Now Intelligence Is A Badge Of HonourOctober 11, 2011 No Comments
Young women are given the opportunity to fulfill their potential as a new breed of Girl Scout badges award girls for their scientific and creative work, not just their ability to apply lip liner.
Do you remember being a Girl Scout? I sure as hell do. Moving up from Brownie to Junior status was one of the biggest moments of my elementary school career! Getting a badge was like receiving an Academy Award in my prepubescent state. I received ones surrounding fitness, cookie sales, cooking, and first aid—you know, all of the usual female qualities and expectations.
But with the installation of a whole new set of specific and challenging badges for little scouts, it seems as if our culture as a whole is starting to get that women are not just makeup-wearing, cookie-serving, fitness buffs. We are intelligent and independent, capable of high-level research and exploration of the sciences. Awesome.
“Product design, digital filmmaking, ‘locavore’ (local food) awareness, customer loyalty, financial literacy, public policy, and website design” will be some of the new additions to the new slew of badges. The “Fashion, Fitness and Makeup” badge has been changed to the new Science of Style badge, focusing not on perfection of the woman, but the understanding of fabrics and the chemistry of sunscreen. This is a huge switch if gears for young women, being rewarded for understanding the chemistry and design aspect of beauty instead of just wearing it. Women are more than capable of being the scientists in sunscreen labs or the fashion designers creating beautiful work.
With the 100th Anniversary of Girl Scouts upon them, an understandable overhaul of the program as a whole needed to be put into action. “In focus groups, ‘girls asked for more challenge and more creativity. They asked for fun with purpose,’” says Alisha Niehaus of the Girl Scouts of the USA. Luckily, this is just what young women are receiving with new badges and less gender stereotyping. Women are just as strong, intelligent, and capable as men. Why not get a badge for it?
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