Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Great Transgender Girl Scout Cookie Boycott (or: Get Your Penis Outta My Bathroom!)

EDIT: Whoops, that was quick!  The original video is now "private."  Some protest, huh?  About three quarters of it has been reposted by a different YouTube user (at least for the time being), and that is what I've now embedded above.

Fun fact: this is second video that I've embedded on the blog that has disappeared within twenty-four hours.  The other?  Beavis and Butt-Head's take on "It's So Cold in the D".  There's some correlation to be drawn between the intelligence level of those two things, I think.  My original post begins with the switch to black text.

WHICH BATHROOMS DO THEY USE?  Truly one of the great questions of our time, an example of pragmatism at its finest.  (/sarcasm, as the kids write on YouTube videos that actually allow comments.)

If this video hasn't shown up on your Facebook feed yet, it's likely only a matter of minutes.  It's truly amazing to think about all of the things I didn't realize were actually problems or issues until some raving lunatic on YouTube brings them to my attention. Isn't modern social media just grand?

For me, there are two things to address here: the video, and the message it advocates.  Let's do the fun part first, and rip apart the clip itself.  I'm the kind of dude who's seen a horror movie or two (thousand) in his time, and I feel perfectly confident in telling you that I know a brainwashed face when I see one.  The blank expression, the robotic, narcotized style of speech, it's all classic.  GIRL SCOUT ZOMBIES IN 3-D, coming soon to a theater near you.  I mock, I sneer, and I'd probably buy a ticket.

I love the editing style, too: looks like someone just pirated some expensive digital editing software off the internet and is having FUN WITH TEXT AND FOCUS!  I've seen public access shows with better production values.   Seriously, upstanding moral crusaders: if you're not proficient with production techniques, you are truly better off just placing the camera, hitting RECORD, and realizing that less is more.

Then there's the script.  I'd like to acknowledge that my inner Beavis snickered every single time she said "a true all-girl experience" or some derivative thereof.  The part of me that wants to believe that the world is a better place than it is hopes that some snarky adult fed her that phrase to underscore the essential dopey-ness of the entire tirade.  The realist in me knows that, sadly, whoever wrote this script is as serious as a heart attack about it all, and that any resulting humor is unfortunately unintentional.

The issue itself - that of the place of transgenders in an organization like the Girl Scouts - is a touch thornier.  In theory, yes, I do believe that if a child should be able to participate in activities aimed at the gender with which they identify.  If there are truly a significant number of transgendered children already in the Girl Scouts and this particularly viral strain of YouTube idiocy is the first we're really hearing about it, then I fail to see what the problem is.  That suggests to me that the transgendered Girl Scouts have been accepted reasonably smoothly into the organization, and at that point no further debate seems necessary.

But what happens when that's not the case?  What if a reasonable, caring parent objects?  I'm not talking about the sort of raving whack-a-loon that would produce a video like this one.  I'm talking about a decent, possibly religious parent who simply doesn't want to have this sort of can of worms forced open within their family.  That parent and their daughter have rights, too - and while their viewpoint doesn't exactly match mine, I can wrap my head around it and acknowledge it as intelligent, reasonable, and non-hateful.  I don't know what the answer is, honestly.  Or maybe I do: maybe the lesson here is that you can't truly control what life throws at you, be you a person stuck in the wrong body or a good, well-meaning parent who's never previously had to even consider the implications of such a thing.  Perhaps you just have to accept that there is no good, one-cure-fits-all answer to a question like this, and be brave enough to face whatever new things you are confronted with with as much morality and open-mindedness as you can muster.

Where discriminatory tripe like this video is concerned, however, I absolutely have the answer: double my order of Girl Scout cookies for this year, please.  The idea that I can simultaneously gorge myself on delicious Tagalongs and flip the bird to hateful lunatics is the very definition of win-win.

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