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The Boy Scouts ponder bankruptcy over the cost of abuse lawsuits. Men’s Rights Activists blame … feminism?

The Boy Scouts: Cancelled?

By David Futrelle

Men’s Rights Activists claim to care a lot about the sexual abuse of boys. And they do, to some extent — at least so long as the perpetrators of that abuse are women. Any time news breaks of a female teacher having an “affair” with a male student, you can expect to see multiple posts in the Men’s Rights subreddit about it.

When the abusers are male, though, MRAs aren’t much interested. Last week, NBC News reported that

The Boy Scouts of America is considering filing for bankruptcy in part because insurance companies are balking at paying settlements to almost a dozen men who claim they were sexually abused as boys by a notorious scoutmaster.

The news inspired several discussions in the Men’s Rights subreddit. But there was no real anger at the organization for its decades-long failure to protect the boys in its charge from predatory scoutmasters, leading to literally thousands of cases of abuse.

Indeed, most of the commenters in these threads — apparently not bothering to read past the headlines of any of the articles linked to — seemed to have missed the main reason for the potential bankruptcy filing altogether, and instead convinced themselves that whatever financial troubles the BSA is having stem from the group allegedly kowtowing to evil feminists by opening the doors for girls to join — and leading membership to plummet. (Never mind that membership in the Boy Scouts first began to decline in a big way in the early 1970s, nearly a half century before the group first started admitting girls.)

“As an Eagle Scout, it was sad to see the BSA fizzle to extinction,” complained a Men’s Rights Redditor called VaultGuy1995.

The heads of the BSA succumbed to the push of the feminists and now it probably won’t ever come back. If I have sons I wanna teach them as much scouting stuff as I can, because the BSA no longer has their best interests at heart.

As opposed to the days when sexual abuse was rampant in the organization?

Others were blunter, suggesting that feminists see the possible collapse of the BSA as a “Mission Accomplished!”

“I’m sure that was the goal from the start; no environment for men,” rooster-one4 agreed.

“Whatever feminism and sjw culture graces automatically disintegrate,” someone called perplexedm sniffed. “It is a great way to destruct organized, positive structures and bring in anarchy.”

“Feminists officially eroded Boy Scouts,” TheShShCreature added sarcastically. “Nice job.”

“Get woke, go broke,” declared frankattack1.

Very sad, but unfortunately things are going to get worse before they get better.

We started with two decent organizations, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Soon we’ll have neither. Progress.

(Of course, not all Men’s Rights Redditors think it would be such a tragedy if the Girl Scouts were to fold. “I thinks it’s dangerous to teach young girls self esteem and leadership skills,” someone called GreyStomp remarked in response to frankattack1’s lament.)

A few commenters went so far as to suggest that the real problem with the Boy Scouts today is that they are too vigilant in trying to protect boys from predators.

“[A]ll the changes to prevent lawsuits made it that much harder to have the basic scout program,” complained someone called vinyardmike, who said he was a former scout and scout leader.

No more on on one contact means a scout leader can’t give a scout a ride home and a scout leader can’t wait with that one last scout for his parents to pick him up after an event.

These days, he continued, the “organization … treats all leaders as pedophiles.”

“[T]he regulations that one needs to pass to become a leader [have]increased,” added someone called goodfoobar, “meaning that it has become that much harder to find new leaders.”

Possibly. But these rules also make it harder for sexual predators to find Boy Scouts to abuse. And given the exceedingly poor track record of the Scouts on this issue that seems just a teensy bit more important.

Maybe it’s just me, but complaining about rules put in place to protect boys from sexual predators really doesn’t seem like the best way to protect boys from sexual predators.

This is hardly the first time that MRAs have shown a distinct lack of interest in protecting boys from male predators. In October, after former Iowa youth basketball coach Greg Stephen pled guilty to multiple child exploitation and child porn charges after admitting to sexual exploiting some 400 boys, I discovered that there had never been even a single post in the Men’s Rights subreddit about this exceedingly disturbing case. Had a woman done the same thing there would have been hundreds of posts.

