Jennifer Tyrrell, an Ohio den leader dismissed by her local Boy Scout troop for being a lesbian, said she’s disappointed her 7-year-old son is no longer participating in the Scouts.
“He’s no longer a Boy Scout,” Tyrrell said Wednesday of removing her son, Cruz, from the group. “And we’re sad about that, but we can’t support an organization that doesn’t support our family.”
Tyrrell is now engaged in a campaign with Change.org, a left-leaning political group, to raise awareness of the policy of the Boy Scouts of America, garnering 140,000 signatures and saying that she ultimately wants the national organization to reverse its position.
“This isn’t about my sexuality; this isn’t about anybody’s sexuality,” Tyrrell said. “It’s about teaching children to be better adults, and we aren’t doing that by teaching them to hate or discriminate…”
The Boy Scouts of America said in a statement that its “membership standards are founded on the values, expectations and beliefs of those we serve…”
The Girl Scouts of America has a decades-old policy of nondiscrimination.
When did teaching children to oppose civil rights, to support bigotry, become a sacred institution? Has the Boy Scouts of America become such an exclusive club that excluding parents is acceptable?
Are the Boy Scouts one more American institution that has been infiltrated and absorbed into some nutball purity movement?
That the Girl Scouts don’t tolerate this crap is one more example of American women being smarter than American men.
Little girls love mimicking their mommies. They clomp around in high heels, push toy Dyson vacuums and tenderly strap stuffed animals into baby strollers. Big sisters — and brothers — who see their mothers nursing a new baby sibling often pretend to do the same. Lifting their tiny tees, they smush a doll or, in my daughter’s case, a panda to their chest. As parents, we race for the camera and post the adorable pics on Facebook. So why all the brouhaha over the The Breast Milk Baby?
“Yuck” is the general reaction that the sweet-faced Spanish import is receiving in the U.S. It’s apparently a hit in Europe, but more prudish Americans are clamoring to decry the inappropriateness of a doll that lets a young girl pretend to breast-feed. The six models — Cameron, Jeremiah, Lilyang, Jessica, Savannah and Tony — are sold with a flowered halter top for your breast-feeder-in-training to wear. Hold the baby to the strategically placed flower “nipple,” and the doll moves its mouth and makes associated suckling sounds.
Granted, it’s — pardon the pun — pretty over the top. But it’s hardly odder than the anatomically correct boy-doll my mother-in-law bought my son; fill it with water and it obediently wet the plastic potty it came with. Yet while urinating — and defecating — dolls are commonplace, major retailers have shied away from Breast Milk Baby so far, although manufacturer Berjuan Toys intends to tout the doll’s appeal at a mega-trade show later this month in Las Vegas…
Berjuan, meanwhile, is milking its 15 minutes of fame for all it’s worth. On its website, the company trumpets that “God Supports The Breast Milk Baby” and U.S. spokesman Dennis Lewis complains of being labeled “perverts and pedophiles” for promoting breast-feeding. “Churches all over the world are filled with images of Mary nursing baby Jesus, and yet we can’t imagine letting our daughters learn how important breastfeeding is for our society?” he says on the site.
Religious guilt aside, it’s undeniable that the doll is a good match for children, who are naturally curious about biology. The Breast Milk Baby simulates the miraculously complex way a woman’s body can produce all the food her baby needs for many months. It’s one thing to castigate Bratz dolls with their sultry, made-up eyes and Angelina Jolie lips or Barbies with their infinitesimal waists and big boobs; they ooze sexuality and project unattainable body ideals. If anything, The Breast Milk Baby is a refreshing change from the doll-as-tarted-up-playmate paradigm: it’s not about sex; it’s about eating.
Not that there is anything unusual about Americans blurting out their ignorance and archaic fears over sex and/or food. You probably could turn out a joint Christian/Tea Party demonstration against a local retailer offering this doll – ten times faster and easier than, say, the equivalent herd showing up at a public exposition on neutering stray dogs and cats. Though the latter addresses longterm questions our society should deal with and the former – well, the former is a historic footnote on the insecurities of this nation.