« To serve is to reign | Main | Application of Shari'a »

Comments

Karen

So, going outdoors is not feminine? I'm going to ask again for you to please list the Approved Female Activities so that I can be sure I don't accidentally trespass into male territory, even though I really think that being feminine by your definition means being a cowardly dimwitted weakling.

gsk

Karen: please take off your "angry goggles" when you read my posts so that you don't misconstrue what I'm saying. I personally never liked scouting because I'm not outdoorsy. Any spare time -- in childhood and now -- is spent curled up with a book. Inside.

Now my preferences are simply ... preferences. They have nothing to do with gender identity.

The reason I questioned whether scouting is a naturally feminine pursuit is because of its structure -- which imitates a naturally male model. I said that I didn't think that women were inclined to group activities as much as boys were -- but it doesn't mean that such women are unfeminine.

In my bizarre worldview, I still think women can camp, and hunt and fish and even ski.

gsk

BTW, Karen, you've asked this same question before and I answered here:

http://feminine-genius.typepad.com/femininegenius/2008/09/taking-on-now.html#comment-form

and here:

http://feminine-genius.typepad.com/femininegenius/2008/05/great-family-fu.html#comment-form

I would think that if you're sincerely interested in the topic, you would stop dangling pejorative questions having to do with stereotypes and agree with me that sex differences suggest different approaches to engaging life to the fullest.

Teresa

LOL -- I liked your "...I'm an avid indoorsman at heart..." comment -- I think I might use that one, if you don't mind! I was in scouting for a brief couple of years. I liked everything BUT camping. A cold, damp, spider-riddled tent was not fun for me and I always returned home with a miserable cold. I thought your statement was a funny one and I understood it to be a personal reflection, not an indictment on girls who like the outdoors. I think when some women get a little touchy and react knee-jerkily, they tend to promote the stereotype that women are too high strung... and dimwitted.

K

Caveat emptor indeed. I'm a mom of a Girl Scout and I help lead our troop. The GS program is indeed a pale imitation of the far far better Boy Scouting program, and has been taken over by rad-fems at the national level. However, at the girl level, the experience is entirely up to the leaders involved. Our group is very traditional, very family-centered. We focus on providing a variety of fun & educational activities for the girls that they might not otherwise get in school/family/whatever. Some girls even enjoy the camping, ya know?

As for the new programs, you mentioned "Journeys," these come and go. We review them thoroughly and take what is good and leave the rest. It's not rocket science. We leader-moms know these programs are written by urban childless women with advanced degrees, not by experienced mothers -- it is so obvious, and therefore easy to amend. We do not consider ourselves enslaved in any way to the orders of anyone at national. And there are good things in the programs, and we are glad to take those things away with us.

We had one older girl "go global" and participate in one of the official GS international travel events -- a rare thing, truth to tell -- and she was accompanied every step of the way by her mother. As always, it boils down to mothers being mothers -- being there, being aware, providing guidance. If the mother is out of the picture, all kinds of nonsense can ensue, but then that's nothing new.

In fact, there are a handful of girls in our troop who could use a little more mothering than what they're getting at home, and I have seen our leaders provide some of that for them. If not for our GS troop, a couple of girls would not know how to pack clothes for a trip, for example. In that sense, what we do is an outreach ministry, even if the national rad-fems would have a cow if they knew that.

Like they say in the movie "ignore the man [in this case rad-fem women] behind the curtain. The national level publicity does not reflect the reality of the individual troops with mothers firmly in charge.

gsk

How blessed those girls are to have you and your companions to guide them, K! I think you've amplified my points, as well as making the case for subsidiarity -- which is an essential point for families and other communions of persons. The feminine genius is exemplified when your "antennae" pick up on the specific needs and then provide for them with love. I'm so impressed!

Renee

I was a girl scout for some time as a child, it is up to the leader of the troop. They only reason I stuck in it, was that they needed someone to sell cookies in the neighborhood because the other girls got older. Girls don't even sell cookies anymore, their parents simply do it for them or they set up shop in front of Walmart.

Enbrethiliel

+JMJ+

Genevieve, your post reminds me of something slightly off topic . . .

Does anyone remember the 80s movie "Troop Beverley Hills"? The troop mother is an indoors woman herself. There's a hilarious scene in which she rings up another troop mother to complain that they shouldn't have been assigned a camping spot where it rained! =P Later that night, she checks her entire troop into the Beverley Hills hotel; and when called on her decision, she says (and I paraphrase!): "Ten girls and one bathroom? That's really roughing it!"

Anyway, a fellow troop mother who can't stand her tries to report all her activities--from diamond appraisal to runway modeling--to the head of the girl guides. The head simply points out that the only thing all the "evidence" proves is that the troop mother took an active interest in her girls, which was more than anyone else ever did for them.

I wouldn't mind having a troop mother like that!

gsk

Sounds kind of cute, actually. I guess it boils down to the age-old question: "Who is taking an active interest and why?"

No doubt most have sincere motives (even many of those pushing for contraception squads in schools) but then it falls to us to discern what is really in the girls' best interest. When it's more political or financial than personal, that's the problem. Secondary to my primary concern: "how to structure girls' activities," but also compelling and foundational.

lar

I was part of 'Girl Guides" for many years and i loved it.
In Australia there are Scouts and Girl Guides.BUT for some silly reason there are girls in the Scouts so they are no longer "boy Scouts". Us Girl Guides HATED the girl Scouts - we saw them as being butch try hards.

We did go camping and do some outdoor activities but mostly we did crafts, cooking,games and talked. I think that we had a very womanly approach.

