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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Boys vs. Girls

Or more specifically, a treatise on the difference between the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts of America.

As you may know, I've had a tough week or two or six, and I have therefore spent a lot of time thinking. Add a lot of discussion on diversity in class and at work (we've finished The Peoples and Cultures of Asia and moved on to Contemporary Latin American Cultures, and I'm still in training at work, with a very diverse class there as well), and you have a recipe for Deep Thought (not that Deep Thought).

And one of the things I've been thinking about (and discussed with a few people, hi mom!) is this: Boys will be boys because they are trained to be boys (as are girls, conversely).

You know the Boy Scout Motto. Everyone does, right? It's so pervasive in our culture that satirical songs have been written about it, and even I have written a fanfic on the topic (It's MacGyver, natch; can you think of anyone off the top who's more prepared?). Note: the Lehrer song is rated T, as it implies that one should always be - ahem! - prepared when one comes across a girl scout. The fic is rated General Audiences, because the rest is implied.

In any case, the point of Be Prepared is that it's an individual thing. Now I am all for individual responsibility and etc., but even Pa Ingalls would accept - and on one memorable occasion, demand - help from the local townfolk in a blizzard, you know? But it's an individualistic, pioneer-spirit sort of thing.

Does anyone here know the Girl Scout Motto? I suspect not, unless you are a girl scout or were one for a long time as a child. Note: It has nothing to do with cookies.

The Girl Scout Motto is this: Do a good deed every day.

This is not an individual thing. In fact, it kind of defines community.

Now, boy scouts certainly do more than their share of helping others, and - political differences aside - they generally do an admirable job of it. But it is a conscious thing: "We do things for people because it is our duty."

The girl scouts' take on it is more... nurturing, I guess. Maternal, even.

Mind you, this is only my opinion. But I think it's not wholly inaccurate.