Girlguiding spoke out in support of its ace members during Asexual Awareness Week, and bizarrely sparked a “torrent of rage” from anti-trans mums.
On Thursday (28 October), the the UK’s Girlguiding charity posted on Twitter: “This week is #AceWeek – a time to raise awareness and understanding of the asexual community.
“So here’s a shout-out to all of our asexual volunteers and members – thank you for everything you do in Girlguiding.”
But the simple and inclusive tweet sparked a baffling reaction among so-called “gender critical” mums, with many insisting they would pull their daughters out of the organisation, which has been “proudly trans inclusive” since 2017.
One responded: “Are you kidding me? The Girl Guides wants to talk about all kinds of sexuality? What next? A badge in kink and slut-shaming?”
Are you kidding me? The girl guides wants to talk about all kinds of sexuality? What next? A badge in kink and slut shaming?
— Kim Nicoll/Neacail (@kimnicoll3) October 30, 2021
Another declared: “Bringing creepy gender issues into this is not what Guiding was designed for.”
Ironically, many responses accused Girlguiding of “sexualising” children with its post on asexuality.
Is this a joke? Sexualising the girl guide movement. You are a disgrace.
— Mands (@MmEzzzzz) October 30, 2021
Girlguiding, sexualising children since Stonewall infiltrated and corrupted them. Well done, Girlguiding!
— Diana Badgersaurus 💚🤍💜 (@Magpieandbadger) October 30, 2021
Katie Alcock, a “gender critical” former Girlguiding leader who claims she was “expelled” for her anti-trans views, also shared the post alongside positive comments from asexual Girlguiding leaders.
This is not a good look. Leaders are publicly posting about their sexuality. Girls can see this. If a teacher posted that they were pansexual I hope they'd be disciplined at the least, can you imagine the field day their teenage pupils would have? pic.twitter.com/DfPRuJ0aJk
— Dr Katie Alcock (@wontsomeonethi2) October 30, 2021
She insisted that “leaders publicly posting about their sexuality” was “not a good look”, and that if a teacher in a school came out online “they’d be disciplined at the least”. Disciplining a teacher for coming out would be illegal.
The enraged responses to Girlguiding show exactly why we need Asexual Awareness Week
In the face of the unhinged responses to the Girlguiding Asexual Awareness Week post, many pointed out that this is exactly why the post was necessary in the first place.
One person tweeted: “Thank you Girlguiding. If I had seen this aged 14, I may have saved myself years of mental health issues and always thinking of myself as an ‘other’.
“It wasn’t until the age of 30 that I discovered my sexuality and that I wasn’t broken after all. #AceWeek visibility is vital.”
I've never seen mom's be so angry that their kids AREN'T having sex https://t.co/p5UwatqIBq
— ⸸Kyle⛧🏴⸸ (@TomboyAnarchy_) October 31, 2021
As someone who only figured out they were ace—and that ace was an option!—in their 30s, thank you for educating younger generations in all the ways it’s possible to be human. This would have saved me so much anguish and emotional pain. Knowledge, education and role models matter. https://t.co/wsE8hhy0dn
— Aunt Hortense (@AuntHortense) November 1, 2021
“How is it that the people in the replies here are accusing an ace awareness campaign of sexualising minors, what the f**k,” wrote another.
“Just goes to show that we really do still need #AceWeek.”
Utterly baffled by the angry replies to this, and dismayed there are so many. Good on Guides for the positive message about asexuality and for standing by it despite the torrent of rageful replies. https://t.co/2j2lG4BoAT
— Rachel (@aicha34) November 1, 2021
Despite the “torrent of rageful replies”, however, Girlguiding stood by its inclusive message.
It wrote on Facebook: “We’ve been reading all the comments and wanted to let you know why we are talking about ace week on our social media channels.
“Earlier this year we launched our new diversity and inclusion strategic plan with a renewed ambition for Girlguiding to be a place where everyone feels welcome, free to be themselves and has an equal sense of belonging.
“This means including everyone, whoever they are or wherever they’re from.
“We want Girlguiding to be a welcoming place, where different experiences are valued and celebrated. We appreciate and value the different experiences and skills of everyone involved in guiding.”