Saturday, March 03, 2007

Women in Freemasonry

by Rudy Olano
Lincoln Lodge No. 34
Hanford Lodge No. 279

Although within the Craft the notion of change is not a popular thought, change does come eventually. From operative to speculative, number of degrees, rituals, assembly to lodge, and others. Contemporary members are cognizant to the changing role of women in our society. The condition in which women were not allowed to receive Degrees in Freemasonry was decided during the time when women are expected and accepted their role as normal way of life. As you noted, times changed and the Fraternity also changes. If I can hazard an opinion, because of the Craft embedded resistance to change, in form of inculcated process, expectation and vows, changes to what we do and "grown up" with including your expectations will not come overnight. Filling in empty seats in the Lodge room with new members with contemporary mentality will take time. We in the Craft were taught the value of "waiting the time with patience" hence, if I could I would recommend for you to heed those words.

Who knows that there will be a time when we can sit in the Lodge composed of both genders filling the Lodge room with harmony, and maybe find Lodges exclusively for ladies exchanging visit with traditional all male Lodges. I dont see any issues at those ideas as long as nobody is not forced to participate to something against their will. We can all exist under "the clouded canopy or star-decked heaven where all good Masons hope at last to arrive..." There is always a room for everybody to practice a "system of morality, veiled in allegories and illustrated by symbols" after all, the speculative Craft is about building individual temple "for more noble and glorious purpose."


Gene Goldman said...

You would do well to check your facts. There are now, and have been for generations, Masonic jurisdictions that admit women - either exclusively or with men. The 'heads burried in the sand' denial of the mainstream notwithstanding, these jurisdictions do exist and their Masonry is every bit as legitimate as the mainstream.

RmOlano said...

Fact is statement that can be verified for accuracy or truthfulness. Fact #1, being a member of “mainstream” Lodge, this writer cannot “sit in a Lodge composed of both genders filling the Lodge room with harmony.” Mainstream Masons are expected to know that fact. Fact #2, the statement relative to inter-visitation among members of all women Lodges and traditional all male Lodges was predicated with the word “maybe.” Let us not waste our time debating with something that starts with “maybe.” Fact #3, there is no evidence in the short article questioning the legitimacy of other than “mainstream” Freemasonry jurisdictions. If one would finish reading the last paragraph, avoid shooting from hip and try to digest the message of the entire article, maybe one would realize that for superfluous defensiveness and sanctimonious approach for undeniably hot topic is not a very bright display of using “mental and corporeal faculties in their fullest energy.” The funny thing is that most likely, we are on the same side of the fence. For similar topic I recommend "For Men's Only."