CookieCott Wants To Get Between You and Your Tasty Girl Scout Cookies
Ann Saladin wants to take away your cookies. A former Girl Scout herself, Saladin is now the founder of My Girl Scout Council—a website that documents “pro-life concerns” about the storied organization—and cookie season is still her busiest time of the year.
While homes and offices around the U.S. fill with boxes of delicious Thin Mints and Samoas, Saladin’s group works with agencies like Pro-Life Waco to enforce what they call CookieCott—a push to punish the youth organization by driving down sales until it stops honoring individuals and companies that advocate for the sexual and reproductive rights of women.
“The Girl Scout curriculum series promotes many women and organizations that publicly advocate for abortion rights, without a similar inclusion of women and organizations that publicly advocate against abortion,” says Saladin. “Girl Scouts claims to build girls of courage, confidence and character. Surely this can be done without including such a controversial issue, and promoting women and organizations who advocate for abortion rights to the girls.”
The women that Saladin initially refers to include the likes of Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Gloria Steinem. In terms of organizations, any perceived or tangential affiliation with Planned Parenthood—a relationship the Girl Scouts has repeatedly denied—really seems to rankle CookieCott organizers.
And though cookie sales bring in more than $650 million annually for the organization, the annual boycott has gotten to be serious enough that Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Anna Maria Chávez last year released a video that sought to clear up misconceptions about the organization propagated by CookieCott. In the video, she also explains the rationale behind the organization’s secular approach—another sticking point for the Christian-led boycott.
“The Girl Scouts of the USA believes that reproductive issues are deeply private matters best left to families. I find it unsettling that anyone would use the Girl Scout brand to have very adult conversations… We remain secular not to minimize a girl’s religious experience, but to cultivate girls of all religious traditions while excluding no one.”
For Saladin’s part, she knows that going after the beloved cookies, specifically, is something of an uphill battle (personal politics aside, they’re pretty delicious).
“Some will stop buying cookies because of this information,” she says. “Some will buy more, and some are unaffected by this issue entirely.”