Freemasonry needs to ditch 1950s attitudes

Discussion in 'Masonic Blogs' started by Bloke, Nov 17, 2017.

  1. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Today’s Universities Scheme conference at Freemasons’ Hall in London saw the end of my eight year tenure as Chairman of the Scheme, and provided an opportunity to reflect on the Craft and its future. In my valedictory address, I set out some thoughts about Freemasonry and the ongoing need for change, to better reflect modern day society. In particular, I focused on the need to move away from the ‘1950s attitudes’ about relationships, gender, and sexuality, that exist in some lodges and to tackle the hidden bullying that sometimes occurs in masonic units.
    Read the rest here

    https://edwardlord.org/2017/11/04/my-final-thoughts-as-chair-of-universities-scheme-freemasonry-needs-to-ditch-1950s-attitudes/
     
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  2. LK600

    LK600 Premium Member

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    It was an enjoyable read even though I do not agree with everything put forth.
     
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  3. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    I feel the same. One of the main reasons that I joined Masonry was that it is a fraternity. The day that regular Masonry recognizes female Masonry, not to even mention admitting female members itself, will be the day I demit and leave never to return.
     
  4. David612

    David612 Registered User

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    Personally I think the push to remove the fraternity status from freemasonry comes from a place of ignorance in regard to why freemasonry has trouble attracting and retaining new members.
    I think there would be a few women very keen to be involved obviously however they would face the same truths about it as any new member does.
     
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  5. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    >a place of ignorance in regard to why freemasonry has trouble attracting and retaining new members.

    Quite so. And the problem goes up through the system. My local 18th chapter is steadily shrinking through lack of candidates. The chapter generates very little magnetism in its ritual so I am not surprised.
     
  6. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    I think it was a very interesting article. It was actually brought to my attention via our GL electronic communications. I too want to see Freemasonry remain a Fraternity, however, I also acknowledge that Female Freemasonry is valid. I think it is a lot like a Church , just because I belong to a certain one, does not make all the others invalid - much less spend a lot of time putting them down which seems the default position for a lot of regular Freemasons.

    I think my and following generations have a lot less respect for status and authority positions. I think understanding this and that the Sargent Major kind of ritualist damage lodges. We should encourage and support, not keep bashing bros for errors of a word or sentence. I think that part of the past needs to be dumped.

    Me, I find meeting homophobia in lodge really hard to deal with. I think Freemasonry should be more tolerant than that and should not have its head in the sand, some love citing Oscar Wilde as an example of Masonic Diversity, but feel uncomfortable about gay men in Freemasonry (although, I must admit, I am not keen on introducing couples into a lodge - because that has its own dynamic, but I am not sure you can have one without being willing to have the other). I'm in lodges with gay brethren, but must admit to my knowledge never been in lodge with a gay couple....

    I think Freemasonry as a predominately male space, and tyled lodges as a solely male domain has its strong merits, just as I think female birthing circles and gyms have theirs - but that also I would love to see more options for local Female Freemasonry, we only have mixed Lodges and no solely female lodges (and I am talking outside regular OES and Amaranth).

    If Freemasonry is intellectual, surely we should be open to discussing these things... good to see my GL spark conversations around them.
     
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  7. David612

    David612 Registered User

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    I’m totally with you in regards to homophobia and discrimination generally in lodges.
     
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  8. goomba

    goomba Neo-Antient Site Benefactor

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    You can watch an episode of the Masonic Roundtable about the Oddfellows. The brother (he's a Master Mason and Oddfellow) speaks about how the Oddfellows opened their lodges to allow women and how this did not save it's lodges. Other than that aspect I believe the article was spot on.

    I'm a happily married man of 14 years. My wife has zero interest, read ZERO, of participating in anything associated with the lodge. Not that she dislikes it that is just her personality. At one of my lodges for installation only the incoming Master's wife was present. A few months later we had a ladies night and around four ladies were present. He remarked "I just thought more wives would come." My reply was "Bubba* think back to the installation. How many wives came to that? Just yours."

    For some lodges and members you just get us. Having these events for others tells us we are not enough.

    *names have been changed to protect the innocent
     
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  9. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Agreed.
     
  10. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Most certainly, that's why I chimed in with my two cents worth.
    These are the kinds of debates that I enjoy.
     
  11. jrnteach

    jrnteach Registered User

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    My Lodge has lots of activities for our wives, sons and daughters. I’m thankful that our brethren have been growing and we’ve had multiple first degrees in the past few months.


    Sent from my iPhone using My Freemasonry
     
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  12. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, since female Masonry is irregular and / or clandestine I don't bother with thinking about whether it is valid or not.
     
  13. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    I left a comment but it's waiting for moderation so it may never appear at all. Here's what I wrote:

     
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  14. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Totally agree Brother JJones.
     
  15. Overworked724

    Overworked724 Registered User

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    Speaking as a candidate only - I petitioned to be in a fraternity of good men. There are some organizations which promote the fellowship of men. This is for good reason...not to be too blunt but sometimes men need to feel brotherhood. The opposite is also true.

    If women are allowed in, then I would also take exception to this new allowance in membership.

    Not that the event would be the end of the world...but it would change my motivation to join the brotherhood....simply because it would no longer be a brotherhood in its core.

    This is only my humble opinion.


    Sent from my iPhone using My Freemasonry
     
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  16. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    It is no more so than male Masonry is. It is unrecognized, and this is a very important distinction.
     
  17. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Have to disagree Brother. In my jurisdiction it is irregular and clandestine.
     
  18. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

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    JC I gotta disagree too. Unrecognized is PHA and those 7 States. Irregular and clandestine is not adhearing to our landmarks, Glen I know not all states recognize the landmarks, however every MM OBLIG I’ve heard (5 jurisdictions) all say something about not allowing women. Or being there when a woman is made ect ect. So to me, even if they have all the other markings of a regular Freemasonic
    Organization, they are not. Also almost all of the groups that allow women that I am aware of are also atheistic.....almost all not all.
     
  19. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    >In my jurisdiction it is irregular and clandestine.

    It might be worth studying the lineage of the 4 lodges on 1717. They dealt with their problem by declaring themselves to be "time immemorial" even though the oldest lodge was 50 years old and the youngest 5 years. Were they self-chartered?
     
  20. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    Statement issued by UGLE – 10th March 1999


    There exist in England and Wales at least two Grand Lodges solely for women. Except that these bodies admit women, they are, so far as can be ascertained, otherwise regular in their practice. There is also one which admits both men and women to membership. They are not recognised by this Grand Lodge and intervisitation may not take place. There are, however, discussions from time to time with the women’s Grand Lodges on matters of mutual concern. Brethren are therefore free to explain to non-Masons, if asked, that Freemasonry is not confined to men(even though this Grand Lodge does not itself admit women). Further information about these bodies may be obtained by writing to the Grand Secretary.


    The Board is also aware that there exist other bodies not directly imitative of pure antient Masonry, but which by implication introduce Freemasonry, such as the Order of the Eastern Star. Membership of such bodies, attendance at their meetings, or participation in their ceremonies is incompatible with membership of this Grand Lodge.
     
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