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Girl Scout cookies weather the storm of controversy, celebrate 100 Years

Austin photo: Contributor_Michael Graupmann

In Shelley Long's campy 1989 comedy, Troop Beverly Hills, the indefatigable Long leads a troop of hard-working Beverly Hills tweens through a competitive Wilderness Girls cookie contest season.

Despite their earnest badge-earning efforts, the Beverly Hills girl scouts are harassed by the more conventional Redfeathers troop because of their outward differences from the "average" girl scout.

Who knew that a Shelley Long vehicle (that also showcased other B-list celebrities like Kareem Abdul-Jabar and Pia Zadora) would continue ringing true today?

Last week, the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) came under criticism from a group of modern day Redfeathers who seek to punish the progressive national organization. Specifically, detractors take issue with GSUSA's inclusion of transgendered Bobby Montoya, who identifies as a girl, in a troop in Colorado.

The Girl Scouts of Colorado immediately released a statement saying, “If a child identifies as a girl and the child’s family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout.”

Rachelle Trujillo, vice president for communications of the Colorado Girl Scouts, added, “If a child is living as a girl, that’s good enough for us. We don’t require any proof of gender.”

To some, this inclusion is a subtle display of positively shifting, more open-minded awareness. But to the conservative group HonestGirlScouts.com, this is an aberration of the Girl Scout Law that defies the intended "all girl experience."

It is obvious the individuals behind the website misunderstand the tricky nature of the transgendered identity, conflating Montoya's sexuality with her gender, which are not the same thing.

An inflammatory viral video, featuring a 14-year-old Girl Scout from Ventura County, California (clearly working on her Poise and Prejudice badges), called for Americans to boycott the upcoming Girl Scout cookie sales in order to stop funding the GSUSA.

In response to the video message of intolerance, advocates of the Girl Scouts of all ages and gender identities began speaking out in support of the GSUSA's decision. Most pointedly, former Girl Scout and later transgender man Buck Angel made his own video bucking the boycott, asserting that the Girl Scouts is ultimately "about learning to be a good person."

This attention could not come at a more perfect time, as the GSUSA are ready to celebrate their 100th Anniversary of spreading inclusion and goodwill amongst girls of all backgrounds, shapes and abilities this month.

While HonestGirlsScouts.com frames the GSUSA as "pro-abortion, pro-promiscuity, pro-gay-lesbian, and liberal," they are twisting the amazing work that this century-old organization has accomplished in the way of fighting gender inequality, promoting strong female role models and motivating underserved populations.

This cookie season, the Girl Scouts of Central Texas is excited to debut their 100 Year commemorative cookie boxes. All light blue boxes of Shortbread cookies will juxtapose black and white photos of GSUSA's first year with color photos of 2012's scouts.

In keeping with the times, the GSUSA has also developed a free Cookie Finder app to help you stock up for the long months without your beloved Thin Mints and Caramel deLites.

Now, more than ever, it's time to show your support for the Girl Scouts. Let's make it clear that bigotry and intolerance are not ideals we want to teach our children. Let's buy so many of these delicious little cookies, we prove Taylor and her crew unequivocally wrong.

It'll be the most delicious declaration you'll ever make. Take that, you nasty Redfeathers.

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The 100th Anniversary commemorative Girl Scout cookies will be on sale Jan. 18 - Feb. 24.

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