It’s almost as though MRAs aren’t so much interested in protecting boys from predators as they are in using cases where predators are female as an excuse to rail against feminism and women in general.

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tohka
tohka
1 year ago

“I thinks it’s dangerous to teach young girls self esteem and leadership skills,” someone called GreyStomp remarked in response to frankattack1’s lament.)

Can’t have girls believing their people and teach them confidence. It’lll lead them to read, have thoughts, ideas and make choices that aren’t in men’s best interests. I wish that was irony from them..

But that last statement is tragic and disheartening. They claim they’re for family and traditional values but couldn’t care about male victims of abuse… when they use those same victims and statistics whenever feminists bring up abuse.

Talonknife
Talonknife
1 year ago

I’m an Eagle Scout and Assistant Scoutmaster myself. The safety regulations aren’t even all that stringent. All I had to do as far as training goes is do an online youth protection training that takes about an hour and lasts for two years. Head Scoutmasters might have to do a bit more, I’m not totally sure, but I doubt it’s anything incredibly taxing. The actual practical rules aren’t that difficult, either. The big one is that you’re not allowed to have just one adult present with Scouts, which I think is more than fair. It can be a little annoying at summer camp when you’ve got a Troop without many Scoutmasters, but it’s not really that difficult to get everyone divided up properly.

iknklast
iknklast
1 year ago

Uh, Dave, I don’t know the exact date it happened, but when I was a teen girls were allowed to join Boy Scouts. I don’t know that they did in large numbers, but there certainly were girls in Boy Scouts in the 70s, at least in the area where I lived (Oklahoma, so not a hot bed of progressivism). I think the move into Boy Scouts has been large lately, at least from the news I’ve seen, but I know there was a huge discussion of this issue back in the 1970s, when I was in Girl Scouts.

banned@4chan.org
banned@4chan.org
1 year ago

Wait, what? The BSA have been sued enough times they’re at risk of being unable to afford insurance anymore?

Aaron
Aaron
1 year ago

@iknklast – Your experience is probably down to the fact that the BSA is extremely decentralized. Individual troops have a huge amount of autonomy and can basically do whatever they want. (In some ways this is good, but the notorious lack of oversight is partially why this predator was able to operate undetected for so long. Less seriously, there’s also a problem with general quality control.)

Bina
1 year ago

Funny how none of these urinal cakes want to put the blame for the whole scandal where it actually belongs: On the heads of those who knew about the abusers and still let them have access to the kids.

And how about also learning to distinguish between molesters and queer scout leaders?

Too obvious, I guess.

Also:

Get woke, go broke

Awww, that’s so cute. A catchphrase that sucks ass and actually makes no sense! What’s the corollary? “Stay asleep, be a creep”? Still won’t make you any richer, fool. Being “politically incorrect” actually carries zero benefits, unless maybe you count the ugly pleasure of being mean to people you see as being lower on the pole than you.

Including kids who are too young and small to fight back or even put a name to what’s going on.

K.
K.
1 year ago

Seems appropriate.

Troubelle: Moonbeam Malcontent, Bard of the New Movement
Troubelle: Moonbeam Malcontent, Bard of the New Movement
1 year ago

Now, I may be no expert on how the Scouts operate
But I’m pretty, awfully positiveit hasn’t got a thing to do with women wielding hate
Barely a note of the real issue with mental health on the line
Still the long-uncaged MRAs dodge logic in a long haze and blame the wrong thing for decline

Now, I’m no professional when it comes to raisin’ kids
But I’m really, soundly sure that sudden molestation ain’t a thing one should claim to have did
Some say it’s a distraction to ensure the kids are safe and sound
And I’ll briskly say right here when I have the company’s ear that’s not someone I wanna be around

Blast off into nightly stars
Come back covered in sad, sad scars
Nothin’ a kid should go through
Excuses made, excuses passed
Usin’ stereotypes as a discussion’s ballast
That’s what they choose to do
God, I say, I’m through

Dormousing_it
Dormousing_it
1 year ago

@Troubelle:

Ever heard of David Hahn, the radioactive boy scout? This young man tried to build a mini nuclear reactor in his mother’s house! He had earned the Boy Scouts’ Atomic Energy badge, which was swiftly discontinued after David managed to irradiate his neighborhood.

