The first documented sighting of the Bro is widely thought to have been in 1872 in the small township of Bortdale, Scotland. Mrs. Earnesta Williams, the local butter churner and laundress, kept meticulous records on the transformation of Dr. John Jones, the town’s respected surgeon. On Dec. 4, 1872, the doctor was on his way to pick up some bloodied towels; he had performed a rather tedious bloodletting the other day and had no clean cloths for the exorcism he was scheduled to do after dinner.
John Jones walked into the Williams’ living room and collected the surgical towels as he normally did. Just before he left, though, he looked Williams up and down. An excerpt from her diary details the moment: “A most peculiar look seized upon him. He then exclaim’d loudly, ‘Thou hast a Hot Bod, mistress Williams.’” Jones then squeezed her left butt cheek and promptly left, snickering and high-fiving himself out the door.
The poor lady had never experienced such overblown confidence and alpha-ness from the doctor — or from anyone, for that matter; Bortdale was a very progressive town. At the time, the population of Bros was thought to be just under 2%, so instances of casual objectification and groping (a symptom of the need of Bros to flex their masculinity) were very low.
Williams had to sit alone in the church for five fortnights to cleanse herself of the exchange. An alternative treatment would have been to challenge the former doctor, to ask him why he felt the urge to suddenly wear Snapbacks and feel entitled to touch someone else’s body, but even in her liberal town, she would have been ridiculed for being oversensitive. She would later move two townships over to escape the Bro of Bortdale.
Many people assume that Williams first coined the term “Bro,” but that’s historically incorrect. In her 177 volumes of notes, she does not write “Bro” once, preferring to call the former doctor a “terrible person who made her feel like she only existed to titillate men.”
The term actually originated within the Bro community. It refers to a man who is exceedingly heterosexual and proves it by disrespecting women and queer men regularly. Common indicators also include a slightly muscular build, a tendency to unbutton shirts after one Coors Light and an extreme willingness to squeeze people’s butts without their permission.
Collecting women is thought to be an indicator of status within a hetero-bro society. The head Bro, an elusive creature that was just born a Bro, bestows Brohood. Brohood seems to be eternal, and lately, much more common than it used to be.
Dr. Ronda Rutgers tracked the population of Bros in her landmark study, “Bros and the Rise of Salmon Shorts and Boat Shoes.” A Bro, as defined by her and scientific communities since, is a person who scorns men who are less macho and who tokenizes women easily. Rutgers proved that the rise of the Bro is happening increasingly faster; the Rutger group and numerous peer-reviewed studies following hers almost unanimously agree that the age of onset is quickly decreasing. The average age was estimated to be 45 years in the early 1900s. Now it is closer to 14. Parent-Teacher Associations believe that the root of the problem lies in the hormones served to young children in milk, but the problem is more complicated that that, according to the laboratory of Dr. Christian Blocks. Her research suggests that violent video games are the problem, but her experimental methods have yet to be proven correct because of one extremely inconvenient factor: Bros in captivity generally tend to waste away very quickly unless they’re located at an elite liberal arts university such as Yale.