The Girl Scouts I Believe In Would Never Participate in Trump's Inauguration

Rick Kern/Getty Images for Marisol Deluna

Tuesday evening, news broke that the Girl Scouts of America are participating in Donald Trump's inauguration. I've already been having all the feelings about the inauguration, but given that I'm currently helping my 5-year-old Brownie (Violet) sell Girl Scout cookies, and also jumping through hoops to get approved as a troop volunteer (OMG I loathe paperwork), this news hit me particularly hard.



I posted about this situation on Facebook, encouraging people to call (1-800-478-7248) to voice their complaint. Largely, the response was parallel outrage, but there were a couple of dissenting opinions. The first person argued that the girls should be able to march because it's a historical event and that people should not ruin the experience because of their opinions about "one person."

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The second argued that marching in the inauguration was, in fact, in line with the Girl Scouts' "live and let live" approach, and that "those protesting are the ones who are ruining the experience for [the participating Girl Scouts]." And that it's "entirely against the Girl Scout law to try to keep them from celebrating if they want to celebrate."

I sat and digested these thoughts. I am ever a champion of discourse and public opinion. I still want to believe in the Girl Scouts and their mission because obviously, as a feminist mom of two daughters, I'm all about girls' empowerment, and Violet has been enjoying her time as a Brownie. I also think a lot about the complexities of the human condition, and one of the many difficult things about Trump for me personally is that I'm actually someone who wants to believe that all human beings must have a shred of good in them.

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But Trump has had ample opportunity to show grace, dignity, and respect and he's chosen the alternate path at pretty much every turn. Through his own extended and very public trajectory of wide-ranging insults, Trump has made this inauguration not just about "a person" (as the first commenter on my Facebook post argued) -- it is about all of us.

In my opinion, it's simply not enough to say "this is a historic event" or "we have a long history of doing this" (which is apparently the Girl Scouts' justification) when we're talking about human rights and equality.

Never mind that at a baseline, it's enormously hypocritical that an organization that's supposed to be empowering girls will be marching to celebrate a man who thinks it's okay to grab women by the pussy. (His words, not mine.) This isn't a political issue, it's a human decency issue.

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My understanding is that the Girl Scouts likely made the commitment in September (to the tune of $1,809). I can see how if you've made that significant a financial investment you may wish to see it through, even if you were anticipating a different political outcome.

But the Girl Scout Law states:

I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and be a sister to every Girl Scout.

Perhaps it seems counter to the Girl Scout Law to protest their celebration at the inauguration -- or cognitively dissonant to back away from $1,809 already spent -- but that celebration certainly rings hollow when the president-elect himself does not seem to live and inspire the values espoused in the Girl Scout Law.

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My recommendation for Girl Scout moms who want to further the Girl Scout mission to inspire girls to develop courage, confidence, and character and help make the world a better place? Go to a Sister March instead.



Christine Koh
Christine Koh is a music and brain neuroscientist-turned-Internet nerd. She’s the founder and editor of
Boston Mamas, coauthor of Minimalist Parenting, cohost of the Edit Your Life show, and creative director at Women Online. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and two daughters.

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