It is hard to understand why anyone would ever have anything against Girl Scout cookies — have they tried Girl Scout cookies? — but apparently these people exist. In fact, even though you might not have been aware of it, you are currently living through CookieCott 2015, the latest iteration of some groups' annual boycott of Girl Scout cookies. I'm sorry I had to be the one to tell you. Really, I am.
The boycott is organized mostly by conservative pro-life groups who dislike the fact that the Girl Scouts, a secular organization, dares to honor women and girls who fight for female reproductive rights. And at least some of them seem to think that the group has nefarious ties to that shadowy cabal known as Planned Parenthood; I guess partnering with a place that helps keep women from dying of breast cancer is just pure evil. Next thing you know, Girl Scouts will be offering you free mammogram coupons with your Thin Mints! The horror! The horror!
Ann Saladin, who founded the group My Girl Scout Council to keep track of pro-life "concerns" about the Girl Scouts, told Vocativ:
"The Girl Scout curriculum series promotes many women and organizations that publicly advocate for abortion rights, without a similar inclusion of women and organizations that publicly advocate against abortion. Girl Scouts claims to build girls of courage, confidence and character. Surely this can be done without including such a controversial issue, and promoting women and organizations who advocate for abortion rights to the girls."
Among its concerns, the website cites local events that partner with Planned Parenthood as issues; it also appears to dislike the fact that the Girl Scouts curriculum supports organizations that are either pro-choice or in some way affiliated with being pro-choice, including Amnesty International, the ACLU, and the Susan G. Koman Foundation.
As silly as this all may sound, though, it's widespread enough that last year, Girl Scouts CEO Ana Maria Chavez had to make a video to set the record straight:
Honestly, I personally think that all the concerns listed on the CookieCott website are actually reasons why we should all double our Girl Scout cookie orders. The Girl Scouts have honored Nancy Pelosi? That's great! They allow local groups to collaborate with Planned Parenthood? I'm down with that. Their international organization endorses “non-judgmental sexual and reproductive-health information and services to all"? Sounds awesome!
All in all, I'm not getting where the impulse to boycott comes from. But then again, there have been lots other of boycotts I just don't understand, too. Here are some of the less comprehensible.
After Cheerios aired this adorable commercial featuring an interracial family, the crazies came out of the woodwork and not only left a slew of racist comments on the YouTube page, but also tried to get a boycott together against General Mills, the makers of Cheerios. Here's one such webpage, which actually uses the term "miscegenation" — just in case there was any confusion about which century they're living in.
Coke also got in trouble for an ad, namely this Superbowl commercial which featured a multi-lingual version of "America the Beautiful." Despite the fact that lots of people in this country speak languages other than English and that America's diversity is part of what makes it beautiful in the first place, many "patriots" decided to boycott Coke as a result. Some of them, it should be noted, did not know that "America the Beautiful" is not our national anthem.
After Oreos posted an LGBT friendly photo on their Facebook, it wasn't long before conservatives started calling for boycotts in the comments section. I know. I don't understand it either. More Oreos for me, I guess.
4. NBC and CNN
This one makes even less sense to me that the rest. Two years ago, the RNC voted to boycott NBC and CNN if the networks went ahead with a miniseries and a documentary, respectively, about Hilary Clinton. The claim was that by making and airing these programs, the networks would be helping Clinton's campaign. Whether or not that's true remains to be seen, but given that Hilary Clinton is one of the most powerful women in the history of American government, it's a little ridiculous to expect television organizations not to have an interest in making some interesting programming about her. Nevertheless, they voted to deny the networks ability to broadcast the Republican debates if they went ahead with the projects.
After Starbucks' CEO Howard Schultz reaffirmed the company's support for marriage equality, one of the web's largest Tea Party sites urged its readers to boycott the national coffee house. Because why not?
These are not the only ridiculous boycotts out there, of course. But I really don't need to know about the rest. The good news is that all these companies seem to still be in business — as are the Girl Scouts. So next time you order cookies, go ahead and double your order. It's for a good cause.
Images: Getty Images (3)