Here’s my inept ode to his memory:

David Hahn was a fresh-faced teen Boy Scout
Whose enthusiasm for splitting the atom, wasn’t ever in doubt.
Geiger counter in hand,
He scoured his native Michigan land…
For radioactive rocks
And especially old radium-dial clocks.

He came to a tortuous forty-something sad end,
Alcohol poisoning, not on the mend.

See, I can write verse, too!

I think it’s the Xanax and gin and tonic my system is awash in right now. I’ll quit while I’m behind.

Troubelle: Moonbeam Malcontent, Bard of the New Movement
Troubelle: Moonbeam Malcontent, Bard of the New Movement
1 year ago

@Dormousing_it

I’m quite aware of the fellow–read of him in a Bathroom Reader when I was a tyke, and watched a bit on YouTube about him more recently.

CarrieV
CarrieV
1 year ago

“I think it’s dangerous to teach young girls self esteem and leadership skills” is also the statement that Dwight Schrute made to Toby from Human Resources when he asked Dwight to buy some of his daughter’s Girl Scout cookies *in exchange for* a good employee review. (The Office)

I shuddered when Dwight said it, but if you watch The Office you’ll know that he’s the backward troglodyte. Methinks that the sentiment — if not the word-for-word statement — must be common AF among the lady-haters.

Knitting Cat Lady
Knitting Cat Lady
1 year ago

@Dormousing_it

I do radiation protection for a living. As a result I’m a bit more cavalier about the handling of radioactive materials than the general public. Because I know what is safe and what isn’t.

This guy knew enough to be dangerous and not enough to be safe.

Moggie
Moggie
1 year ago

Maybe the BSA should get itself bought out by the Catholic church? They manage to stay in business.

@Talonknife:

The big one is that you’re not allowed to have just one adult present with Scouts, which I think is more than fair

Hell, that makes sense even without taking abuse into account. With a single adult, what if they’re incapacitated?

Kevin
Kevin
1 year ago

@ Moggie

Good point about a sole adult becoming incapacitated, not a good time to find out if the Scout is up to date on first aid.

We seem to have a successful Scout movement in the UK, with waiting lists for most troops. And they’ve been co – ed for about twenty years or more as far as I know. And safeguarding is taken very seriously.

‘Go woke go broke ?’ Piffle !

Makroth - cowboy Jacobin from Hell
Makroth - cowboy Jacobin from Hell
1 year ago

If only the Catholic Church could be bankrupted as well.

Dormousing_it
Dormousing_it
1 year ago

OK, now that I’m no longer under the influence of anything…I was a Girl Scout once, and I don’t remember anything in the way of leadership or self-esteem being taught.

We did the stuff to earn the badges and we did seasonal crafts.
OFC, we sold cookies. We went to Girl Scout camp in the summer, and hiked, and learned about fire safety. The adults at the camp forbid us to RUN. Liability issues, I suppose. You try getting a bunch of children not to run.

Of course this was circa 1978, and just because I don’t remember it, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. It could be the leadership and self-esteem were soft-pedaled to us when we were earning the badges, and I was too young to realize it.

The only badge I still have is one I got when I was a Brownie. All it has is ’76 on it. I guess it was some patriotic thing, for the American Bicentennial. I don’t remember.

BTW, the 70s uniforms sucked.

Katamount
Katamount
1 year ago

Yeah, between video games and the internet, I think the Scouting movement in general has a bigger problem then female membership (which is actually the opposite of a problem, in fact it’s only invigorating what was a sad, dreary paternal organization).

I can’t speak for the American counterpart, but I was a Cub Scout in Canada for three years. Reminiscing on it now, I certainly had a lot of fun with my schoolyard chums playing dodgeball and this circle key game thing which I’m sure has a name, but we just called it “the key game”. But if there was any reason I didn’t continue, it was because none of my friends were, and being the anxious kid I was, didn’t feel like having to make new friends with total strangers who probably went to different schools than me.

