Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Can a Woman Be a Freemason?
There are many in the mainstream Masonic community, as well as most members in the wider society, that believe a woman cannot be made a Mason. Many supporters of Women's Freemasonry point out examples in the past of women that have been made Masons, and, of course, there are many Masonic jurisdictions today that consist either exclusively of women, or accept women as equal members, my own jurisdiction included.
In reviewing the obligation taken by mainstream Masons, the following is particularly relevant:
"I will not aid, or be present at, the initiation,passing,or raising of a woman..."
If a woman could not be a Freemason, then this statement is irrelevant. A Minister cannot unite two two cats in Holy Matrimony, (regardless of the owners desire) since a marriage between two pets is an impossibility and illogical.
If it is an impossibility for a woman to become a Freemason, then this part of the obligation is nonsensical and serves no purpose whatsoever.
In their own obligation, mainstream Masons state that it is possible for a woman to be made a Mason; their members are sworn not to assist, or be involved in such an action.
Increasingly I am aware of the value and necessity of women belonging to Freemasonry. As a member of a mixed lodge, I could not imagine practicing Masonry without the insight that my Sisters bring to the work, nor the balance that they offer to the lodge.
Many mainstream Masons claim that the involvement of women would result in Masonry no longer being Masonry. In the United States and England, Freemasonry, for the most part, has already ceased to be Masonry, instead evolving into a charitable social club. As a men's club to hang out and discuss sports and socialize, I can see where they are coming from. The Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes and the International Order of Friendly Sons of the Raccoons of Television fame served a similar purpose.