. Rather, they should be judged on their merits, the same as anyone. In my view, anyone who lacks the ability to judge everyone on the merits, without regard to gender, needs to ask themselves whether they have what it takes to be a proper role model.
It's about the development of youth into responsible adults.
In a message dated Sun, 11 Jun 2000 11:12:29 AM Eastern Daylight Time, Bob Lazell <rlazell@QED.NET> writes:
<< > role model should be male but the people that work with the boys should be
> selected based on skills and desire to help, not on GENDER. I probably
> more of the out of doors than the other men that assist with the troop. I
> been "nature" at webelos and day camps that I help staff.
Rainee, First let me be clear, which is not an easy task on this and any
"emotional" subject since people often react before they read fully and
understand the post. I do not condone the obviously insensitive, and not
incidentally, un-scout like, treatment such a dedicated volunteer such as
you received at the hands of your Troop's leadership.
Be that as it may, I agree, selection should be based on skills and desire
to help, but you, as a women cannot by definition have the "skill" to be a
man. That is what a SM or ASM needs to do his job of a positive MALE
role-model. Boys need men in that position if you wish to be true to what
Scouting is all about. So, I believe that there should be plenty of
opportunity for women such as yourself to show that women can be as skilled,
or as you point out, more skilled at the outdoor tasks that *superficially*
make up what we do in Scouting. But, what Scouting provides is so much
more. And, it is not a political statement, or commentary of equal right
for me to say that a goodly portion of what Scouting can provide requires a
It's about the development of boys into men.
SM Troop 127
Valley Cottage, NY