Ladies Freemasonry in the UK video

Discussion in 'Freemasonry in the Press' started by Matt L, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    Exactly. Can a woman be a Freemason? Yes. Can a woman be a Freemason in my Grand Lodge? No. Pretty simple equation.
     
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  2. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    To add further light to the subject; my obligation does not state that a woman can’t be a Freemason, it states that I won’t be present at her Degrees or sit in lodge with her. It also separates (and this is key) women from clandestinely made Masons. Why the separation of women can’t be Masons?
     
  3. LK600

    LK600 Premium Member

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    2017 FL Digest -

    “Antiquity: Those beliefs and those practices which were fixed at the time when Freemasonry emerged from its prehistoric era into the period of recorded Masonic history.”

    “Universality: A suggested Landmark has universality when it is one of the practices, principles, or beliefs which Masons everywhere accept, believe, and practice and without which there would be no Freemasonry.

    Section 2. The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Florida hereby recognizes, as being Landmarks of Freemasonry, the following: (a) A belief in the existence of one ever living and true God.
    (b) A belief in the immortality of the human soul and a resurrection thereof to a Future Life.
    (c) The Volume of the Sacred Law, open upon the Altar, is an indispensable furnishing of every regular Lodge while at labor.
    (d) The Legend of the Third Degree.
    (e) Secrecy, which includes: The necessary words, signs, and tokens, whereby one Mason may know another to be such, ‘in darkness as in light,’ that every regular Lodge must be tyled while at labor; that every visitor seeking admission to the Lodge must be examined and prove himself a Mason, unless duly and properly avouched for; those other matters which cannot be written in any language.
    (f) The symbolism of the Operative Art.
    (g) Every candidate for Freemasonry must be a man, free born, of lawful age, being under the tongue of good repute, and well recommended, and unless Dispensation is granted by the Grand Master, having no maim or defect of body that may render him incapable of learning the art or of being advanced to the Several Degrees. (1992)

    I guess I could go on to more directly discuss clandestine / irregular but since this is what keep s getting brought up....
     
  4. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Thank you, and I respect you Brother.

    However, I would also continue, that conversations where we all agree are not as educational as where we have difference, and where that difference of opinion is well put and respectful, as it is here, is exactly where good conversations can be had... until we get to the point where we're flogging a dead horse :) I see "Freemason" a bit like the broad term "Christian" under which many traditions of Freemasonry operate, many calling themselves "Freemasons".

    I'm interested in these groups, "Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons" and "The Order of Woman Freemasons", and also what made two emerge. It seems that the spit in 1913 was over Holy Royal Arch (Chapter).

    It seems the Chronology of Woman Only Freemasons in England is something like this

    1902 - French Co-Freemasons operating in London ( I would assume this was under Le Droit Humain (1893) or perhaps and Adoptive Rite under Grande Loge de France )
    ( In 1882 a woman named Marie Deraismes was initiated into a French masculine Lodge called appropriately “Les Libres Penseurs” (The Free Thinkers). In 1893, Dr. Georges Martin, a French Senator and advocate of equal rights for women, joined Marie Deraismes and other male Masons in founding in Paris La Respectable Loge, Le Droit Humain, Maconnerie Mixte (Worshipful Lodge, Le Droit Humain, Co-Masonry). They initiated, passed, and raised sixteen prominent French women. The International Order of Co-Freemasonry traces its origin from this foundation.
    ( Source http://www.comasonic.org/faq/ )


    5 June 1908 - The Honourable Fraternity of Antient Masonry - Grand Master Rev Dr William Frederick Cob but since 1912 - GMs have all been Women.
    'Order of Women Freemasons' to our title in 1958 current site https://www.owf.org.uk/ By 1920's they stopped admitting men.

