A 109-year, gender-exclusive institutional tradition ended on Friday when the Boy Scouts of America officially began allowing females to join their ranks.
The change has already prompted tremendous controversy since it was announced by Boy Scouts officials last year and comes on the heels of the organization’s move to accept girls into its Cub Scouts outfit as well.
The longstanding youth club has also announced that it will be changing its name to exclude the word “Boy” and officially be known under the moniker of Scouts BSA. An action which has already seen the Girl Scouts file a federal lawsuit for trademark infringement and unfair competition.
“Boys in our society have had an advantage because it’s been a male-dominated society,” said chief marketing and recruitment officer for the Girl Scouts of Northern California Heather Burlew-Hayden in a recent Spokesman Review article. “We are all about what’s best for girls and we have been since we started, back when it was considered improper for girls to run and play outside. Our organization is about sisterhood, it’s about letting girls find their spark in a safe space.”
Officials with the Boy Scouts have responded by saying the alterations to their longstanding traditions are designed to better meet the needs of families in a changing world.
The Boy Scouts will now permit girls between the ages of 11 and 17 to join them as part of troops which will not be co-ed, but rather all female and connected to the traditional all-male troops. These linked troops might participate in the same activities and hold shared meetings; however, it will be up to each individual troop if they want to be associated or not.
The overture of allowing girls also follows a number of other actions taken by the Boy Scouts in recent years to reform them into a more inclusive organization. In 2013, the group lifted its ban on gay scouts and abolished the same century-plus-old policy for scout leaders two years later. They also began accepting transgender youth in 2017.
SOURCE: iFiber One