Girl Crazy

1 02 2010

The millstone of tradition weighs heavily around the neck of those who willingly hoist it over their head. The question is, why would anyone knowingly do this to themselves? It’s like the Luddite question has reared its wrinkled head again.

I speak of the Girl Scouts, that hallowed organization for American girls. And in case you’ve had your head buried along with the groundhogs, it is Girl Scout Cookie season.

As in Step Back into the 20th Century.

Once again, the GSA is not allowing its young members to sell cookies online. The best we shoppers can do is use the online locater to try to find a local chapter selling them. Aside from that, it’s door-to-door, at a table in front of the supermarket, or Moms and Dads pressuring coworkers into buying.

My daughters were in the Girl Scouts a couple of years ago. Aside from the fact that I (and they) felt the organization was simply lame on a few dozen levels, I was particularly incensed when they told my girls that they had to sell cookies the old fashioned way. No e-commerce, in other words.

Try telling that to an over-achieving Dad who has built over 50 web sites.

Their reply? “It’s about the relationships?”

Huh? Relationships? You mean you’re busy trying to dismantle everything Gloria Steinem stood for, and reduce our young girls to nothing but a puddle of passive, pathetic people-pleasing young lasses? (Oh, the alliteration!)

Never mind that we live in the country, so going door-to-door is out of the question. Maybe ranch-to-ranch. Sitting outside at United on a cold February morning is rather ridiculous. And I am not going to make my faculty buy cookies, with their implicit hope that I would give them a good annual evaluation. Not fair. No siree.

For the Girl Scouts to be forcing its members to rely on selling techniques rooted in the past, not the future, is failure to prepare them for life in the 21C. Yes, relationships are fine. But here’s a news flash: We’ve been selling things online for over 15 years now! My daughters are savvy enough to envision their own e-commerce site; with a little help from Dad, this could easily happen. So why stifle my daughters’ learning experience in order that everyone can be handcuffed to the past? So you can remove the real competition and turn this into a quilting party?

Pardon me, but I am raising my daughters to be assertive, to actively pursue their dreams of tomorrow. If we want to see the past, we go to Wisconsin and visit the Amish. Is this about selling cookies, or is it about relationships?

Because if it’s about selling cookies, then let the girls use all of the tools available to them. But if it’s about relationships, then just have a big sleepover.

And that’s something you can dip in your coffee.

Dr “Cookie Monster” Gerlich

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