Transgender Guiding

In The Sunday Times a few weeks was an article on the Girl Guides Transgender Policies.

Guide leaders are rebelling against a policy that lets boys claiming to be female share showers and tents with girls on camping trips. The organisation forbids leaders telling parents.

The main arguments seem to lie in the fact that the emphasis is placed on the needs of the transchild which could in turn lead to other children being labelled as transphobic if they have a problem with the situation.  In a world where many are forced in to coerced virtue, understanding the feelings of everyone should be carefully debated.

From my experience, there’s usually an issue not properly addressed when adults are told not to talk about something with other adults.

The story was followed a few weeks later by a letter signed by 224 guide leaders and other interested parties.  The paragraph that caught my eye was this one:

If being a Guide is now based on an “inner sense” of being a girl, girlhood itself is reduced to feeling, looking or behaving “like a girl”, which reinforces stereotypes.

It interests me because I can’t work out whether the reinforcement of said stereotype is a bad thing.  We’re regularly being told that the most important factors is not what we look like but how we behave, with the former being merely superficial, cosmetic.  I would have thought that any movement that values equality and / or promotes the strength of women would be welcoming of a reduction in importance of the physical embodiment of the feeling.

I still find transgender debate the hardest on which to form an opinion on either side of the fence because self identification of gender is open to abuse.  I ran a similar argument about same sex marriage while I was at university and playing Devil’s Advocate with my lecturer.  There are parts of it that could simply be convenient (as with marriage in general, it must be said) and that therefore it could be open to abuse.

I wonder if this debate circling around the Girl Guides proves that there is never going to be a good solution or whether there a vocal minority pushing a cause very hard while not representing the majority of it.

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