Re: Rites of Passage

Len Piotrowski (
Fri, 23 Aug 1996 18:20:06 GMT

In article <> Shannon Adams <> writes:

>> The rituals surrounding genital modification in many cultures are likewise
>> conducted by a single sex to the proscribed exclusion of the other.
>> Cheers,
>> --Lenny__

>But these male social groups who preform the circumcisions, etc. are not
>quite the same. They function in a world of men and women, while fraternal
>organizations like the masons function independently (ideally, at least) of
>anything female. There is a difference between men teachings boys how to be
>men in a world of men and women, AND men accepting men into a world of only
>men. (boy, was that a stupid sentence or what!?)

Proscription implies that women are explicitly excluded, sometimes by taboo
restrictions, from that world of interaction. This is especially true in the
example of the Australian aborigine ritual of subincision. In fact, it could
be dangerous for the female personally, as well as to the well-fare of the
social group as a whole, for her to witness the acts associated with this
event. The world to which the aboriginal boy is introduced is decidedly
different and non-inclusive of the "world of men and women," and includes
aspects of the non-objective world of the dream time. Subincision is the boy's
link to that dream time universe.