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The Girl Scouts: A “Groundbreaking” Feminist Moment

June 10, AD2013 7 Comments

\"Mary

It’s hard to find two women more pro-abortion than Marlo Thomas and Amy Richards. But the Girl Scouts love ‘em.

These two feminists headlined a recent Girl Scout-sponsored live screening and panel discussion of the “acclaimed documentary MAKERS,” a feminist, pro-abortion, video narrative of “trailblazing” women whose “pioneering contributions” changed America.

What kind of pioneering contributions? I’ll get to that in a minute. (Amy Richards’ ‘contribution’ particularly deserves comment.) But, first, a bit more about the Girl Scout-sponsored event.

Billed as an opportunity to “celebrate women and girls,” the screening and discussion took place on May 9, 2013 in New York City. The event, co-sponsored by Girls, Inc. of NYC and the public broadcasting station WNET, featured Girl Scouts front and center. From the banner backdrop on stage, sporting the logo of the Girl Scouts of Greater New York, to the moderator’s warm shout outs to the Girl Scouts in the audience, to the college-student panelist who identified herself as a former Girl Scout, the event was all about promoting MAKERS to the Girl Scouts.

In fact, the producer of the documentary explained during the panel discussion that they chose an online platform for MAKERS because “We knew we wanted to reach an audience like Girl Scouts” and girls are online more than anywhere else. Far from being a local event of one council, the MAKERS event garnered support from the Girl Scouts USA. The national group promoted the New York event on Twitter, inviting young Girl Scouts to “join” the live event or to watch it online later. And the MAKERS Facebook page included a photo after the event of the grinning producer surrounded by a group of Girl Scouts.

While it profiles the occasional businesswoman, politician, or athlete, the documentary shown at the screening is chock-full of interviews promoting abortion, lesbian rights, and sexual freedom. Not exactly wholesome content for Girl Scouts. (The MAKERS trailer shown on PBS even includes a woman laughing about faking orgasms.) The documentary ends by proclaiming the women’s movement an ‘unfinished’ revolution which must be spread worldwide.

The panel discussion, which repeatedly invoked Gloria Steinem as the feminist icon, clearly aimed to rehabilitate feminism for younger women, such as the Girl Scouts in attendance. Perhaps the organizers hoped to ignite the unfinished revolution. Marlo Thomas framed the past as a time when, “Women were not allowed to do anything,” and took a direct swipe at Phyllis Schlafly’s pro-marriage work. Declaring that, as a feminist, she herself loved men, Thomas said she just “didn’t want to be married” because “I can’t mate in captivity.” Richards, the co-founder of the pro-abortion Third Wave Foundation, an advisor to Planned Parenthood NYC, and a member of the MAKERS Board of Advisors, described how feminism freed women from the “script” of what it means to “be a good woman.” And the former Girl Scout on the panel encouraged girls to see feminism as about “choice,” and being “entitled” to do what they want.

The Girl Scouts USA website links to and promotes the “MAKERS” video series, praising it for telling “the remarkable story of the most sweeping social revolution in American history” —feminism. The Girl Scouts USA continue to highlight—through its blogTwitter and Facebook—CEO Anna Maria Chavez’s participation in the documentary, describing her as being in “great company with other esteemed women who are being profiled (Oprah, Condoleezza Rice, and Gloria Steinem, just to name a few).”

So why is the Girl Scouts’ promotion of a feminist documentary such a big deal?

Because the MAKERS narrative is so unabashedly pro-abortion that it strips away all pretense that the Girl Scouts USA is ‘neutral’ on the issue of abortion.

Let’s go back to the MAKERS series itself.

Although the series claims to feature a panorama of women, it reads like a who’s who of abortion activists. The overall narrative weaves the fight for ‘reproductive rights’ seamlessly into the fabric of American feminism, telling the story through the eyes of selected activists.

The “Groundbreakers” of American feminism, for example, include women like Sarah Weddington, the attorney who argued, and won, Roe v. Wade, the landmark case legalizing abortion. Weddington’s video segment describes the fight for legal abortion as “one of the most important and crucial issues in American life.” (The few pro-life women included in the series, such as Phyllis Schlafly and Carolyn Graglia, are cast as women who “opposed” change for all women.)

Other ‘Groundbreakers’ include Gloria Steinem, Eve Ensler (of Vagina Monologues fame), Faye Wattleton (former President of Planned Parenthood of America), Dr. Ruth Westheimer (“Dr. Ruth”), Alice Walker, and Hillary Clinton. (See the full list here.)

But one “Groundbreaker” stands out among the rest as emblematic of the “visionary role models” now embraced by the Girl Scouts: Amy Richards.

Amy Richards was introduced to the Girl Scouts at the panel discussion as a feminist activist and co-founder of the Third Wave Foundation. (The Third Wave Foundation champions abortion, LGBT activism, and until 2011, maintained an “Emergency Abortion Fund” which gave women “grants” to fund their abortions.)  But Richards is a MAKERS Groundbreaker not only for her activism but also for her “brave” decision to pursue selective reduction.

It’s chilling to listen to Richards, in her MAKERS video segment, describe how her “first thought” on learning she was pregnant with triplets was, “Is there any way to get rid of one of them?”

