“The world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players…” – William Shakespeare
“How dreadful…to be caught up in a game and have no idea of the rules.” – Caroline Stevermer
“The more things change, the more they stay the same.” – Alphonse Karr
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” – William Shakespeare
Four quotes today! When taken together, all speak to confusion: We are all caught up in a universal play, acting out the game of life, trying to discern just what role or position we want or are expected to play and how to perform correctly. And it seems confusing and unfair when, just as soon as we think we’ve figured it out, we find somehow someone has changed the rules, thrown out what we’d learned, written new lines to the script, and now we don’t know what to think or how we should act. It all seems so confusing.
But, upon closer review, one can see that sometimes the changes are merely cosmetic, the plot remains the same. Case in point:
It was announced last October that girls would now be allowed to become boys. Well, in the sense that they are now allowed to join the Boy Scouts’ programs of Cub Scouts, Webelos, Sea Scouts and Venturing. And for the first time, last Tuesday, it happened when twin 7-year-old sisters joined their 9-year-old brother as members of Cub Pack 42 in Tacoma, Washington. The actual Boy Scouts program is to remain male-only until February 1, 2019, when the girls can then join them. (Any guess on how much those young teen boys are looking forward to that? I guess the time lag is needed to do some serious behaviour education.)
Good golly, it seems the game rules have changed, new roles added to the cast. But is there any change in the plot?
Seems that each Cub pack can decided for themselves whether to admit girls or continue to maintain a boys-only policy or, optionally, to create separate girl dens and boy dens within the pack. I assume that holds true also for the other programs, and will, also, with the actual Boy Scouts troops come next year.
And, I assume, outside pack/troop general meetings, there will still be a separation of boys from girls during den/troop campouts. Unless they intend to create a new Merit Badge to be earned. “Cohabitation”? (Speaking of Merit Badges, will hands-on learning of the anatomical differences between sexes now be a segment of the First Aid badge? That would add a whole new dimension to the “let’s play doctor” thing!)
So, watching this play out, it appears we might call this by one of Shakespeare’s titles, “Much Ado About Nothing”. As the Bard noted, “What’s in a name?” when nothing of substance is changed? For all its contrived seriousness, it is seems a farce. Nothing much will actually change, girls will be scouts (but not Girl Scouts – a completely different organization) and boys will continue to be scouts, just under a larger umbrella, yet, in part, separated from one another, no more joined than they are at school.
Hummm. Here’s a thought. Maybe I shouldn’t have used the school analogy, what with all the new laws promulgating policies that allow boys and girls to share bathroom facilities and gym locker rooms – together – based on self-declared sexual identification? Will those laws come into play with the Scouts as well?
“Jim, your assigned tent mate is Robert (nee Roberta) and Jane, yours will be Lonna (nee Larry). At Taps, y’all go right to sleep, y’hear. And no sharing sleeping bags!”
No confusion about how that would play out.