Our uniform was also a lot different from the scouts - we had blue tops and a cross between a skirt and pants - i can't remember what they are called.

Enbrethiliel

+JMJ+

Lar:

Oh, dear! You don't mean bloomers, do you??? ;)

gsk

I think she means koulottes (or coulottes?) I remember that Linda Evans always wore them on "The Big Valley" when she rode horseback. Brilliant invention.

Warren

Juliette Gordon Lowe might have been kind of "new agey" for her day, but the early girl scout movement, like the early boy scout movement which Juliette was clearly copying, which was founded by Baden Powell on clearly Christian principles,
started out very Christian at the ground level, in the basements of Churches, and in the gymnasiums of Catholic and Protestant (christian) schools, across the US and Canada.

They have both been on a slow and steady march away from those principles. As christian values evaporate from the culture at large, Scouting (the male version) has certainly left every trace of Christian feeling behind. For boys who are Catholic, for instance, there exist alternatives like the Baden Powell Explorers, a group very much returning not only to the Christian roots of the Scouting movement, but also to his original outdoor and camping skills focus.

Should girls have outdoors skills and camping experiences? I think so. But then I think such decisions ought to be carefully considered on a case by case basis. A great many girls would probably very much enjoy an all-girls camping and outdoor skills programme, if it is consistent with the other values that her parents are trying to instill in her. I cannot recommend Girl Guides (in Canada) or Girl Scouts, if they embrace the same awful new-age values that the Scouts currently do. Here in Canada we have Girl Guides (girls only) and Scouts (one troupe for boys and girls, although oddly enough the local troupe I was a leader in had zero girls in it ever).

I absolutely detest the new-age angle, and I think that young boys and girls should have their own groups with only boys and only girls. Scouts is ruined in Canada, for these twin reasons.

My sons have some interest in this and I will see about the catholic BP Explorers group. If there was a girls catholic or even merely christian group, that did camping and outdoor skills, I fail to see how this would be then a bad idea for girls, or "unfeminine". Surely learning to build a campfire, cook on a campfire, read a compass, tie some knots, and so on, learning to survive in the real raw world as it naturally exists, is a human survival skill, and therefore valuable to both boys and girls.

Warren

bkinfo

At the core of Brahma Kumari practises is spirit mediumship.

Anyone becoming involved in their "soft sell" sales pitch should be aware of this.

Their mediation is not some "ancient" yoga practise. It is only 50 or 60 years old. It is the submission of mind to a spirit entity that speaks through their trance mediums and which they believe is the god of all religions.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Speaking Engagements

  • Contact info
    Kindly email me at gskineke [at] gmail.com for me to speak to your parish or women's group.

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    Comments

    • From Benedict XVI
      “People have realized that the complete removal of the feminine element from the Christian message is a shortcoming from an anthropological viewpoint. It is theologically and anthropologically important for woman to be at the center of Christianity."
    • Anger and Patrimony (from Donna)
      This is just another of the unintended consequences of the cultural acceptance of contraception and abortion! Men's sexuality has been robbed of its creative essence. It is now viewed as something that imposes a burden on women (when conception happens to occur), something used to control women or something that is purely recreational. Why would men bother?? In taking away their responsibility, we've also robbed them of their significance! In the big picture of humanity, men have been made into nothing more than a nuisance women have to figure out how to control in order to bring about the next generation. Men don't see it as their task to protect the vulnerable because they see themselves as the vulnerable ones. A few well preserved vials of sperm would make men entirely obsolete in the world's ethos today!!
    • Excellent, Dom! (from Teresa)
      That is astounding Robin, and good for you for standing up. At the heart of that matter, I think, is even worse than a gender mixing message. There is an increased sharper and sharper focus on the "self." Solid Catholic teaching returns our focus away from ourselves to Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The original sin, Eve denied her womanhood when she desired to be like "gods." Since the only god she knew was the Father. Where was Adam? He stood impotent... in other words, they were divorced. There's a young girl at Robin's son's high school who was just told that she is the center of the universe and it's a tragic disservice to her.
    • Find the logic (from "me")
      Ditto what Mary said! A lot of high schools have very poor math and science depts, for boys and girls. I also am educated as a chemical engineer, but chose to teach the two years before we had children because its hours were more suited to spending time with children. (I was looking ahead). When it came time and I was pregnant with our first, I realized that I did not want to leave him with someone else, and was able to stay home full time. I am not sure it would have been that easy if we were used to another engineering income and not just a private school teacher income. Also some of my first job offers were out on oil rigs - I had no interest in that at all even though I enjoyed my engineering classes and did well in them. No one discouraged me from an engineering job, on the contrary I got a lot of flack for my decision not to pursue an engineering career.
    • Find the logic (from Mary)
      I've been lurking, but this is one that irritates me. Beats the heck out of me what these "barriers" are. I was educated as a chemical engineer, where 1/3 of our class was women. However, in electrical engineering, only 1 or 2 out of 30 were women. Is it possible that women are Just Not Interested in some areas? Nah, it must be The Man keeping us down so we must legislate (and, I agree -- when they say "legistlate", I hear "quota"). And actually, I have a friend that was also a chemical engineer. When she lost her job, she decided not to go back into engineering and started working from home so she could spend more time with her 3 kids. Also, if nothing else, there are all kinds of incentives for women to enter science and engineering -- scholarships not available to men, guaranteed housing on campuses that do not guarantee housing to the general population, etc. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that schools in general are not preparing students for the hard sciences. It is truly a sad state of affairs, the lack of science education these days.

    Subscribe here

    • My Catholic Homepage