Trust and the Green-Eyed Ladies: Why Even Jealous Wives Need to Send Their Men to Lodge

Masonry affects family. There’s no doubt about it. You can’t give the paterfamilias in your brood a get-out-of-the-house-free card andredditwife not have that affect every other little things. He’s not there to dry dishes. He’s not there to help get the kids to bed. He’s not there to feed you peeled grapes and give you foot rubs (because he’d totally be doing that if he was home, amirite?). For some wives and families that’s just one day per month. For others, at least once per week. Some masons have left home for their initiation and have never been seen, nor heard from again.

…well, maybe not that last one, but still.

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Lady Masons?! It’s happened…

While regular Freemasonry has a long, and well-deserved reputation as a He-Man Women-Haters Club, there have actually been women initiated into the Craft (and not as a member of an irregular co-mason lodge). Our OES-sister, The Mason’s Lady, is exploring some of these interesting happenstances on her blog.

Before the lodge meeting had begun, Arthur’s daughter, Elizabeth, was reading in the library. Eventually, she dozed off; while she slept, the lodge meeting begun in the room next door. Elizabeth was awoken by voices at one point, and, realizing it was not just her father having friends over for drinks, decided that she wanted to know more about what was going on in the next room. So, she did what any curious young woman would do- she put her ear up to the wall, hoping to hear more. When that failed (bricks are not easy to hear through), she realized that the bricks in the wall were loose, and decided to remove one of them in hopes of spying on the men next door.

She was silent, captivated by the degree work going on for some time, supposedly observing the majority of the ceremony. It was only after the candidate received his obligation that she realized the weight of what she had just witnessed, not only for the candidate, but also for himself.

I encourage you to check out Michala’s complete post and her other great writing at The Mason’s Lady. She’s had a long history of playing with the boys, and I find her to be one of the best masonic writers blogging today.

Masonry – “We Make Men”

Today’s guest post is written by W. B. Nick Johnson, past master of Corinthian Lodge, and blogger at The Millennial Freemason, one of the best blogs out there for and by younger Masons.

Nick Johnson - Past Master

I’ve been asked by Bro. Matt to write on the controversial topic of woman and Masonry. What’s fascinating is that I really didn’t know much about feminine Freemasonry. Looking into it more, women and Freemasonry is not as foreign of a concept as we may think.
The concept of women and Freemasonry began in France in the 18c. In those days, women were not allowed into male lodges. These French Masons were desirous to bring women into the Fraternity in some way so they created “lodges” that practiced the “Rite of Adoption.” The Rite used the three degree format but was not based on the same legend of their male Masonic overseers. The reason that they used the term “Adoption” or “Adoptive” was because the male lodge would be the “parent” of the female lodge.

However, the most important development in bringing women into Masonry in this country was by Robert Morris and the Order of the Eastern Star. Robert Morris was a Past Grand Master of Kentucky and is best known for the Conservator movement. He spent years in forming what would become Star and it wasn’t until he was laid up by illness that he was able to fully create the system we have today (with the help of Macoy). Because I have worked with the women of the local OES Chapter that meets in Farmington, Myrtle No. 13, especially when I was Master, I have a lot of respect for these women.
They dedicate their lives to charity, to self-improvement, and to learning. They perform a century and a half old ritual in the same manner as when it was first constructed. They are as serious if not more serious about their ritual as any Masonic lodge that I have visited.

It’s quite understandable that Masons of nearly every century have sought to bring the spirit of Freemasonry to the important women of their lives even if those women aren’t allowed into lodge. Our tenets, the dedication to brotherly love, relief, and truth, are universal precepts.
Women represent a very important aspect of Masonry, even if they aren’t Masons. They are our wives and mothers, our daughters and friends. Women that choose Star become important Masonic contacts, particularly for the officers of the lodge. Personally, I think there is a time for male only, female-only, and co-ed organizations. Each of these provides a different perspective for improvement. There really is a time for every purpose under heaven.

I like my male only lodge. It gives me a time to discuss with other men their lives and mine, and their thoughts and mine. Men need a place to be, to put it frankly, men. I’m not as concerned with the death of maleness but I do share some of the same opinions as Robert Bly. Men are an experimental species and we need those myths and rites of passage because our maturity does not come to us from some biological clock. Freemasonry is that rite of passage; it gives a man a new starting point into adulthood, even if he joins in his 40s or 50s. Maleness is not under assault as much as it is being forgotten. Bly describes these men as half-adults, never fully reaching maturity. Through Masonic practice, we can stitch both halves together.

We seek to make “good men better” but I would argue that our mission statement could be reduced to three words, “we make men.” We need to make better leaders, better fathers, and better husbands. The only way we can do that is by leaving the TV set behind and becoming reacquainted with our maleness. The only way we can do this is in a male-only organization.

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