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Feminism: chat

What message is this sending to our daughters (Brownies)

52 replies

Butifyoucloseyoureyes · 06/10/2021 07:09

My DD has just started attending Brownies and LOVES it! We were reading the guide book that was issued in her first session and it calls out the brownie guide law:

“A brownie guide thinks of others before herself and does a good turn everyday”

This is against the Cub Scout law:

“Cub scouts always do their best, think of others before themselves and do a good turn every day”

Isn’t the phrase ‘think of others before themselves” more apparent in the brownie motto? This places more of an emphasis of putting others first and providing the message that others should always come before you and your needs etc.

Perhaps peri-menopausal me is questioning this as I’m no longer someone who wants to sit back and accepts certain messages being handed down to our children (especially ones where the emphasis for Cubs is placed more on the ‘do their best’ bit) and I really do get the meaning behind the motto however in this day and age it doesn’t quite sit right with me.

Does anyone agree?

OP posts:

DoesHePlayTheFiddle · 06/10/2021 07:14

Great teaching aid. How to see what people want from you and decide for yourself whether to do it or not. That self-care comes first because if you 'can't pour from an empty cup'. 'Love the neighbour as thyself entails loving thyself, first.


DoesHePlayTheFiddle · 06/10/2021 07:15

And 'Question everything.'


PileOfBooks · 06/10/2021 07:17

Yanbu but there are bigger issues with brownies imo.

They've girlified the curriculum (removing interest badges/ focusing on craft/cake decorating etc instead of baking) added a focus on campaigning.

Add to this their close aliance with trans ideology and therefore stereotypes of what a woman is .... never mind safeguarding.

I loved brownies and guides and wholehesrtedly believed it was a way for girls to experience outdoors etc "just as much" as scouts but in a female only environment. I now think I was wrong. I hate the new curriculum and focus and wish mine and grown up through scouting instead.


PileOfBooks · 06/10/2021 07:18

And yy to "as you love yourself" fill your own cup first etc.

I grew up very much in a world of "think of others first" and am also quite literal. It took me til my 30s to undo that ...


Leafstamp · 06/10/2021 07:34

I’m pretty sure that Girl guiding let boys share sleeping accommodation with girls, ie they wouldn’t know about safeguarding and female rights if it but them in the arse.

Check out Katie Alcock’s case:


Ducksareruiningmypatio · 06/10/2021 07:37

Hell would freeze over before I sent my daughter to brownies since the policy change on boys.
I say that as an ex brownie and scout leader.
Cake decorating? Makeovers? What happened to teaching our girls to be fierce and independent?
I get that the brownie law has remained the same for decades, I've always read it as "not selfish" rather than "be a doormat"
We've seen how people interpret things to suit their agenda though.
It could come across as a bit too "be kind" which I'm thoroughly sick of.


BlackberrySky · 06/10/2021 07:40

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Ducksareruiningmypatio · 06/10/2021 07:41


I am at a loss for words. Some people on this board seem to be constantly looking for sexism that doesn't exist. Firstly, the wording is basically the same, and secondly, you know girls can join cubs, right? (but not vice versa, ie boys can't join brownies, so more opportunities for girls in the scout movement than boys). Get back in your box.

Unless they identify in.
So no. It's no longer for girls unfortunately.

PileOfBooks · 06/10/2021 07:43

I agree it means dont be selfosh rather than be a doormat.

However with the "be kind" agenda I think it goes too far towards women being told to accept men in their group/ female stereotypes now. Which is the opposite of what I think it was/should be.


Feelslikealot · 06/10/2021 07:44

Really can't see the problem here. They basically say the exact same thing except cubs also have to promise to do their best and the girls can just half ass it if they want. Looks like the girls get the better end of the deal.


growinggreyer · 06/10/2021 07:45

"Get back in your box" Looks like the #BeKind brigade has an early shift today!


capercaillie · 06/10/2021 07:45

The programme is not jsut cake decorating etc. We spent all last term learning outdoor skills. This term my Brownies are doing a lot about leadership. We will do some craft and baking in the run up to Christmas because it’s fun and the girls like doing it. Just to add some balance to the earlier posts that are misrepresenting the programme.


pompomsgalore · 06/10/2021 07:48

I wonder if they have stats on how many self identifying children are in the brownies?
I'd be interested to know that.


PileOfBooks · 06/10/2021 07:50

Of course its not all cake decorating but instead of cooking there is now cake decorating. Its a change in focus imo.

I know individual leaders who are amazing but the change from the top frightens me.


MsTSwift · 06/10/2021 07:52

Actually I disagree. Kids are naturally incredibly self centred and naturally put themselves first. Redressing that is part of a parents job.


Warmduscher · 06/10/2021 07:55

Get back in your box

Wtaf? Is this how you speak to people you disagree with in real life?


Hathertonhariden · 06/10/2021 08:00

The old pledge did say do your best. Interesting to know why that was dropped

What message is this sending to our daughters (Brownies)

PileOfBooks · 06/10/2021 08:00

Hmm I agree kids by nature are but notnin all cases. I've often seen...

"I cant play with anyone else- I have to play with X or he will be lonely" become a problem where a child feels responsible for another child and needs to learn its okay to play etc.


PileOfBooks · 06/10/2021 08:01

Hather thats the "promise" as opposed to "the law" for brownies. But yes you are right its there :)


alrightfella · 06/10/2021 08:03

@Hathertonhariden you are confusing the promise and the brownie guide law there. They are two different things.


ODFOx · 06/10/2021 08:08

I stopped being a brownie leader when they mandated the programme and made all the activities I'd been doing with my pack 'Guide level'.
It certainly isn't all cake decorating but we went from making bird boxes (sawing and drilling with adult help) to tapping drawing pins into apples with a hammer.
This coincided with the trans girls policy and although there is no way I would have had to lie by omission to any of our parents (everyone knows what is going on in our village) it left a sour taste.
In GG defence though, there has always been a campaigning core: I remember doing WAGGGS challenge badges based around the UN millennium goals: my girls chose education of women and right to clean water as two issues they wanted to raise awareness of. It was brilliant, and about helping them understand the issues in an age appropriate way.

To return to the OP: the Brownie Promise starts with 'I promise that I will do my best' so it is covered outwith the Law.


TubeOfSmarties · 06/10/2021 08:09

There's a discussion to be had about the quite old fashioned wording and whether it risks being taken too literally, but it's phrased exactly the same in both so i think it's clutching at straws to suggest that expectations of the Brownies are in anyway different to expectations of the Cubs in this respect.


PileOfBooks · 06/10/2021 08:10

Your Brownies sounded fantastic!

I think for me the new programme coincided with the transgirl policy and meant I left something I loved.


PileOfBooks · 06/10/2021 08:10

And yss the promise/law isn't really the issue to look at OP..


Leafstamp · 06/10/2021 08:12


I am at a loss for words. Some people on this board seem to be constantly looking for sexism that doesn't exist. Firstly, the wording is basically the same, and secondly, you know girls can join cubs, right? (but not vice versa, ie boys can't join brownies, so more opportunities for girls in the scout movement than boys). Get back in your box.

Actually boys can join brownies if they identify as a girl. Which is unfair on girls and discriminatory towards boys who don’t identify as girls.
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