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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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3 years 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.

3 years 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.

3 years 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
3 years 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 🙁

3 years 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.)

3 years ago

@Knitting Cat Lady

That sounds like fascinating work. I’m envious.

3 years ago


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.

3 years 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!

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