Vanguard and “Brotherhoods” – Does this offend you?

Recently it became available to the public that the solution to the long awaited promise of “fellowships” is currently under testing and should be added soon. Due to unknown reasons the name for the system that allows players to equally share experience gains with other characters has been changed from Fellowships to Brotherhoods. It’s my opinion that they changed the name because of LOTRO’s basic grouping system being called Fellowships. Simple enough.

Now the name change isn’t really bothering many people. A new company now develops Vanguard so it’s acceptable that things currently under development might change. However it’s the new name that has some players riled up. Apparently the term “Brotherhood” is offensive to some female gamers because the word contains “Brother” and that’s “male” only. It’s been posted over on the Vault Network that females are still being oppressed by the male chauvinists of the world and that by assigning the word “Brotherhood” the male population is once again declaring their dominance and superiority over the female gender. Say what? Am I the only one who finds this absolutely completely absurd and stupid? It’s also being said that the word “Brotherhood” was just another word written by men to exclude women. Huh?

First let’s review the definition of Brotherhood. The Oxford English Dictionary defines brotherhood as “an association or community of people”. So right there a widely accepted source for defining the words of the English language tells us that the word brotherhood is absolutely not gender exclusive. Now let’s turn to another popular source. The Mirriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines the word brotherhood as “a fellowship, alliance, association, or union of peoples for a particular purpose”. So not only do we have two accurate definitions for the word brotherhood not once mentioning exclusivity but we have proof that the word brotherhood is a synonym for fellowship.

When these definitions were presented as evidence that there is obviously no foul play here the offended party on the Vault Network turned it away. The definitions were being “touted” and regardless of their validity they meant nothing in the way of proving that the female gender was not being left out. To quote one of the offended posters:

“…as a woman, I do not feel it does include me, just because some man decided it could when he wrote the definition down. …”

“No matter the definition of Brotherhood, as a woman (and a lot of women would feel the same way I imagine), I don’t feel like the idea includes me at all.

So now I ask those of you out there who are reading – do you find the use of the word “brotherhood” offensive? Does this word, which by proven fact includes females equally, offend you because it was founded on masculinity? If so what are your thoughts on “Mankind” and “history” which were founded on masculine roots. Do these words also offend you and make you feel excluded from the majority? Do you know the definitions to these words and still throw facts out the window because of emotions?

One poster who was trying to defend the acceptable use of “brotherhood” referred to the term “Adlerian Psychology”. Not knowing the definition I went to Google and found a very interesting website. The definition of “Adlerian” based on my findings is thus: “Of or being a psychological school based on the belief that behavior arises in subconscious efforts to compensate for inferiority and that psychological illness results from overcompensation for the perceived inferiority”. So there perhaps lies the reason for these posters on the Vault Network being so offended. They believe that others have negative intentions towards them and wish to be perceived as the victim. To quote another poster: All the thoughts that you have about others – it’s all you, you don’t know anything about anybody as you are filtering it all through your mind, your thoughts and your belief system.”

If I have offended any of my readers out there in any way with my writing today please understand this is not my intention. I simply wish to defend the proper use of nouns in the English language. To have such unfounded accusations reaching the eyes and ears of the gaming industry can’t be a good thing. Do not take offense to words because you do not understand their meaning. Be willing to admit you are wrong and look at a situation objectively. Leave the emotions at the door.

We play fantasy games folks. You’re going to find dozens of words that might not be politically correct in the eyes of those who are out there looking for reasons to complain. We don’t speak a language that was written here today scrutinized by the standards set forth by those fearful of lawsuits. We speak a language that was written back when your whining would have landed you in the stocks. How’s that for equality?

I think the game developers have more important things to worry about every day without the need to fear retribution from the emotional activists.

  • “You’re going to find dozens of words that might not be politically correct in the eyes of those who are out there looking for reasons to complain”

    While I agree that this is probably a big part of it, as some people just love to b$#&h, it is essentially people not fully understanding a definition of a word and relying on what that word “means” to them.
    If you really want to push this, put out the definition of sisterhood.

  • One entry found for sisterhood.
    Main Entry: sis·ter·hood
    Pronunciation: -“hud
    Function: noun
    1 a : the state of being a sister b : sisterly relationship
    2 : a community or society of sisters; especially : a society of women in a religious order
    3 : the solidarity of women based on shared conditions, experiences, or concerns

    Basically Sisterhood is exclusive to a female and Brotherhood is inclusive to both genders. When presented with the definitions for both the offended party simply ignored them and held firm to the “It has “brother” in it so it still means male only!”.

  • Has anyone happen to see what the definition of a “fellow” is? I know that it is based on a book…but it’s interesting none the less…in a gaming environment…

    i guess those female elves shouldn’t have helped out the “fellows”-ship…lol…

  • I dont’ really like ‘brotherhood’. Yeah, it does not conjure up the same ‘fantasy’ feel that Fellowship did. It isn’t so much about gender to me as …well, the brotherhood of the ___ (fill in the blanks with your local elks, moose lodge, etc.) is just too goofy to me, i am picturing us all having to wear fezs and drive tiny cars or something.

    There’s so many other words that could have been used … Coven, clan, coterie, company, …why are they all c words? There’s just a lot of words that could have been chosen and instead they went for one that a lot of women out there have a knee jerk reaction towards.

    Sorry, yes, i do think they are over reacting. No, i do not think they are however, reacting to *nothing*.

  • That’s a good point. There are absolutely a dozen other names that would fit the roll of a Brotherhood/Fellowship quite well.

    Unfortunately SOE is going with a word that will not sit well with everyone – but honestly will there ever be a word that EVERYONE likes? Coven could be considered religious. Fellowship is “already used by LOTRO”, Brotherhood is too masculine, etc.

    Hopefully people just let it go.