Re: Scouts

Fri, 23 Dec 1994 10:26:57 -0700

Brownies, in retrospect, was a magico-ritual experience aimed quite
selectively at girls (this impressed me far more than paramilitary
aspects). The basic ideology, that nice/wise girls have little helpmetes
about (which in turn teach us to be good helpmetes), plus the "ritual
induction" in which you are brought blindfolded into the "deep woods"
(dark basement) and guided by a wise old owl to look into a pond (mirror
on floor strewn with leaves) chanting, "Round and round the magical elf,
I looked in the mirror and saw - (girl fills in) MYSELF!" or some such,
strikes me as a way of seeing the world that many would balk at were it
presented to little boys. I loved it, says the anthropologist who somehow
became fascinated with rituals at an early age.

Sarah Hautzinger