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Not ~Brotherhood~ Again . . . Yes!

Nov 27, 1996 04:30 PM
by Dr. A.M.Bain

In message <>,
>while I agree that ~brotherhood~ may be losing the inclusive meaning
>it once had, it is interesting to keep hearing that some people think that a
>male-dominance conspiracy was responsible for it in the first place.

Hardly a conspiracy; history will show, IMO, that a conspiracy wasn't
necessary.  The males had dominance because they were strong enough to
simply *take* it both in pphysical and social circumstances.  It is the
change in the latter that has contributed largely to the change in
language emphasis.

>  That
>HPB, in particular, did not kick up a fuss about it makes me doubt this.  Who

It was the convention of the time and *its* language that the male
included the female as a katter of course.  This is no longer the case,
and women have increasingly, and properly, sought recognition as
themselves in their own gender classification, and not as a secondary
attribute of maleness.

>  HPB may have even regarded the female-included usage as an ongoing
>healthy reminder to the males of her day that they ~couldn't~ expropriate for
>themselves a universal term like ~brotherhood~.

A nice thought, and maybe she had it - who knows.  Unfortunately, all
too many males *did and still do* expropriate the term for themselves,
if not overtly (as in Grand Lodge Freemasonry) then covertly, by
avoiding the recognition of "the little woman" as an equal partner, and
similar psychological devices.

I hope the women on the list will chip in their 2 cents' worth on this
one - I am not so well qualified. :-)

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