Those Pesky Women Libs

three womenAs part of my job, I spend a bit of time perusing old newspaper articles. The task is always entertaining, but many times downright disappointing.

Yesterday, I came across this gem from the LA Times in 1973: “Scout Beauty Contest ‘Hit by the Libs'”

See, around 1971, BSA made its Explorer Scout program (for high school boys) coed and starting letting in high school girls. BSA’s reason? It did some “research” and found out high-school-aged boys were dropping out because they were more interested in girls than tying knots. So, BSA brought girls in. Just one year later, one of the 17-year-old guys in the Orange County Explorer Post had the brilliant idea to make the girls in his Post compete in a beauty pageant! Camping? Nah. Let’s judge how pretty they are! And it only took him one year to come up with this idea! His parents must have been proud.

The girls weren’t too happy about this, but the pageant idea really became dicey when the girls refused to wear bikinis instead of one-piece suits for the swimsuit competition. A local progressive women’s group got wind of it and got involved. The BSA employee heading the Orange County program was not happy with the “libs” meddling. He tried to reassure the girls about the bikini competition with a little pep talk, telling them: “Since your guard is down most when you’re up there in a bathing suit, your personality can be judged. We want you to know that the judges won’t be looking at your body.” Yes, the BIKINI contest has nothing to do with your body.

The pageant was cancelled, which the boys thought was a “real bummer.” The article ends with another gem of a quote from the BSA employee: “Nobody understood us.”

You’re right buddy, we just don’t understand.

We are so thankful for those trailblazing pesky women “libs!”

 

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