The Girl Scouts — an organization with a mission to uplift young girls, develop their character and help them with skills to grow into successful women — has just demonstrated to those same girls that when pressed, you can back down from your belief that all women are equal and deserve respect.
On Wednesday, the Girl Scouts of the USA tweeted congratulations to new Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett on becoming only the fifth woman appointed to the court since its inception in 1789. The tweet featured an image of Barrett along with justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
This celebration of a rare accomplishment for women drew such outrage from the left that the organization immediately bent a knee to the rage mob and quickly deleted it.
The Girl Scouts issued a statement saying the post was “viewed as a political and partisan statement which was not our intent and we have removed the post. Girl Scouts of the USA is a nonpolitical, nonpartisan organization … We are here to lift up girls and women.”
That statement is pure ridiculousness. No reasonable person could read the original tweet as remotely partisan, especially since it featured three Democrat-appointed justices and two Republican-appointed ones. Taking down the post in response to the lunatic ravings of left-wing partisans is actually what’s partisan here.
And by taking down a tweet that celebrated the tremendous accomplishments of these five women, the Girl Scouts is doing the exact opposite of lifting up girls and women. They are telling girls that if enough people complain, they will cower and refuse to stand up for women. They are also choosing to be complicit with the left’s notion that it’s okay to disrespect women with whom they disagree. Neither is an appropriate message to send to young girls.
The reality is, Justice Barrett should be celebrated. She is an inspiration for women and girls everywhere. She is brilliant and accomplished, and yet remains humble. And the fact that she has seven school-age children and at the same time has held jobs as a law professor, a federal judge, and now a justice on the highest court in the land demonstrates to other women that they can successfully balance a career and family if they choose a similar path.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, when America finally recognized women’s right to vote. Yet as we saw this week, some women are still treated as unequal — not just as unequal to men, but unequal to other women.
The fact is, there is a different standard applied to women depending on whether they are liberal or conservative. Many on the left openly heap contempt and scorn onto conservative women. They consider their ideas and accomplishments inferior. They equate being conservative, pro-life and female as somehow being self-hating and opposed to the full equality of women. In their minds, women like Justice Barrett — and the millions and millions of women who share her views — are not fully equal to them.
I’ve experienced this kind of discrimination my entire career as a conservative woman. In the 1960s, I marched in the civil rights movement so that someday I could be treated equally alongside white people. When I got a little older, I also desperately wanted to fight for my equal rights as a woman, but I had a harder time doing it because the feminist movement kept me and others like me out. We were too pro-life and too conservative to be considered equal.
When Justice Ginsburg died, many conservatives who strongly disagreed with her judicial philosophy — including us at The Heritage Foundation — still issued statements recognizing her service on the court.
But this kind of civility often doesn’t go both ways.
Unfortunately, by giving in to the rage mob, the Girl Scouts has chosen sides and has only given the mob more power.
This former Girl Scout isn’t fooled by the organization’s rhetoric about being neutral on political issues. Somehow, in their minds, the left thinks that being “neutral” and “nonpolitical” means supporting liberal and leftist women while disavowing millions of conservative women and girls who disagree with their agenda. This latest incident just exposes the Girl Scout’s leanings once again.
The Girl Scout Law says in part, “I will do my best to be honest and fair … and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others.” That’s why when you’re not being honest and fair, when you’re not being responsible with what you say and do, and when you fail to respect those who don’t share your political views, you need to be called out for the incredible hypocrites that you are.
Kay C. James is president of The Heritage Foundation (heritage.org).