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Re: Brotherhood again

Nov 28, 1996 04:11 PM
by RIhle

Kym writes-->
 How is it possible that I, for not so many decades, have never thought the
 term "brotherhood" genuinely meant to include women? - it suggests to me a
 very reluctant and resistant welcoming.

Richard Ihle writes-->
I don't know the answer to this.  Most of the women of my acquaintance seem
to think either 1) ~brotherhood~ and ~mankind~ started off as inclusive terms
and still are inclusive terms, or 2) they once were inclusive but no longer
are.  As to your third point of view, I suppose it boils down to what you
think the millions of men and women who previously used the terms had in mind
when they used them--i.e., you may think the majority just meant men, while I
think the majority meant men and women.

 HPB has more of an excuse to have been "stupid" here anyway (with women just
 beginning to be heard in her time), you, on the other hand, have more
 knowledge and understanding of social progression in this area (language).
 Why must we insist that HPB know everything, answer everything, before we
 move ahead?

I often read theos-l too quickly and miss important things.  Two things you
may have missed are the following:  1) as soon as I was educated to the fact
that a growing number of people no longer see the terms as inclusive, I
changed--i.e., I generally either avoided the terms or used substitutes; and
2) the ~only~ instance where I still don't favor tampering with ~brotherhood~
is in THE THREE OBJECTS, and the reason I gave for this is that I fear it
would compromise the general illusion that it is an inviolable
document--i.e., that even a change for a worthy purpose like
gender-neutrality would give the signal to the powers within the the TS that
THE THREE OBJECTS should thus also be able to be easily changed to include
statements about service to the "Masters," HPB doctrine etc.

 It is not true that people develop these "famous and  wonderful qualities,"
but that they simply SET THEM FREE.  Past generations had this luxury only
when they reached late adulthood.  So no, I don't agree it (qualities) has
anything to do with age. (do I smell ageism, albeit reversed?)

Since I openly admit to not knowing much about gender differences, I am
probably not the person to argue with about them.  You say they don't exist;
other people say they do (for example, TIME MAGAZINE a year or two ago had a
cover feature on the difference between the way men and women are

My interest in this is theosophical.  The point I was bringing up for
discussion is that perhaps ~even if~ there are such differences, a shift from
utilizing predominently desire-mental (kama-manas) consciousness and toward
more mental (manas) consciousness would make any putative gender differences
largely irrelevant, anyway.  The women authors I mentioned seemed like good
possible examples for this.  I not sure I know exactly what you mean by
"reversed ageism," but if it suggests that I might believe there is a natural
lessening of desire-mental consciousness (because of learned lessons etc.) as
we age, I confess that I do believe that.

 This girl sees blatant smackings of sexism (maybe worse) in your post. And
 it pushed this girl's buttons, big time.  And I am sure the more refined
 women on this list would have dealt with you much more kindly and

If less "refinement" is simply the reason you can so easily charge me with
"worse than sexism," I can breathe a sigh of relief.  I am ashamed to admit
that for a while was entertaining all kinds of silly ideas about the reasons
for your "verve."  Once, I even thought you might be a sort-of-a-prince who
was returning to the list again in drag. . . .


Richard Ihle

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