In 2015 Belinda Brown penned an insightful piece for The Conservative Woman website, Now the Scouts are to be transformed into a feminist front. It followed the appointment of Dr Ann Limb as the first female Chair of the Scout Association. Four of the five members of the Staff Leadership Team are men, including the Chief Executive Matt Hyde, appointed in 2012, following seven years as Chief Executive of the National Union of Students (NUS).
In May 2013 Hyde was interviewed by the Third Sector website, here. The end of the piece:
Hyde was recruited soon after Julie Bentley’s appointment as chief executive of Girlguiding UK. Bentley has declared her charity to be “the ultimate feminist organisation” [J4MB emphasis. The organization doesn’t, of course, admit boys as members, thought we doubt many would wish to join, how many would want a badge in empathising?] and begun to make it less cautious about speaking out on issues that affect girls and young women. Will Hyde do something similar and take the scouts into the spotlight by being more outspoken?
“I’ve met Julie and she’s terrific; I’m looking forward to working with her,” he says. [J4MB emphasis] “We’re about becoming active, global citizens and we want to amplify young people’s voices as part of that. In the digital age, we have the ability to hear young people’s voices in ways that would have been impossible previously.”
In 2013 we presented Julie Bentley with one of the first Whiny Feminist of the Month awards, details here.
So Matt Hyde, a self-declared mangina, has been Chief Executive of the Scouting Association since 2012. What could possibly go wrong? A piece in today’s Times:
The Scout Association has been accused of “throwing common sense out the window” after pack leaders were told to stop referring to children as boys and girls to avoid offending transgender members.
Local volunteers have been told to use “gender-neutral” phrases such as “hello, everybody” when addressing Scout troops.
The guidelines published on the Scouts’ website also warn against calling female members “ladies” and say that the phrase “hello gentlemen” should also be avoided.
David Davies, the Conservative MP who campaigns against government plans to allow people to “self-identify” as transgender without a medical diagnosis, described the guidance as ludicrous.
He said: “This is just madness. I used to be in the Scouts and it seems now that common sense has been thrown out of the window if you can’t say ‘hello girls’ or ‘hello boys’. It is going to cause massive confusion to everyone.” [J4MB: … which is precisely the point, to shame men out of publicly recognizing the vast majority of males are happy as such, and the vast majority of females happy as such.]
Girls have been allowed to join the Scouts, which was originally called the Boy Scouts Association, since 1991.
Last month, the Scout Association was accused of enabling self-harm by supporting chest-binding, a practice that compresses breast tissue to create a flat, male silhouette, that is popular among “trans men” who were born female.
Binding can cause health complications such as rib fractures, spinal misalignment, scarring, dizziness, shortness of breath, fungal infections, back pain and muscle wasting.
The association’s guidelines on language tell group leaders that gender dysphoria — which is the belief that someone was born into the wrong sex — can be diagnosed in children as young as two.
It adds that the Scouts had “a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that transgender young people can have access to Scouting”.
Leaders are also being encouraged to avoid stereotypes such as boys liking football and girls preferring the colour pink.
A spokesman for the Scout Association said that the guidelines would help “create inclusive environments”, adding: “Using gender-neutral language can help ensure that all young people feel comfortable to be themselves.”
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