International Women's Day

Today is International Women's Day, the day we celebrate women's achievements throughout history and around the world.  This year, Gender Across Borders and CARE are asking bloggers to describe a particular organization, person, group or moment in history that helped to inspire a positive future and impact the minds and aspirations for girls.

Last week I bought a box of Girl Scout cookies from a troop outside the grocery store near my house.  I stopped to talk to them and mentioned that I was a Girl Scout, too.  One of the moms asked, "How long have you been a Girl Scout?"  Before I could stop myself, I opened my mouth and spat out a gleeful, "20 years!"

The girls looked at me like I had suddenly become Methuselah.  Like, is anything on earth that old?  Like, how could you possibly be interested in something so long?

I skittered off before they could ask if I had ever met George Washington, or Moses, or Eve but not without first having flashbacks to most of my childhood with Girl Scouts.

The Girl Scouts have gotten accused of some ridiculous things lately (like supposedly being the "tactical arm" of Planned Parenthood).  My favorite slander ever, though, is the accusation that they are promoting the feminist agenda.  You know what, detractors?  You are right. 

Girl Scouts taught me the following things:
  • mountain climbing
  • which fork to use at a fancy dinner
  • evidence-based, age-appropriate sex education
  • basic car maintenance
  • to make a camp fire and pitch a tent
  • to cook
  • to make new friends and keep the old
  • about different countries and cultures
  • entrepreneurialism
  • creativity
  • to make a lanyard key chain
  • to shoot a rifle and a bow
  • to speak confidently
  • to support other women
If teaching a girl to do all that isn't feminism, I don't know what is.

I can't stop thinking of things that the Girl Scouts taught me.   I can't stop being thankful for an organization that cares enough about girls to take them seriously, teach them things, and help them achieve.  I can't stop being thankful that the Girl Scouts are a feminist organization because they have made me who I am today.

Happy International Women's Day!