When I played little league baseball in the 1980s and 1990s there were girls who played with us. It was a boy’s Christian league. No one cared. They just wanted to play. We all just practiced once a week and played on Saturday afternoons.
With the Boy Scouts going co-ed, I must ask...what is the difference? Some girls want to do the boy’s activities. Some girls may not want to deal with the same girls who bully. If you asked a girl why they want to join the Boy Scouts you might be surprised by the answer.
One thing I remember growing up is that girls are much meaner to girls than boys are to boys. Sorry, but boys tease each other out of love, girls tease out of spite. I’m not sure if that’s a factor, but if a girl felt safer with boys, that might be a good thing in a culture where women have hashtags saying otherwise.
So maybe instead of asking why do these girls want to join the Boy Scouts, maybe the real question is why don’t they feel comfortable in the girls scouts?
I understand the desire to create places for boys to be boys and girls to be girls, but what type of sexually exclusive activities are happening from 11-17 years old that creates an issue?
It’s not like the Boy Scouts all shower together and then talk about how they like having sex.
It’s a club where kids tie knots, camp, and have innocent out door adventures. If a girl wants to join, at such a young age, what can the group no longer do now? If this was prohibiting boys from doing something, I’d probably be against it.
The only argument I hear is that this is the way it’s always been and liberals want to ruin America. Really? Using history and tradition doesn’t bode well if you believe in civil rights and equal pay acts.
By the way, liberals can pass all the laws they want, and not one girl has to follow through on them. This change isn’t forcing girls to join the co-ed Boy Scouts.
But somewhere there are girls who want in, and if there ends up being none and this is just liberals wanting to feel good about themselves, then I say what is the big deal? If no girls show up, then who cares? Then it’s just a co-ed organization that isn’t very co-ed.
Girls are allowed to play boy sports in high school, yet almost none do. Except for a few rare times. They instead play in the female version.
A lot of this stems from liberal PC culture. And I get it. Liberals do overreact to a lot, but so do conservatives. Especially when gender and religion come into play. Suddenly, after getting mad at liberals for crying foul about mascots and gender terms, conservatives cry about the war on Christmas and other causes.
Watching America change is tough for everyone. Having to learn new ways to address social issues is hard at first, no doubt. But in our complex world, we are learning our humanity is more complex. While we might not need 50 gender options on Facebook, we do need to understand that boys and girls are more able to express their own sexual thoughts and confusing questions that aren’t streamlined by simply male or female binaries.
I’m a fan of the idea that boys and girls are different. I taught high school, coaches wrestling, I and saw differences that were way beyond social construction. Boys got mad differently. Boys took criticism differently. Girls were more mature in many ways. They also lied more and cried their way out of things. Don’t call me sexist. You know there are universal truths with exceptions. There are clear differences for the majority. But the minority must still be respected. Some kids don’t fall into strict binary groups. To tell them to pick a side is simplistic and morally wrong. They’re not picking a sports team, they’re trying to live a life.
From a secular point of view, we must be understanding that not everyone falls into our perfect boxes so quickly. And from a religious point of view, Jesus clearly defined male and female roles but did not see the necessity of calling out those whose life was outside the norm.
I don’t know if a co-ed Boy Scouts will bring a unification of people or cause more harm based on how it plays out. I’m not a judge or jury. But I do know that kids feel more free to express their newfound sexual ambiguity, and that’s a conversation they can have with teachers and parents that would have been impossible even 20 years ago.
Being a comedian, I can’t help but end on a joke. So here’s my vain attempt:
If anything, maybe this will help the Boy Scouts with their biggest deficiency...that horrible popcorn. Can the boys start selling those delicious Thin Mints?
In 1984 The Karate Kid became a part of the pop culture landscape. Everything from “wax on wax off” to “sweep the leg!” has been paid tribute to, satirized, and cherished by kids of the 80’s these past thirty years in the forms of memes, tv shows, movie formulas, and general casual conversation. It’s a very “American” film, embedded in our winner/loser/fairplay/try-your-best contradicting ethos.
Now comes a worthy sequel after four films continued the story of Daniel LaRusso. The first film earned Pat Morita an Oscar nomination as the wise Mr. Myagi, the second earned one for best song, the third film was rowdy popcorn film, in the vein of Rocky III, and The Next Karate Kid started 2 time Oscar winner Hillary Swank in easily the worst film of her career. Will Smith created a crowd pleaser reboot for his son Jaden to star in with Jackie Chan that grossed $300+ million and yet is unremarkable in every way.
This sequel is a YouTube Red Series Cobra Kai, a continuation of the Daniel/Johnny died from the first film. Johnny Lawrence is now a washed up alcoholic, still driving his high school car and pounding Coors beer, living off a freelance handyman gig from a friend. Daniel is now a successful car salesman kicking pricing and passing out free bonsai trees to each customer.
One night, while having a pity party, Johnny sees some bullies beating up his poor apartment neighbor Miguel. He’s fine with them picking on him until they throw Miguel into his red sports car, prompting the once cool Cobra Kai star to beat up all four kids, and then inspiring Miguel to ask Johnny to teach him karate.
While this may sound odd, a fifty year old man beating up high school kids and then mentoring the geeky new neighbor, it mirrors exactly Mr. Myagi and Daniel-Son’s relationship. The scene in Cobra Kai is the Halloween dance scene in every way. It’s one of the best pieces of modern deconstruction put to pop art.
If we rooted for Myagi, how can we fault Johnny?
After taking some money from his bitter step dad as a buy out of their relationship, Johnny takes on Miguel and decides to reopen the Cobra Kai Karate studio that was the birthplace of every 80’s teen comedy villain. With John Kreese dead, Johnny doesn’t have to worry about licensing deals and copyright laws.
The next 9 episodes see Johnny struggle as a mentor, a dead beat dead (with baby mama Diora Baird in a fun cameo), and frustrated small business owner. Eventually, the dojo builds a crowd after a few fresh storylines utilize our modern social media culture, and a crew of misfit toys appear.
The other story deals with Daniel’s nightmare of watching Cobra Kai become a safe place for all the misfits of the San Fernando Valley. Daniel starts becoming the high strung LaRusso of The Karate Kid III and even starts retraining to bring balance to his life.
The series is both a satire of the snowflake generation and great reminder of what makes a sports opera work. The series never panders, but instead embraces the classical archetypes. One minute we are rooting for Johnny. The next we see Daniel applying Myagai’s old school techniques.
Everything feels fresh and inspired in this series. Johnny is seeking redemption, while Daniel is trying to maintain his way of life. The female leads, including Daniel’s wife and daughter provide strong female characters and interesting arcs, and the “mean girls” of the high school even find themselves changing.
What the series reminds us is that the generations before us lived by different codes, and that while some people never grew up, we don’t always see that. Sure Johnny is a sad sack clinging to high school glory, but so is Daniel, still thinking his All Valley Championship is impressive.
The other intersting point the series makes is that in the 80’s Karate was for bullies to maintain their status, whereas today geeks need it to level up to the cyber bullying the pretty kids use to torment. If anything, when Johnny mocks cyber bullying by telling his dojo of nerds “in my day we made fun of them to their face,” he isn’t being ironic, he’s being oddly heroic.
Cobra Kai isn’t just entertaining television, it’s poignant television about a time and place that doesn’t really exist anymore, but don’t tell our protagonists.
PS: The final scene is as chilling and exciting and out of nowhere as anything I’ve ever seen. If Johnny thought he’s faced his past, he’s got another thing coming.
Paul Douglas Moomjean Blog's About What's on His Mind
Blogging allows for me to rant when there is no stage in the moment to talk about what's important and/or funny to me.