Thin Mint Morality Wars: The Girl Scout Cookie Boycott

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Last year, I wrote a guest post for the excellent blog Womanist Musings called “Leave the Kids Out of It,” about a brouhaha over gendered Halloween costumes. Now we’ve got another situation where kids are being dragged into adult morality wars.

The Girl Scout Cookie boycott, organized to protest the admission of a trans girl to a Colorado troop, was allegedly conceived by a fourteen-year-old girl, but my guess is that she’s getting her faulty information from somewhere above (and I don’t mean heaven – I mean an adult).

Although I believe that the Colorado girl eventually decided not to join the Scouts (who can blame her after all the negative publicity – she’s seven years old!), the morality police are not going to let the situation rest. They are calling for a boycott of Girl Scout cookies this year because, unlike the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts organization wants every child to have a chance to participate in scouting.

I have always had mixed feelings about boycotts. In many cases, they hurt the very people who they’re trying to help. Boycotting an entire state over an anti-LGBT or anti-immigration law hurts LGBT business owners or the immigrants in that state who are struggling to make a living. But boycotts do work, and sometimes they lead to very successful outcomes for those who were wronged.

In this case, however, the boycott involves more than just a multimillion-dollar organization receiving some kind of “message” from the morality police. It involves little children who were not involved in the Colorado troop’s decision (which was the right one, by the way). It involves little children who approach their friends and neighbors, or who set up shop outside of grocery stores, or who send their mom or dad to work with an order sheet and then thrill to the long list of purchasers at the end of the day.

It involves little children who are trying to have fun, learn something, and do something good for themselves and their community. It makes me sick to think of the disappointed faces on these little girls when they are turned away by adults who should know better than to fight their moral battles using innocent kids. The “collateral damage” in this morality war is heartbreaking.

Boycotters: you might or might not hurt the Girl Scouts organization by refusing to buy cookies this year – but you will hurt some little kids who have done nothing to you and who don’t yet understand your misdirected hate. I hope those of us who care more about children than about some invented moral crisis more than make up for the lost revenue of your boycott. I haven’t bought Girl Scout cookies in years, but this year, I plan to buy as many boxes as I can afford.

I’m not going to walk past the children in front of the grocery store. I’m not going to turn away little girls who ask me to buy cookies. If I have to sacrifice my grocery bill to help right this horrible wrong that you boycotters are inflicting on these children, then I will eat nothing but Girl Scout cookies for a month.

And to those parents who forbid their daughters to sell cookies this year as part of the boycott, shame on you! Why would you punish your daughter for something that she had no part in and probably doesn’t even understand?

Adults, fight your own battles! Stop using the kids to fight them for you. You want to talk about morality? Drafting children as soldiers in your morality wars is the most immoral thing of all.

Readers, I encourage you to buy Girl Scout cookies if you can. Even one box makes up for one box the boycotters don’t buy. And let me (a former Brownie and Girl Scout) know your thoughts.

Buck Angel talks about the Girl Scout cookie boycott on YouTube:

cross-posted Tranifesto


  1. Andy The Nerd January 19, 2012
  2. Kara Harkins January 20, 2012

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