Girl Scouts was designed to be all about character building, developing leadership skills and oh-so-delicious Thin Mints. Unfortunately, a new report from INSIDER found that troop members – some as young as 7 – are being targeted by strangers over prices, calories, and a false link to Planned Parenthood.
Melissa Atkins Wardy told INSIDER that her daughter Amelia was harassed by a woman while going door-to-door selling cookies in Wisconsin.
“The lady took the cookie form and shoved it back into my daughter’s chest, and said, ‘I don’t support programs that support abortion,’” Wardy said. “And I was like, ‘Are you freaking kidding me? My kid is 7. She has no idea what you’re talking about.’ And so we left.”
Indu Rajan experienced similar harassment when her daughter was selling cookies in front of a Walgreens in Ohio. A woman came over and told the young trooper that she wouldn’t support Girl Scouts because of a supposed connection to Planned Parenthood. Rajan’s daughter “had no idea what she was talking about, and the adults were too shocked to respond.”
The group Pro-Life Waco is behind these conspiracy theories, which stem from a retweet issued back in 2013 by the Girl Scouts of the USA’s Twitter account. The account simply shared a link to a Huffington Post live chat, which discussed who should be the 2013 Woman of the Year. One of those women was Democratic Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, who stood up against a bill that would make access to abortions even harder.
That retweet led to Cookiecott 2014, a boycott against the young troops, led by Pro-Life Waco. Their efforts appear to be completely misguided. Girl Scouts of the USA state plainly on their website: “Girl Scouts of the USA does not have a relationship or partnership with Planned Parenthood.”
The organization also disputes a rumor being spread that scouts handed out Planned Parenthood brochures at a United Nations event. “In 2010, GSUSA took part in the 54th Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations,” the statement read. “Our participation in that conference was the subject of numerous Internet stories and blogs that were factually inaccurate and troubling. Girl Scouts had no knowledge of the brochure in question and played no role in distributing it.”
Unfortunately, that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the verbal lashings that some girl scouts are facing from the public. In a viral tweet last month, Oona Miller Hanson, an educator and parent coach, shed light on the other forms of harassment that these young girls are receiving.
Many headed to the Twitter comment section to express their disgust. “Young girls are bombarded with media images of ‘perfect’ bodies all the time,” one user wrote. “That ridiculous standard doesn’t need to be reinforced by the regular people she might see in the neighborhood every day. Just walk by.”
Before you go, click below to see all the summer camp activities you can do from home.
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