On Thursday, Honest Girl Scouts made the video private after it racked up more than 125,000 views on YouTube before it was made private. We reached out to Honest Girl Scouts, and they sent us this one-line response: "Our counsel has advised us not to make statements until further notice. Thank you for your patience." We suspect, however, that they took it down because of the huge backlash calling on people to buy lots of extra cookies in response (more on that later). You can't watch the video, but Huffington Post transcribed some of Taylor's spiel:
"Right now, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A...is not being honest with us girls, its troops, its leaders, its parents or the American public," Taylor, who claims to have been a Girl Scout for eight years, says in the clip. "Girl Scouts describes itself as an all-girl experience. With that label, families trust that the girls will be in an environment that is not only nurturing and sensitive to girls' needs, but also safe for girls."
She goes on to note, "I am asking you to take action with me and boycott Girl Scout Cookies."
But Girl Scouts USA doesn't take the boycott threat very seriously. Both Sybesma and a spokesman at the scouts' New York Headquarters quoted from the official Girl Scouts of the United States of America statement when we reached them on the phone: "As a beloved American institution, the Girl Scout Cookie Program is a natural target for those seeking to draw attention to themselves or their cause." And both said this boycott, charged as it is with gender politics, probably wouldn't make a big dent. But outside the official line, it sounded like sales would be good. Josh Ackley, the GSUSA spokesman, pointed out that there are boycotts every year (indeed, another boycott call right now protests the renovation of two Girl Scout camps in Ohio), and that sales have been growing regardless, with 760 million boxes sold in 2011 and 714 in 2010.
People online were a lot less guarded. "i'm a vegan but this makes me want to buy a box of girl scout cookies or twenty boxes," tweeted @Stella_Zine. "BUY GIRL SCOUT COOKIES!! Counter-Boycott the Girl Scouts!" tweeted someone going only by Heather, who linked to a Feministing blog post calling for the counter-boycott. "Um, this makes me want to buy more girl scout cookies, not less. who is this kid to decide what makes someone a girl?" tweeted Barbie Angell. You get the point. A Twitter search for "Girl Scout cookies" turned up hundreds of similar messages. Gothamist ordered its readers to "start buying ALL THE GIRL SCOUT COOKIES EVER." Transgender adult film performer Buck Angel, who says he's a former Girl Scout, made the Los Angeles Times with his plea for people to buy more cookies:
It seems like every little Tumblr and blog that has anything to do with gay or transgender rights, and tons that don't, is pushing readers to buy boxes of cookies. And really, does it take much convincing to get people to pick up an extra box of Thin Mints for the freezer and maybe a box of Samoas to eat on the way home? No it does not.