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Male Guide Leaders

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Burghilly, Sep 1, 2016.

  1. Burghilly

    Burghilly Veteran (100+ posts)

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    Just casually chatting with my brother the other day when he asked the question 'Can men be Guide Leaders?'

    I thought about it for a bit and said that in theory, I suppose there's no reason why they can't but sadly in this day and age they might get asked a lot of questions about their reason/motivation behind wanting to run a Guide unit.

    I haven't got a far as checking any official guidelines on the subject, but wondered if anyone out there knows what the official line would be, OR if any of you have any male helpers or assistants that play a big role in running your unit.
     
  2. MiniMoates

    MiniMoates Veteran (100+ posts)

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    You can have male unit helpers and they are welcomed with open arms mostly, they can be really good with girls who don't have a male influence at home! However Men cannot make the Promise, nor can non-binary identifying people, and so cannot be full leaders, as all leaders must make the Promise.
     
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  3. lozzlepop

    lozzlepop Veteran (100+ posts)

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    I hadn't thought of that... And suspect I'm about to delve down a very complicated rabbit hole by asking questions. Does girlguiding have an official stance on non-binary members?

    Edit: I've answered my own question - in a Let's Talk About rather than in a policy statement:
    "We understand that if a young member is transitioning from female to another gender identity, they will be experiencing a great amount of change and uncertainty. It may be that they would be better supported in an organisation that is available to all genders. However, flexibility and the Leaders’ discretion, in conversation with the parents, can be used to determine how long the child stays within the unit.
    If an adult member self-identifies as non-binary they are still a valued and appreciated member of Girlguiding. They are able to take any role that does not require them to make the Promise."

    I'm involved in one of the few sports which is welcoming to individuals of all and no genders and have a number of friends of non-binary or trans* identities so it's fairly close to my heart however I can't imagine asking a person to leave a unit where they feel safe and comfortable because they disclosed their gender identity. If they decided to transition to a binary gender other than female I doubt girlguiding would remain their space of choice, however I can imagine lots of circumstances where a young person, or a leader, of non-binary gender would want to stay involved.

    In answer to the original question though, no, men can't become qualified leaders however they can be (and are) welcomed as unit helpers. My dad was a semi-regular unit helper and district treasurer more than 20 years ago and at the moment we have a few honorary "Man Owls", mostly dads of our current or past girls.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
  4. MiniMoates

    MiniMoates Veteran (100+ posts)

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    Non-binary is a subject close to my heart as well and occasionally I struggle with the Guidelines. However I'm really glad that we are allowed to include trans and non binary young people fully. I actually had an interesting conversation with one of my Guides about it. She's going through a stage were she wants to shock people and I think is finding it frustrating that she can't shock me, so far she has attempted with gender identity and sexuality.
     
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  5. fenris

    fenris fenris GuiderPlus

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    No, men can't be Guide Leaders. They can be unit helpers. They can and do provide support in all sorts of roles. But not as Leaders.
     
  6. Burghilly

    Burghilly Veteran (100+ posts)

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    Thanks for that. I don't think my brother was considering becoming a leader for one minute! but hats off to all the men that do help out behind the scenes.

    My husband made a brilliant cake with a massive blue promise badge on it for a ceremony last year, not to mention putting the kids to bed while I'm busy at Unit meetings each week or taking part in training courses.
     

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