Hitting my tween years didn’t help either.

Yeah, got some fond memories of it. I will say this though: it was verrrrrrry colonial. I mean straight-up “pledge to serve God and Queen Liz, then sing God Save The Queen” kind of colonial. While we didn’t really go that far, it’s still part of the Cub scout pledge that you have to honour God and the Queen, as Lord Baden-Powell intended. While our meetings always took place in the basement gym of our school, any special functions that needed more space were always done at a nearby Anglican church. Of course, I had no inkling of any of that; I just wanted to earn merit badges and play dodgeball. It’s only in retrospect do I recall how strangely doctrinaire it all was.

And of course there was Cub Camp. Taking the trip up north in Baloo’s pick-up truck, singing “I Saw The Sign”. Sometimes I miss the 90s.

Dormousing_it
Dormousing_it
1 year ago

I forgot to mention…maybe 40 years ago, leadership skills and self-esteem weren’t yet being taught in the Girl Scouts. The 70s weren’t a child-centered time in the US, and maybe the adults were worried we’d all grow up and burn our bras.

I know the bra-burning is a myth.

Nequam
Nequam
1 year ago
Bakunin
Bakunin
1 year ago

@Nequam
I’d argue that the Mormons breaking off is a bigger contributor than feminists or abuse cases.

Moggie
Moggie
1 year ago

I remember my parents being relieved when I didn’t want to be a Cub Scout in the 1960s. I remember three things put me off. Firstly, I didn’t want to promise to “love God”, something I couldn’t honestly do. Secondly, the local scouts seemed very middle-class to me, as a painfully class-conscious working-class kid (this was when I was still ashamed of my background). Thirdly, although one didn’t hear the word paedophile in those days, kids were aware that there were creepy guys to avoid, and that they tended to be P.E. teachers, priests, or scout masters. It kind of amazes me, looking back, that all kids knew this.

Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
1 year ago

I was a Boy Scout back in the late 60’s… for about a month. We went on campout and we threw the scout master’s sleeping bag in the lake. They disbanded the troop (so what if the scout master was still IN the sleeping bag….???)

A Scout is:
TRUSTWORTHY
LOYAL
HELPFUL
FRIENDLY
COURTEOUS
KIND
OBEDIENT
CHEERFUL
THRIFTY
BRAVE
CLEAN
REVERENT

I can comfortably say I am all of these things… though (obviously) not due to the boy sprouts….

@ Dormousing:

I know the bra-burning is a myth.

Nuh-UH!! One of my friends’ first tattoo is of a burning bra!!!

Moggie
Moggie
1 year ago

“Clean”? Kids? That’s unnatural!

Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
1 year ago

“Clean”? Kids? That’s unnatural!

One of the things I remember about “Clean” was how much emphasis was placed on avoiding sexual (especially gender-nonconforming) contact….

“Clean” = “cis-hetero, abstinence until marriage”….

….

Also no dancing and no makeup.

No, wait, that was the fundamentalist church, not the boy scouts.

Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
1 year ago

HMMMM…

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/21/opinion/sunday/why-do-we-teach-girls-that-its-cute-to-be-scared.html

When I worked as a firefighter, I was often scared. Of course I was. So were the men.

Dormousing_it
Dormousing_it
1 year ago

@Weird Eddie:

Hilarious that you threw your scout master in the lake. I hope the water was cold.

My Girl Scout meetings were held in a firehouse. There were no standard toilets, ones with seats, in that building, only kinda somewhat urinal-looking thingys, in stalls with no doors. (How the town got away with this, I have no idea.) This annoyed me greatly.

I dared another girl to throw rolls of toilet paper in two of the urinal thingys, then flush them. I didn’t think she’d be dumb enough to do it. Well, she was, and while we were all reciting the Scout’s prayer, the 2 clogged thingys overflowed, violently, forcefully, and loudly.

We caught hell for this, but it’s one of my fondest childhood memories.

