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kcs_hiker -


Based on your second post, I'd go with the recommendation of starting a new Troop! Any Troop that would run off a trained Scouter has some very deep problems.


Since the WB guy is already being run off, he's probably join you, plus the other folks around the camp fire offended by old guys. And you'd likely discover there were a number of others who are tired of the old guys too. Yea, it might start small, but if you're doing the right thing, it'll grow! Plus, with another Troop in town, folks will have a choice!


All you need to do is find a willing charter organization, do some paperwork, and you're all set! You will have support since you have already developed relationships in the District and Council.


Just imagine how nice it will be to be sitting around the campfire with a bunch of leaders that actually support and live the Scout Law!


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Everyone in our troop knows I'm a pretty conservative type. When they start veer into politics I just tell them I'd appreciate it if we can have this political conversation away from scouts. I don't go camping because I'm dying to talk about politics.


Now if it's a joke... my rule is if you wouldn't tell it in front of the boys and their moms, then don't tell it. If I want comedy I'll go to a comedy club or my den to watch TV, not a scout camp.


I like the idea mentioned earlier about reminding everyone before a campout/activity that we are bound by the scout law and to bring to each other's attention if we see someone acting/speaking outside the boundaries of the scout law.

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I agree with starting a new Troop. I'd like to think that I would have quietly gotten up from the campfire, woke my son up and had him pack his gear while I packed mine, and left that very night. The next opportunity, I would have contacted the Institutional Head of the Chartered Organization to let him/her know what the leaders of their Scout unit were modeling (do you really think that none of the boys heard what the adults were saying? If so, I know of a bridge in an Arizona desert I'd be willing to sell you). The District Commissioner and DE would know the reasons why I was trying to start a new Troop in town as well.



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I couldn't help but empathise with you... but in reverse. I'm conservative leaning in a very liberal community. Trust me, the scathing remarks flow both directions equally. Fortunately, I have not experienced this to anywhere near the same extent as you have in scouting. But, I digress.


Taking over as SM just over a year ago, I found that there were a number of things that needed to be fixed with the troop. Principle among those was decline/disappearnce of patrol method, excessive adult interference in scout activities, and an unhealthy attitude towards advancement. Before making pushing for these changes, I made sure I had a solid base by precoordinating with the committee chair, unit commissioner, district commissioner (his son came through our troop), and the ASMs who shared my values. Knowning that I had their support made implementing these changes so much easier. Yes, I heard grumblings. But, the number of thank yous and "wow"s have dwarfed the discontent.


(This message has been edited by a staff member.)

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Gwd, I have always thought of effete being a slur used towards males accusing of them of being feminine, girly, quarterbackish, as in "That guy is so effete he should be wearing a skirt"


You on the other had, should be effete, feminine and while not girly necessarily, at the very least not afraid to let the estrogen be unleashed

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"Is there any way I can get you not to try to dominate and assume authority, and not to be defensive when that authority is questioned? Since you're a man, maybe not. :-)"

How we pee seems to control our destiny. I admit to feeling rushed enough (for some reason) to have been using male shorthand. I should have taken the time to explain my reasoning instead of flashing back to a similar episode years ago that was finally solved as I suggested. So, this was definitely very poor leadership on my part.


"How could I get you to consider that your comments (perceived as sexist) were possibly inappropriate?"

No one problem-solving method fits all cases, and therefore wastes time & energy.. Each solution needs to be custom-fitted to its problem. I did become (too) alarmed at the previous suggestions because I knew they would only harden the resolve of the bigots. If what I proposed led to a solution, then it would hardly be inappropriate. If not, then yes.

Perceived as sexist? More like a case of ruffled feathers! I advocated no lessening of equal opportunity, equal access to programs and equal divisions of the spoils.

I do worry about the increasing feminization of boys because that seems to lead to lifelong mental health problems all through adulthood. There have been several books written about this--many by women authors. Guy problems need to be solved guy fashion. I am by no means suggesting only guys can solve society's problems--far from it

Running away--voting with your feet--most times just makes things more divisive. It just reinforces my way or the highway.

I hope you never become aggressive. An aggressive person makes frequent UNprovoked attacks ending with stabbing his opponent in the back

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OK, so just to be a touch contrarian and ornery...


I think "homophobic" is a slur. It's used by one particular political group to try to smear those who feel that the choice to live a homosexual lifestyle is an immoral one. It's just another form of belittling and denegratin' people you disagree with. So in that way, kcs_hiker participated in what he is pretendin' to condemn.


I also don't think that jokes about President Obama or Michael Jackson are necessarily inappropriate. Both of those fellows are public figures, and in da free world public figures are fair game for jokes. It's OK to joke about Senator McCain's age and forgetfulness even when it would be completely inappropriate to joke about the elderly more generally. It's OK to joke about Sarah Palin's intelligence, even if it's not OK to do that about women more generally. It's OK to joke about Senator Kennedy as a drunken Irishman, Governor Schwartzenegger as da Austrian Terminator, and President Obama as a black Hawaiian. And honestly, it's hard not to joke about Michael Jackson's race, whatever it was :).


Before yeh get too wound up, kcs_hiker, take a step back and take a reflective look at your own attitudes. I'm not excusin' your SM and ASM, they may well be cads. But then perhaps you're also steppin' out there on an unnecessarily extreme limb yourself. Probably better to tone down da us vs. them thing all around.




