"I was recently asked by a Brother Mason, "We know you are married, why don't we ever see your wife?"
When I decided to join a Lodge, and then decided to work my way through the chairs, my wife was nothing but supportive. But given the extent to which the Craft still institutionally equates "Involving wives and girlfriends" with "Asking wives and girlfriends cook and serve dinner," she wants nothing to do with it.
I have never heard of such a thing. That's absolutely crazy. Any lodge doing that should stop immediately. Dave Brown
Masonic events where you're expected to bring your significant other are especially annoying to single brethren as well. (Or at least me.)
Speaking as a divorced man, I know how you feel. I'd recommend helping host the event so you are married to that :D
I couldn't agree more. As long as the Houston Scottish Rite included the "ladies" at Maundy Thursday and the Feast of Tishri, the younger members (under 45) with wives and children at home stayed away, as did the single men. You ended up with a building full of retirees and their blue-haired wives. After we stopped including the ladies, the younger men, married and single, returned in large numbers. The old retirees didn't like it, but they were only in it for the free meals.
I suggest that Masonry endeavor to advance the social agenda of equality by becoming open to women for membership. COntinuing our "men only" policy while true to our history also relegates us to being socially exclusive and discriminatory toward women. There you go...let's be more socially progressive.
I can hear the howls of outrage in response to your comment already, but I've come to believe that regular Masonry's next existential crisis is going to revolve around the issues of gender equality and gender identity. "Because it's always been that way!" is not going to cut it for much longer as an answer as to why women cannot join the Craft. As societal norms shift, we will look increasingly hopelessly old fashioned at best, or misogynistic at worst. I am not saying that Masonry necessarily *is* misogynistic, but it will certainly be increasingly perceived as such, and our continued relevance as an institution will be questioned by younger, progressive people (women and men alike.)
I honestly don't agree. College fraternities are not widely pressured to admit women, and we are very open about it. We should encourage the female and co-masonic lodges, and happily send women to them, as the UGLE does. There are very few women who loudly complain about us, or seek admission into regular lodges. I just don't see that as a big issue. It's the female lodges and grand lodges that need to get their acts together and expand.The "gender identity" issue is thornier, although I suspect that with trans folks making up less than 1% of the population, it will be a loud but rare issue for us (however, it's already been going on currently across the country without much fanfare yet).
Correct, women aren't pressuring acceptance in to fraternities. I feel that's mostly as they have sororities. I agree that UGLE has done great work with females. As for gender identities, that's a tough one. If there was any group to value a person not of their outward appearances but that which is within, it would be us.
Over my dead body.
That would just split the fraternity. Most of us would pull up stakes and form a more traditional type of Freemasonry, leaving the old decaying buildings to the "petticoat Masons."
Picture is inextremely poor taste.What does this picture say to our non-mason readers? Phil Smith
Oh please. My wife pointed it out to ME and laughed her head off.
And what about my husband?My predecessor as Secretary asked me whether my husband would be interested in becoming a Mason in our Lodge. I told him that, first, he is an agnostic and so is not eligible, and second, I would not want my husband to be a member of the same Lodge as I was.W.Bro Chris Hansen, PM, Goliath Lodge #5595 UGLE
My girlfriend happily joins me for dinner at my lodge and several other in the district. She helps organise food packages with us, has joined me at a RAM funeral service and even visited Grand Lodges out of state. In fact, it was her idea! (I join her at work dinners, fly to conferences and support non work activities with Kiwanis). She sees how much I love the Craft, the mind blowing amount of good my lodge does and supports me. Not all Masons are in the same situation to be as lucky as me, or appear to be. The fact that I don't see my brother's partner (high percentage of Masons are not heterosexual around here; here being Provincetown, MA) doesn't mean they aren't supporting them. They could be home watching the kids running the business or something as simple as driving them (I don't drive) because they can't or they share a car. Just because they aren't there doesn't mean they aren't supporting them or not going to OES, Job's Daughters or Shrine events that you aren't :P
When I was active in my Lodge, my husband and I brought our two sons to the monthly dinners before the Stated Meeting. It occurred to me that the only time the two of them ever saw women eating dinner was at the Lodge. Full disclosure - my lack of active involvement is due to my husband having started a business, not a decrease in my interest.
Can there not be one place – just one place – where men can gather for dinner and enjoy fellowship with one another without the presence of non-members? Hasn't the Masonic fraternity always offered that one place? Are we going to knock down the doors of our lodges to admit the profane? And then what? Once the camel's nose is under the tent, you will never get it out.
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