Pie
Pie
1 year ago

@Weird Eddie

“Clean” = “cis-hetero, abstinence until marriage”….

….

Also no dancing and no makeup.

No, wait, that was the fundamentalist church, not the boy scouts.

First they’re all like “Be Prepared!”
And then they’re all like “That, uh, doesn’t extend to taking contraceptives to jamborees”
Its like they didn’t think these things through.

Katamount
Katamount
1 year ago

Fun fact for Toronto Mammotheers: Lady Mary Pellatt, the wife of Sir Henry Pellatt, who built Casa Loma, that world-famous fake castle that low-budget TV and movies use as a stand-in for a real castle, was the first Commissioner of the Girl Guides of Canada. She was actually buried in her Girl Guide uniform when she passed away in 1924.

Casa Loma has a couple of her other uniforms on display in her room, if memory serves.

Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary
1 year ago

They are unconcerned about females being sexually abused because they see even the youngest girl as a ‘temptress’ and a ‘jezabel’ and somehow complicit in their abuse because of their feminine wiles. I do not know what they think about male on male abuse, but I’m guessing it might be seen as ‘male bonding’ which very often in woman hating circles tends to be homoerotic.

As an update, I’m still working with that misogynist controlling client so I’ve had a bit of a challenging day 🙁

Kevin
Kevin
1 year ago

The thing about ‘duty to God and the queen’ in the Promise (going back to the 1970’s version) in the UK, took account of not being able to square that kind of thing with one’s conscience. It isn’t a promise to do certain things no matter what, but to do one’s best to keep to the ideal, which comes from early in the movement’s history. ‘Dyb dyb dyb’ and all that. It might not have been intended when the Promise was first compiled though.

A ‘colonial’ feeling in an international organization is a problem and I can see how that could feel awkward, even though the queen is Canada’s official head of state (as far as I know.)

Dormousing_it
Dormousing_it
1 year ago

@Knitting Cat Lady

That sounds like fascinating work. I’m envious.

Katamount
Katamount
1 year ago

@Kevin

A ‘colonial’ feeling in an international organization is a problem and I can see how that could feel awkward, even though the queen is Canada’s official head of state (as far as I know.)

I get the impression that the Promise to the Queen was as much about teaching a lesson in civics and government as it was a reminder of the British origins of the Scouting movement. The Queen is indeed still Head of State (as represented by the Governor General). But there’s still a lot wrapped up in that idea; after all, there’s currently some objections on the part of new citizens to taking loyalty oaths to the Queen and given the legacy of British colonial conquest, can’t really blame ’em.

Kiwiwriter
Kiwiwriter
1 year ago

As Tom Lehrer wrote and sang:

You know: of all the songs I’ve ever sung, that is the one I’ve had the most requests not to.
I have time for one more here. This one is a little song dedicated to the boy scouts of america. [applause] we seem to have a convention here tonight. The boy scouts of america, those noble little
Bastions of democracy, and the american legion of tomorrow. Their motto is… I would like to state at this time that I am not now and have never been… A member of the boy scouts of america.
Motto is, as you know, be prepared! And that is the name of this song.

Be prepared! That’s the boy scout’s marching song,
Be prepared! As through life you march along.
Be prepared to hold your liquor pretty well,
Don’t write naughty words on walls if you can’t spell.

Be prepared! To hide that pack of cigarettes,
Don’t make book if you cannot cover bets.
Keep those reefers hidden where you’re sure
That they will not be found
And be careful not to smoke them
When the scoutmaster’s around
For he only will insist that it be shared.
Be prepared!

Be prepared! That’s the boy scouts’ solemn creed,
Be prepared! And be clean in word and deed.
Don’t solicit for your sister, that’s not nice,
Unless you get a good percentage of her price.

Be prepared! And be careful not to do
Your good deeds when there’s no one watching you.
If you’re looking for adventure of a
New and different kind,
And you come across a girl scout who is
Similarly inclined,
Don’t be nervous, don’t be flustered, don’t be scared.
Be prepared!