Voting with your feet for onion breath all day? Hmmmm.
While I guess I think I maybe agree with you about the Scouts' right to do what they want, I was thinking this is a perfect issue for the now-defined bloc of voters called "Bobos" to get involved with. I didn't read the book, but Bobos are socially liberal, right? And lots of them have kids Boy Scout age, right? They should invent their own Boy Scouts, with a culture that suits them more than the current one does.
I do think that one argument to be made on behalf of forcing the Scouts to change their ways is that the Scouts are a sort of de facto All-American, public institution, in a way. There is no governmental equivalent to them, and I would imagine that they proudly declare themselves to be a pillar of our society. And in lots of towns, they may well be one of the only social groups available for boys to join. Well if that's the case, then they're not exactly a private organization, in practice. They shouldn't be able to have it both ways.
Also, this may sound naïve or something, but one of my reactions to that decision is, it's just mean on the part of the Boy Scouts. It's not in the spirit of brotherhood or whatever. It's small and ignorant and cruel. Not only that, it's stupid. The Boy Scouts are, like, in denial about what really goes on in their own organization. A year or so ago, Clive Thompson wrote a piece for us about his Cub Scout troop in Canada. In it, he talks about the very high level (and intensity) of homoerotic horseplay that went on during Scout activities. I can't resist quoting some juicy details at length:
In my junior-high Sex Ed class, I learned that one-tenth of humanity was gay or lesbian. By the time I turned 14, I was beginning to seriously doubt that statistic. From what I'd seen in the Boy Scouts, it seemed more likely that at least one-half of all boys were flaming queers.
At weekend camps, far away from all trappings of normal parental authority, our patrols would erupt in eye-popping displays of boy-on-boy sex play. While swimming, we would single out one particularly vulnerable child, strip off his swimsuit, then chase him screaming through the woods, snapping photographs as he ran. In the evening, I'd watch in fascination as pre-teen boys played strip poker, in which the losers were forced not only to disrobe, but to dance freakily accomplished bump-and-grinds. If a Scout was out to get you, he might "hang a rat": a euphemism for dangling his naked dick in your unsuspecting face.
Cubs who fell asleep too early were punished by older Scouts, who would rub their naked asses into the boys' squealing faces. Anal fixations abounded: several Scouts specialized in ramming their fingers up their asses, pulling them out, then chasing other boys around with the soiled digits. As the sexual play became increasingly aggressive and baroque, you could feel the fabric of self-control stretch as thin as cellophane, ready to tear at any moment and send the entire 20-boy troop into a wild orgy.
Hot, hot stuff, man. Makes you think, eh?
My thoughts this morning revolved around the "Circuits" section of the New York Times. Fascinating articles about, among other things, how women over age 55 are the fastest-growing group online, and about the prevalence of online gaming in China:
"It's a social activity," Mr. Zhang said. "Playing a game on the Net is very different from playing a game on a machine because you can feel other people's hearts beating during the game."
Right on. Or as we Sissyfighters say--boys and girls alike -- "SEE YOU ON THE ASPHALT, SISTERS!!!!" Sounds kinda gay, no? Heh heh.