Girl Scouts and the Future
Well as much as this blog was originally designed to address the lees weighty matters of crossdressing – make-up and fashion and such like – I find that between my own lack of expertise on those things, and the ongoing torrent of trans related news and events in the culture, it’s all but impossible for me to not turn my attention to the weightier matters. I presume that if management objected, I’d know it by now.
There’s two big stories this week but I’ll leave the Duggar mess for another day. What’s on my mind is the Girl Scouts. It has been fascinating to watch the near panic with which many of the Traditionalist activists reacted to the “news” that the Girl Scouts were, as a matter of policy, welcoming and affirming trans girls as, well, girls. Nevermind that the policy is not new and has been in active practice for at least 3 years, with no dire consequences of the sort that the fear mongers predict.
The whole kerfuffle provokes in me a train of thought beyond the obvious surface conclusions. It takes no deep thought to suss out that the people who profit financially and politically from keeping Traditionalist Christians afraid of some pending moral doomsday would need another scapegoat as the cultural momentum on SSM flows steadily away from them, and it’s obvious that trans people are a ripe and juicy target to be offered as the next iteration of the great moral evil that will surely destroy us all. But i think there’s a deeper, more primal fear here.
The idea that the GSA, and for that matter the education system at large, would “normalize” the concept of transgender peers in the lives of tens of thousands of kids has to be frightening. The reason they lost the battle against homosexuals is because as visibility increased, more and more Americans found that they personally knew several gay people and they did not fit the “evil” stereotype that had been fed to them.
Now, as young people all over the country go to school and scouts and parks and pools and even church with trans kids their age and see them not as “perverts” or “freaks” but as just another kid, that mindset will go with them into their adult years and in a generation it will be as culturally crud to mock a trans person as it is now considered rude to mock a child with, say, Downs Syndrome.
As I’ve written before, the key to changing the cultural perception of trans people away from the mythology of drag queens and perverts is visibility. It’s harder to dismiss the everyday trans person you know personally than it is to dismiss the caricature. Having that exposure take place among pre-teens just amps up the effect because children that young have little exposure to the false mythology that so many of their parents struggle to overcome.
I think that the “culture war” profiteers understand this, and given how much ground they are losing in other areas, they are well aware that losing another “boogey man” to preach about is not in their interest.
Photo by: Greg Lilly