Dragged Kicking and Screaming Into the Future

The Boy Scouts of America have booted a transgender boy. Because, uh.

Meanwhile, the Girl Scouts, who were much quicker to accept LGBT (and who currently accept transgendered girls)

SECAUCUS, NJ (WCBS/CNN) – The family of an 8-year-old boy said he was kicked out of Boy Scouts because he is transgender.

Born a female, Jody, now Joe is transgender.

Joe’s mom, Kristie Maldonado, signed him up for Cub Scouts and made it very clear that he was transgender.

After about a month, she said she got a call from the Boy Scouts’ head counsel, saying he could no longer be part of the organization

The Boy Scouts had to be on the receiving end of a great deal of criticism and legal threats before they moved from the 19th century to the 20th century. What will it take to get them to finally move to the 21st? I did a bit of searching around and couldn’t find any reason the Boy Scouts gave for their actions. Would anyone like to bet that the first justification they reach for is bathroom issues?

The tragic part is that the Boy Scouts are supposedly building the next generation of American Leaders. Well, this is not how to go about doing it. I hate to say it, but if you’re trying to teach leadership, teaching hatred and gender norms (and probably a good dose of toxic masculinity) is not on. They should be teaching future leaders about Plato, Voltaire, Machiavelli* and Rawls, not how to carve little cars out of basswood or make bonfires. They should be teaching future leaders about logistics, and studying Sun Tzu, not collecting merit badges for trivial accomplishments.divider2WLBT Ms News Now: Transgender Boy Kicked Out of Boy Scouts

(* Machiavelli is very important in political philosophy, but needs to be understood in context. He was a sycophant to power – sort of like an old-school Bill O’Reilly – “The Prince” is an extended fluffjob for Lorenzo DeMedici and shouldn’t be taken literally.)



  1. John Morales says

    The tragic part is that the Boy Scouts are supposedly building the next generation of American Leaders.


    For me, the tragic part is that the boy wants to join the Boy Scouts — a club that doesn’t want people like him.

    In passing, one cannot be a leader without having followers; given your normal anti-authoritarianism, I’m surprised you seem to view the Boy Scouts in a positive light.

  2. says

    John Morales@#1:
    I’m not a fan of organizations that are, basically, ways of conditioning kids to be little totalitarian cogs. If it appears that I favor the Boy Scouts at all, that was a mistake on my part. I loathe the organization but it’s been formative and important to some people I know.

  3. Lurker #753 says

    Re: Machiavelli, Ada Palmer (historian of the era) wrote a multi-post discussion of Machiavelli and his world, starting here: http://www.exurbe.com/?p=1429. I don’t think she views him as a sycophant to anybody.

    After half a page of introductory not-about-Machiavelli, she writes: “(Yes, I am going to talk about Machiavelli, and I hope you see here that the fundamental mistake most introductions to Machiavelli make is that they start by talking about Machiavelli. Context is everything.)”

  4. says

    Lurker #753@#4:
    Thanks for sharing that link! It’s really interesting stuff and now I’m going to have to read more about Machiavelli.

    I’ll observe that since Palmer is a historian of the period, it’s possible she’s got some bias going on. She does admit (correctly) that the Borjas had a much greater influence on what was happening than Machiavelli did, and of course the Medici did, too. And Machiavelli’s continued support of Florentine monarchs, even after surviving the wars and confusion, could be credited to sycophancy or perhaps love of his self-importance. I don’t regard Machiavelli as a great schemer, BTW, so I don’t hold with that stereotype either: he always seemed to me to be someone caught up in the whirl of affairs, who knew which side of his bread was buttered, and did the best he could to stay in the good graces of those who controlled the butter. He was never the butterer.

    (Edit: my views of Machiavelli are probably heavily biassed by casual remarks from some of my dad’s colleagues – most notably regular dinner guest J. G. A. Pockock, who was a scholar of Machiavelli and was probably familiar enough with his context to be more ruthlessly clear-eyed than many of us. That all occurred during my “seen, but not heard” stage and I mostly absorbed without questioning. Pockock, BTW, spoke fluent Latin and old Norse and used to read “Lord of the Rings” in free translation to Norse, once he had enough wine in him. We kids adored him.)