Keep in mind that any Girl Scouts who attended or watched the MAKERS panel discussion—in which Richards did not mention abortion—and who seek out Richards’ MAKERS videos will hear this ‘role model’ describe why it was so important for her to “get rid of” two of her three babies, aborting them in a process called selective reduction.  They will hear her defend that decision, saying, “At the end of the day…what matters is that I was in control of my decision.” And they will hear Richards’ unapologetic moral ‘justification’ for her abortion. “The point for me is that we’re never going to know what’s right for the other people but we should know what’s right for us.”

Watch Amy Richards’ MAKERS moment here.

And then perhaps ask yourself: If abortion is ‘right’ for Amy Richards, and Amy Richards is ‘right’ for the Girls Scouts, can the Girl Scouts can ever be ‘right’ for pro-lifers?

(First published by LifeNews under the title, “Girl Scouts USA Pushes Video Honoring Pro-Abortion Activists)

© 2013. Mary Rice Hasson. All Rights Reserved.

About the Author:

Mary Rice Hasson is a Fellow in EPPC's Catholic Studies program. Mrs. Hasson is currently working on a book that offers new data on and explores the views of Catholic women on sexual morality and reproduction and on the Catholic Church's teachings on those topics. She recently co-authored an article on media ratings in the June 2011 issue of the professional journal Pediatrics. She writes commentary for the Catholic News Agency, which also distributes her columns to diocesan newspapers throughout the United States. She also writes from a natural law perspective for the international human rights website, MercatorNet.com, and for a variety of Catholic parenting websites. She blogs at Words from Cana. The mother of seven, Mrs. Hasson previously co-authored with Kimberly Hahn the leading book on Catholic homeschooling, Catholic Education Homeward Bound (Ignatius, 1995). She has spoken at numerous family conferences over the past 15 years, and has appeared on CNN, EWTN, and numerous local radio shows. A lawyer and member of the D.C. and Indiana bars, Mrs. Hasson graduated from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 1984 and from the University of Notre Dame in 1981, with a BA in Government.

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  • J D

    I care little for what women have to say about, or what it means to be, a man or how one defines masculinity. In this same vein, women will NEVER listen to men when it comes to edifying and educating women.

    Thus, the problem of contemporary, satanic feminism must be addressed solely by other women.

    Our Lady is the model for every woman, but what I suspect is that there are many professional women, even allegedly Catholic, conservative ones, who pay lip service to social issues, but secretly are glad of the spoils contemporary feminism has won for them. They are like the daughters of slave-owners spending an ill-gotten inheritance.

    The polls tell us abortion exists today, and sodomy thrives, because of the support of women. Clinton, Obama, and perhaps Hillary again, could not, or will not, have been elected without the substantial statistical support of women.

    There is hope. Lila Rose is in the spiritual and political mold of Judy Brown (A.L.L.), Phyllis Schaffly (Eagle Forum), Randy Engel, Dr. Judith Reismann, and many other heroines as well.

    In “Aliens”, our fiercely maternal heroine sees a child menaced by the embodiment of contemporary feminism, a murdering, seemingly invincible monster.

    She readies for mortal combat, and once prepared, both distracts and challenges this abomination, by uttering those now famous words, “Get away from her! You…”

    Women, modeled after Our Lady, must disembowel the current personification of the Lillith-legend, if there is any hope of resurrecting the culture.

    VIVA CHRISTO REY!

  • Phil Dzialo

    (1) The Girl Scouts Of America is a private organization. They are not church or religion affiliated. The leadership and the membership of the organization define policy and direction. If you or anyone disagree with the policy directions, please do not be a member or allow you child to be affiliated. No religion has a right to influence the rights of a private organization…try as they may.

    (2) All human consciousness evolves and that evolution tends to homeostasis. Homeostasis, as part of all natural process, involves the integration of extremes and provides for healthy balance of human awareness and action. We have the Paulibe misogyny as one extreme (where women are to be silent and obedient and subservient) to extreme feminism where men are ,,,,,,) In the middle will stand virtue, but it takes time/

    (3) Phyllis Schafafly fought against the Equal Rights Amendment and Schlafly told Time magazine in 1978, “I have cancelled speeches whenever my husband thought that I had been away from home too much.” Hardly a model for the contemporary young woman.

    (4) Mothers and Fathers should be the models for young men and women not the GSA of the BSA.

    (5) The Catholic Confererence of Bishops is investing Girl Scouts and nuns The LCRW. Does this tell you something about men?

    • http://twitter.com/mattsiekierski Matthew Siekierski

      (1) The article is not calling for a change in Girl Scout policy, but questioning if Pro-Life people should affiliate themselves with the Girl Scouts.

      (2) This is a nonsensical view of life. Compromise between two extremes is not virtue. A simple example falsifies the premise: All Jews should be killed because they’re Jews vs. no Jews should be killed because they’re Jews. Compromise (meeting in the middle) would be “some Jews should be killed because they’re Jews”. Hardly a virtuous conclusion.

      (3) A wife takes her husband into consideration when planning her schedule of speeches? Horror! I don’t see her statement saying anything close to “I have canceled speeches because my husband required it of me.”

      (4) There are many models for young men and women. Mothers and Fathers should be the primary models, but will never be the only ones.

      (5) Huh? I assume you mean “investigating”. How is this wrong? Questions and concerns have been raised and the Conference is looking into them to see if the concerns have merit. That seems like a reasonable thing to do.

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