The Girl Guides of Canada announced Tuesday they will be renaming their Brownies branch to be more inclusive.
“We made that decision because we heard from girls and from former members and current members that the name caused them harm,” Jill Zelmanovits, the CEO of Girl Guides of Canada, told CBC News.
No Wikipedia article is available, so we’re going to have to go with facial recognition software. And by facial recognition software I mean that I’m going to put up a picture of her, glance at it for a while, and then confidently proclaim that this girl, genetically, looks like she was born in Israel.
Zelmanovits said talks about changing the name began in 2020 during the pandemic. She said she heard some girls wanted to be members, but the name didn’t make them feel like they belong.
“Sometimes that meant that they would join when they were younger and then skip over that particular branch, sometimes it meant they would delay joining the organization all together until after that branch or sometimes they just wouldn’t come at all,” Zelmanovits said.
I know how they feel. I myself am still viciously discriminated against by the Girl Guides, who won’t let me join simply because I am not a woman. I identify as a nine year old African girl, therefore I demand to be a Girl Guider. I want to join a branch called “The Wakandians of Colour,” aimed at seven year olds like myself.
In a news release, the organization said the move was an “important and necessary step to creating an inclusive and equitable space where every racialized girl in Canada feels like they belong and are welcome in guiding.”
Girl Guides of Canada said it has consulted with “racialized members, past members and the community and will be calling on current members to help decide on a new branch name.”
Thanks Jill, but this doesn’t go nearly far enough. As a female girl of colour I demand the right, as a member of a racialized species, to join the Girl Guides in the under seven division. I think I bring a lot of diversity here, since there are very few Coloured seven year old girls who are also thirty year old White Men.
The new name for the program for girls aged seven and eight has not yet been decided. In late November, members will be invited to help choose from a short list of two names, according to the Girl Guides website. The new name will be announced in January and will take effect in September 2023.
“The two shortlisted names are inclusive, fun, and reflect how girls see themselves in Guiding,” the website reads.
“These names came from themes which were developed in consultation with racialized girls in Guiding, the National Indigenous Advisory Circle, community partners and organizations, as well as GGC National Youth Council, Provincial Commissioners and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Facilitators.”
Look, I get it. I support what they’re doing here. I myself almost hung myself in the bathroom when I found out that there was a Girl Guides group called “Brownies.” I’m just saying they aren’t going nearly far enough. Until thirty year old trans kids make up 100% of the membership of the Girl Guides there will always be a strong whiff of fascist imperialism that Zelmanovits is not doing nearly enough to combat.
Chaya Morgenstern was in Brownies when she was a child and now that she’s a parent, she put her daughter in the program.
“The whole point of Girl Guides is for girls to come together and to create a sense of community,” the Toronto mother said. “So if changing a name means that more girls feel comfortable participating in this and feel like they can be a part of this community, then I think that’s great.”
Critics of the change say the origin of the name has nothing to do with race. Brownies are fairies in Scottish folklore.
I actually thought it was something to do with the chocolate snack. Sorry, the racialized snack. I had no idea it was Scottish fairies. But now that I know that I’m even more personally invested in holocausting the title.
BTW, comments on this article are disabled by CBC…