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Gender & Science

Feb 27, 1995 12:30 PM
by Jerry Schueler

I just read an interesting book by Evelyn Fox Keller called
Reflections of Gender and Science (Yale University Press, 1985).
She makes a very convincing case for gender differences in the
scientific community stemming from the very inception of modern
science.  For example, she says that the pioneers of modern
science (she references Francis Bacon a lot) equated masculinity
with mind and reason, and femininity with feelings and emotions.
This lead to the natural fallout of science=male while
nature=female.  She asserts that the main theme (should I say
thrust?) of science over nature that has developed through the
last several centuries, but especially in this one, is really one
of male domination of the female.  She also accuses early
scientists of downgrading alchemy, not on any real scientific
grounds, but rather because alchemy taught (and still teaches)
the equality of the sexes.  She argues that both the Church and
science have contributed to the dominance of men over women -
possibly unconsciously but there nonetheless.

What does this have to do with theosophy? Well, I think we all
know that theosophy is attempting to unite science with religion
and philosophy.  HPB included the science of her day in her
teachings.  We all try to see how recent scientific developments
and insights fit' into the theosophical milieu.  Many of us (and
I include myself here) are scientists to boot.  Could the
rejection of the theosophical movement by the scientific
community stem, at least in part, from the fact that theosophy
teaches sexual equality? Its certainly food for thought.  With
more and more women entering the scientific disciplines today,
hopefully this trend will be reversed.

               Jerry S.

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