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Browridges, they're called browridges! Joebob, do you claim to be a Sycophant Fox News-quoting neanderthal? Is that what you mean? Are you also bothered by Geico commercials?


I had to reconsider the situation that kcs_hiker described. Youth group leaders, presumably white, sitting around the campfire telling jokes and stories about people of other races and about gay people.

Evidently if someone is telling jokes about other races it is fair to consider them racist. I get that part. But if that same person is telling jokes about gay people,.....how are they to be considered? What kinds of descriptive terms can be applied to that situation that are not similar in tone to the label, 'racist'?

In this setting, it's hard for me to imagine the guys cracking racist jokes but the same guys having a serious discussion of the gay lifestyle. Help me out here.


Edited: oops, those are 'cavemen', sorry, and judging from their sensitivity, they must be quite liberal.(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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Yes, a liberal can most certianly be involved in Scouting. No problem. But I am curious as to why a person is labeled a conservative just because they joke around about Obama, M. J. or women. I do not think that you can hang a liberal or conservative label on a person just because they crack these type of jokes. It does not have anything to do with them being a liberal or conservative. It has to do with them being a bigot,racist or sexist. Conservatism has nothing to do with ones race, color or creed. Neither does Liberalism.


There are differences in Conservatism and Liberalism. They have to do with percieved differences in moral values, military might, issues of government and how much that Gov. should be involved in your life. There is a difference in how a Conservative and a Liberal would handle health care. So on so forth. Then there is the pro Life/Pro Choice debate.


Then what does having a lot of weapons have to do with being a Conservative. Yes, conservatives believe that they have the right to bear arms, to own guns. But I bet if you took a poll most liberals feel the same. They just do not believe that you need to own a fully automatic AK-47. Well they really do not see a need for you to own a semi automatic AK-47 either. They both want the best for the country. They just have different points of view and will defend those points very forcefully if need be.


To be honest, I am conservative. The leaders in my troop are conservative. We have boys in our troop whose parents are liberals. They choose to drop their boys off. They are quite welcome to become a adult leader, we have invited them but none have chosen to do so. AND NO its not because we make them uncomfortable. We are the only troop in our District who has African American young men in the troop. To be quite honest I know far more men who vote Democratic who make racial slurs and sexist jokesthan I do Republican friends Who make those type of jokes.(This message has been edited by crossramwedge)

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Sure, you can joke about certain topics without being prejudiced. Watching Michael on The Office dealing with learning that Oscar is gay, for example, is laugh-out-loud funny without being derogatory to gays.


But I'm taking kcs_hiker at his word, here, that the jokes and stories were indeed negative, derogatory, prejudiced, whatever. I've known guys like those (or at least, I think I do, based on the briefest of descriptions), and I'm not picturing a Jay Leno style gentle delivery.


I do agree with Beavah that the word 'homophobic' is an awful construction. People who make jokes about blacks we call 'racist', not 'Negrophobic'. People who belittle women we call 'sexist', not 'gynophobic'. If you try to fire old people, you are guilty of 'ageism', not 'gerontophobia'. If you generally think of yourself as better than all those white trash families, you are an 'elitist', not a 'penurophobe'. If you make fun of fat people, you are exhibiting either 'fat-ism' (170,000 hits on google) or 'weight-ism' (265,000 hits), but you are not likely to be called an 'obesiphobe'. (4 hits, which all look to be mocking the term.)


It is certainly clever wording to get your opponents labelled with what amounts to an ad hominem attack.


Wikipedia actually has way more discussion of this term than one might expect. It even references a group of psychologists from the University of Arkansas who conducted research that showed that participants responses were not fear-based but reflected a disapproval of homosexuality that was due to other factors, such as disgust.


There's no great alternative, though. 'Heterosexism' is one suggestion. 'Sexual prejudice' is another. The most parallel construction would be something like 'sexual orientation-ism', and that sure doesn't roll off the tongue.


One other word like that is 'xenophobe.' I guess we live with 'homophobia.' Nothing else is likely to come along any time soon from what I can see.


I will say, though, that I don't really find most of these other items appropriately funny, either:

It's OK to joke about Senator McCain's age and forgetfulness even when it would be completely inappropriate to joke about the elderly more generally.

I don't like these because they don't seem to actually be joking about any actual forgetfulness on McCain's part. They just seem to think that it's funny that old people get dementia sometimes.


It's OK to joke about Sarah Palin's intelligence, even if it's not OK to do that about women more generally.

Yes, by coming across poorly in national interviews that you yourself wanted, you've got to be prepared for some ribbing. But a lot of the jokes I hear about Sarah Palin seem much more hostile than funny.


It's OK to joke about Senator Kennedy as a drunken Irishman,

Not a fan of portraying the Irish as drunks. Or of Polish people as the 'Polocks' of the overwhelming jokes of my childhood. Now, jokes about him being a drunk or a poor driver, those kind of go with the territory.


Governor Schwartzenegger as da Austrian Terminator

Here's one we agree on. No issue at all with joking about Arnold or calling him Austrian. Is there some prejudice that Austrians are normally robots that we'd be reinforcing? Arnold makes fun of himself all the time.


And yes, Michael Jackson was a pretty rich target. Were the jokes just that he seemed to gradually becoming white? Or did they feel a little more hostile? Were there any jokes about anything else? If a group of white Scouters is sitting around making jokes only about gays and blacks, that just doesn't seem quite right somehow. You'd need to hear the jokes, I guess, to be sure. Without that, it's hard to argue, since we could be imagining very different jokes.

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