Girl Scouts cry foul over claims young cookie sellers are increasingly harassed, yelled at by adults

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The Girl Scouts are now claiming that girls as young as 5-years-old who are selling cookies are being harassed and yelled at by adults who consider the yummy goodies either bad for their health, too expensive, or assume that the funds are going to Planned Parenthood for abortions.

“I feel like in the last 10 years, and maybe especially since the pandemic, that people are getting even more aggressive with girls and the volunteers,” Oona Hanson, who is a Scouting parent in Los Angeles, stated according to Business Insider.

The majority of attacks against the girls allegedly come from adults who rail over the unhealthiness of the cookies. Some of them instead of simply saying “no thank-you” turn on the girls and complain about weight gain, how they can’t keep Thin Mints in the house because they can’t resist them, or outrageously accuse the children of “poisoning” people.

“When you’re standing at a cookie booth for an hour- or two-hour shift, or you’re delivering cookies to someone’s house, the accumulation of seemingly harmless jokes really adds up,” Hanson complained. “The most aggressive comments were about sugar, and really frightening the girls about things like diabetes or other health conditions.”

Hanson tweeted out on Feb. 3 that cookie shoppers shouldn’t make comments about weight-related issues to Scouts.

“My chronically dieting mother allowed me one half of a Girl Scout cookie per week when I was a child,” wrote one commenter in response to the tweet. “Thanks for the reminder, says this woman who started receiving toxic messages about her body as a skinny but not petite teen,” another replied.

“Our culture has put so much energy around sweets and desserts,” Hanson remarked. “Especially in America, I think there’s this idea that we associate sin or indulgence with desserts. That’s not necessarily true in a lot of other cultures. It speaks to how powerful an offhand comment can be that someone decades later on Twitter would respond and share their story.”

The Girl Scouts of America started selling cookies in 1917 according to the Cookie History page on the organization’s website. In 1920, sales went national and in the 1930s, the first commercially baked cookies emerged. There are now eight varieties available with approximately 200 million boxes sold every year. Each box now goes for $5 and all profits go to local Girl Scout councils, funding activities like outdoor programs, STEM experiences, and travel.

Not only does the price get slammed, but some people criticize the products for containing palm oil, which environmentalists claim leads to deforestation and the disruption of the habitat of endangered species.

“It is necessary to use palm oil in our cookies because of its unique ability to provide volume and texture in baked goods, usually without adding trans fats,” GSUSA claims on its website. “Although we continue to explore alternatives, currently, there are no viable or readily available alternatives for use in the production of Girl Scout Cookies.”

Hanson noted, “If people have a beef with the industrial food complex, why are 5-year-old girls where you’re putting that anger?”

In the past, the organization has been accused of funneling funds to Planned Parenthood to facilitate abortions. Girl Scouts of America has long claimed this is false.

“Girl Scouts of the USA does not have a relationship or partnership with Planned Parenthood,” the organization asserts on its website.

There have also been reported incidents of sexism when older girls go out to sell cookies. Troop leaders argue that harassment of Girl Scouts is inextricable from the larger issue of sexism in American culture according to Business Insider.

Hanson is urging people to stop and think about how their words will affect a child.

“Why does it seem easier to go after little girls for things that are upsetting people about the world?” she asked.


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