Girls included in Boy Scouts

The word “tomboy” has gone through multiple changes in meaning in western society and has since grown to places all over the world. At first, tomboy was used to refer to rambunctious boys, it eventually came to signify a “boyish girl,” and has since taken on many more forms and understandings. Within the Keyword Tomboy, a quote from Macaulay Letters on Education states, ‘”Let your children be brought up together; let their sports and studies be the same…'” (220). This idea of how to raise children in similar ways is a much bigger movement today than when Macaulay wrote this in 1790. As of last year, The Boy Scouts of America allowed girls to join their cub scouts. With 77,000 girls that joined, Boy Scouts has now decided to let girls join join all Boy Scout activities and should be set in 2020. The new name is now Scouts BSA so girls feel included in the group. This fight of girls wanting to join boy scouts has been happening for years for girl scouts has never been enough for some girls. As someone who did Girl Scouts as a kid and hated it, I understand the reasoning. Girl Scouts has always been more focused on “girl” activities like crafts whereas Boy Scouts was more focused on the outdoor, hands dirty, type of activity. Many girls have wanted that Boy Scout experience and they can now have it. Some people are upset by this change, these same types of people are also probably not supportive of tomboy like girls. In Little Women, Jo is a very tomboy like character who is often criticized for her wild, curious, and adventurous nature. In this book she is seen as a child expected to grow out of her tomboy qualities and into a motherly house roll in her adulthood. Jo does see this through, but we don’t need to expect that from our new girl Boy Scouts. Many of these girls may not consider themselves tomboy at all, but just like the activities it includes. In today’s society we are much more aware of the differences between people and the fluidity of gender. Women are not necessarily expected to stay at home and can instead hold all type of work positions even if they are historically held by men. These young girls of Boy Scout America will grow up with important skills they love and a great community of friends in any gender. While tomboy behaviors are encouraged to end after childhood in Little Women, the addition of all girls into Boy Scouts encourages an opposite outcome.

1 thought on “Girls included in Boy Scouts”

  1. Hi Alecia!
    I think you brought up some really good points here! Since the time that the boy scouts were founded, gender equality and gender roles have progressed a lot. At the time that the group was originally created, boys and girls had strictly different roles within society. But, the fact that girls and boys are being joined in one group shows that these roles are progressing. It’s quite exciting! You are right, it really lends to a description of the fluidity of gender. But the significant opposition that this change created shows the longevity of the gendered expectations within America. Great work!

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