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Girl Scouts & The Advancement of Women: Mom Talk

How far have women advanced since Girl Scouts started 100 years ago?

Monday marked the 100th birthday of Girl Scouts. What an incredible accomplishment for a superior organization. All month, I've been thinking about how far we've come.

In 1912, women weren't allowed to vote in any but five states. That right didn't come for another eight long years. (Comparatively, eight years is long enough to birth a child who grows old enough to complain how uncool his parents are.)

In 1912, women were considered the property of men and relied on fathers and husbands to survive. Employment, if any, was domestic: cooks and servants. Social classes were paramount. The movie Titanic was staged in 1912, lest we forget the scene where the poor Irish mother quietly rocked her two babies to death.

At the same time that Juliette Gordon Low organized the first Girl Scout meeting, Congress was holding hearings into the 10-week strike of 25,000 textile workers in Lawrence, MA. The strike that started in January that year crippled a $45 million New England textile industry.

According to the Lucy Parsons Project, nearly half of all the workers on strike were teenage girls. The strike was to improve factory conditions that caused 36 percent of the workers to die by age 25.

Clearly, we have come a long way since then. General working conditions, child labor laws, employment opportunities and unionization have all improved. In some ways, not so much.

Women warehouse workers, for example, still face many inequalities and sexual harassment, according to a from the South Suburban Move On Council.

And still, women are making 80 cents to the men's dollar, so says the U.S. Department of Labor. In fact, the past 20 years have only seen a five-cent fluctuation — no real improvement.

After a century, the women of 2012 hold only 17 percent of the Congressional seats and 23 percent of the statewide elective executive offices, according to the Center for American Women in Politics

After 100 years, the swine-like a "slut" and a "prostitute" for her opinions on insurance coverage of birth control.

Then last week, I heard a judge begin a hearing about unpaid rent by asking the young female tenant how many children she had, and by how many different fathers.

Wiser minds than me advised not to read anything into that line of questioning; the judge could have been trying to see if she were squandering child support instead of paying rent, my friend said.

Perhaps. But I think that's crap. His "Honor" didn't ask about her employment, debts, or income. He asked only who she was sleeping with. My bet is that judge listens to Rush Limbaugh.

The Girl Scout Law pledges honesty, fairness, responsibility, courage, self-respect and consideration. It is a great organization that I hope lasts another hundred years.

Perhaps by then, women will have achieved 50 percent representation in government and 90 percent pay.

Flora Dora March 14, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Women are second class citizens in every walk of life. Here in this country it is not so extreme but it is there.
Maynard R. Jerome March 17, 2012 at 08:44 PM
It doesn't take a Rhodes Scholar to realize which of the two major political parties is more pro-women, pro-worker and pro-middle class. The Republicans and their Tea-Bagger branch have to resort to pounding wedge issues like guns, gays, God, Hispanics & Blacks to death to get people to miss the entire picture that they are a wholly owned subsidiary of Corporate America, to whom they ALWAYS answer when the chips are down.
NancyC April 22, 2012 at 01:37 PM
As a former Girl Scout, I am horrified at the change in direction of this organization. Adults like the author of this article who force their agendas down the throats of our youth are abusers. How about a kinder more gentle,and innocent little club, do good, be good, learn good, where young girls can just be carefree and don't have to be inserted into adults "hang ups" over the "unfair" life they have had to live! Here is a much better synopsis of today's organization than I can write: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/03/m-the_girl_scouts_planned_parenthoods_tactical_arm.html
Tim April 22, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Nobody cares what you are 'horrified' by. From your link; "In the good old days, people didn't have to lock their doors, their children could go out and play without fear" Sure... if you were white. If you weren't you didn't live in those same areas, and if you did, you worried about things being set on fire in your yard, or being killed by being hung off of a tree. "he noticed that out of fifty role models the Girl Scouts currently provide for their members, "[o]nly three have a briefly mentioned religious background -- all the rest are feminists, lesbians, or communists." communists? really? And while you may not have noticed yet, the younger generation has turned away from the atrocities and mindlessness of religion and uses things like rational thought and critical thinking. No amount of threatening them with eternal damnation by your imaginary friend will change that. You do not have to believe me, reality shows the downfall of those that believe in religion all by itself; http://i.imgur.com/VeVEQ.png Get off your nonsense already. There were no 'good ol days'.
Vincent Russell April 22, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Based on the authors commentary, I offer that since so much of women's inequality is based on the curse placed on women that they can bear children, why not have girls and boys neutered at birth like dogs are at kennels. At the same time, we can also end the toilet seat inequality issue by another procedure for girls. This would make us completely equal from the start. Isn't it a shame that God made us so terribly complimentary instead of being exactly equal. After all, having a loving mother to come home to and a responsible father that provides for his kids it such a sexist-pig way to grow up. Since you mention the Titanic, you will also remember back in 1913, that women and children were put in the lifeboats first, by the men. I'm glad for the modern feminist training that has so permeated the minds of men and young boys that now we can get on the boat first. Including getting onboard before any girl scouts.

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