A reader writes,
I have an old Army buddy with over 50 years in the Boy Scouts. Eagle Scout, troop leader, proud to be seen in public as an adult in a Boy Scouts uniform, including shorts and knee socks. He stayed with them through the whole gay thing, but girls in the Boy Scouts was a bridge too far for him. He resigned this week.
This guy has devoted his life to this organization, and they can’t figure out why he’s made a big deal about it.
The Boy Scouts can do what they want, and I have no real standing in the debate. I was not in the Scouts, though I wish I had been — I can barely tie a knot (much less start a fire with sticks). But I do have a strong view on boy-girl stuff.
I rather like single-sex schools (though I never attended one). Why? People have a lifetime to deal with messy boy-girl stuff. (And if it’s not messy, congratulations: You have had a fairly uncommon experience, I think.) There’s time a-plenty to deal with boy-girl stuff.
As a boy, or former boy, I can tell you that the presence of girls skews everything. All you can think of is girls. Other guys won’t tell you this — “Don’t listen to him! The only girl I’m thinkin’ about is helpin’ the little old lady cross the street” — but I will, your ever-faithful correspondent.
Let there be boy-only stuff, and girl-only stuff, like Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, for a decent stretch of time before adult life begins. As a rule, it’s better for all involved, I think.
Of course, there are many exceptions, and I bet I’ll hear about some of them. But they are, I think, exceptions that prove the rule.