The Girl Scouts organization is clarifying its stance on women’s empowerment after facing controversy for a statement congratulating recently confirmed Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett on Wednesday.
“Congratulations Amy Coney Barrett on becoming the 5th woman appointed to the Supreme Court since its inception in 1789,” the since-deleted tweet read alongside an image of Barrett and the four other justices who came before her: Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Instead of celebratory responses, however, the Girl Scouts’ message was met with replies from critics saying Barrett’s conservative views were at odds with the organization’s message of girl power.
The Girl Scouts just tweeted out support for Amy Coney Barrett confirming they believe girls really don't matter to them. Disgusting.
— Women SCARE Trump💪🌈🏴☠️ (@Ky_Gill28) October 28, 2020
Girl Scouts grow up and need a full range of healthcare. Hard pass on the cookies this year. Someone please share a tagalong hack. https://t.co/07kxOmwPkD
— Esther Choo, MD MPH (@choo_ek) October 28, 2020
I've got to say, as a queer, disabled, lifelong Girl Scout, this bums me out hard. This isn't about partisanship, it's about what Amy Coney Barrett's place will mean on the court for MILLIONS of Girl Scouts—namely, losing our rights and having our lives jeopardized.
— Kendall Brown (@kendallybrown) October 28, 2020
Many pointed specifically to the threat that the justice represents toward women’s reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights and the nation’s response to climate change; some even threatened to boycott the organization. Within hours, the organization’s initial tweet was deleted and replaced with an explanation.
Earlier today, we shared a post highlighting the five women who have been appointed to the Supreme Court. It was quickly viewed as a political and partisan statement which was not our intent and we have removed the post.
— Girl Scouts (@girlscouts) October 28, 2020
Girl Scouts of the USA is a nonpolitical, nonpartisan organization. We are neither red nor blue, but Girl Scout GREEN. We are here to lift up girls and women.
— Girl Scouts (@girlscouts) October 28, 2020
The Girl Scouts clarified that it was “not our intent” for the tweet to be viewed as a “political and partisan statement,” explaining that it is a “nonpolitical, nonpartisan organization.” A Girl Scouts USA spokesperson elaborated in a statement to Yahoo Life.
“We have a legacy of highlighting women who have risen to the top of their fields including leaders of both political parties and our judicial branch. It was in this tradition that we congratulated Justice Barrett (as we have for Justices Kagan, Sotomayor, Ginsburg and O’Connor),” the spokesperson said. “This has been construed to be a political statement, but that was not our intention and we removed the post to minimize the negative conversation. For over 100 years we have and will continue to work for equality and to break down barriers for girls everywhere and support increasing the presence of women across all levels of government.”
People on Twitter continued to criticize the organization for both backtracking and posting in support of the controversial figure in the first place.
I'm not sure who is writing these tweets but now's a good time for you to learn the difference between "nonpartisan" and "nonpolitical". These words are not synonyms. Uplifting women and girls is inherently political. And you can put that on your cookies.
— Professor Fleming is writing (@alwaystheself) October 29, 2020
I’m a social media manager and my advice to your social media managers is: read the room next time.
You owe every queer Girl Scout, every Black Girl Scout, every Hispanic Girl Scout, and many more an apology.
There are many ways to uplift and empower girls. This was not it.
— Kate (@librarian_kate) October 28, 2020
This isn’t the first time that the Girl Scouts have faced criticism for seemingly taking a political stance, as the organization’s plans to take part in the Inaugural Day festivities for President Donald Trump in 2017 were met with a petition urging it to abstain.
In 2015, the organization also faced backlash for its transgender-inclusion policy, which it quickly defended. “Girl Scouts has valued and supported all girls since our inception in 1912. There is not one type of girl. Every girl’s sense of self, path to it, and how she is supported is unique,” a GSUSA representative said at the time.
Related : Girl Scouts honor student who created a college sexual assault database
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