    1913 - Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons first Grand Master was Mrs Elizabeth Boswell-Reid. Current site http://www.hfaf.org/

    I read
    "The Honourable Fraternity of Antient Masonry was founded on 20 June 1908 and its first Grand Master and driving force was a man - the Rev Dr William Frederick Cobb. However, since 1912, the Grand Masters have all been women. The new Order at first included both men and women, but eventually the decision was taken in the early 1920s to restrict entrance to women only and no longer admit men as visitors. Although a handful of loyal men remained in office, by 1935 we had become an exclusively female organisation and we remain so today. Another Masonic Order for women had been founded in 1913, and to avoid confusion in names we added 'Order of Women Freemasons' to our title in 1958. This is the name by which we are known today"
    Source https://www.owf.org.uk/about-us/our-history/

    It seems there were several reasons for the split, HRA, and also the French Influence.

    “It was in 1902 that the first lodge of Co-Masons was formed in London and that importation from France soon snowballed. But within a few years some of its members became uneasy regarding the course being taken by the governing body in Paris. They felt that their ancient forms were in jeopardy and a departure from their traditional style was taking place; history was being repeated, for it was a similar state that had arisen in regular Freemasonry in the mid-18th century. Various members resigned from the Order and formed themselves into a Society from which was to emerge the Honourable Fraternity of Antient Masonry, but still as an association for men and women. On 5 June 1908 a Grand Lodge was formed with a Reverend Brother as Grand Master. He was the first and only male Grand Master and held that office for four years before retiring through ill health. His successor commenced the continuing line of female Grand Masters. Approximately ten years later it was decided to restrict admission to women only but to allow existing male members to remain. Within a very short period the title was changed to the Order of Women Freemasons but the form of address as ‘Brother’ remained, the term ‘Sister’ having been discontinued soon after the formation in 1908 as it was deemed unfitting for members of a universal Brotherhood of Freemasons. It is also of some interest to note that history was repeated again , in that the Royal Arch became the subject of a division in their ranks, rather on the lines of the Antients and Moderns years before the Union in 1813. A group of its members wished to include the Royal Arch in the system but failed to obtain authority from their Grand Lodge , which caused them to secede and form the first Lodge of yet another Order – The Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons, two Grand Lodges running in parallel was almost a carbon copy performance, but in this case the time for a Union, similar to that which took place in 1813, is yet to come.

    http://www.hfaf.org/about-us/our-history/

    Also, I was unaware of the French GL of exclusively woman Freemasons https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women's_Grand_Lodge_Of_France
     
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  5. LK600

    LK600 Premium Member

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    And there sir is our difference. I do not. I see freemasonry more like a family. You are either a member of my family or you are not. You can't wake up one day and say... Today I'm going to be John 600 and thus I am now in LK600's family because I want to be... and if i pretend long enough, one day it might be true. In most anything else, it would be illegal.

    I keep getting caught on what I term the shit side of these discussions lol. I didn't write these rules/law/bylaws/landmarks. On a side note... thanks for taking the time to share everything. I was not aware of those events in anything close to that much detail! Thank you; it is very interesting.
     
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  6. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Well, as an Entered Apprentice, it's great to see you developing an understanding of the Craft - well done and keep it up :)
     
  7. LK600

    LK600 Premium Member

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    I read a great deal, and when I'm not, I turn my old digital books from archive into audio material for my commute. I guess I'm stuck in the stage of not being able to get enough. (It doesn't hurt that I'm between degrees and am in a holding pattern for a bit lol).
     
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  8. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Absolutely!
     
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  9. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Excellent point!
    When it comes to female Masonry you can wrap it up in all the pretty paper and bows that you want. At the end of the day it is still clandestine.
     
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  10. Scoops

    Scoops Registered User

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    It seems to me that this comes down to individual Grand Lodge. My GL tells me that they are Freemasons and that their practices are regular (as far as may be ascertained), apart from the whole women thing but, because of that, I may not visit them nor they visit my lodge. Indeed, UGLE tells me that I should send appropriate people enquiring about membership in their direction.

    The c-word doesn't get much traction here, a far as I've experienced. Are the female grand lodges irregular? Yes, although only on one point. Are they unrecognized? Most definitely. Are they clandestine and bogus? Neither I, most of the brethren I've met nor my Grand Lodge would choose to denigrate them with such language.

    OES, on the other hand, is described by UGLE as totally incompatible with membership.

    Sent from my EVA-L09 using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018
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  11. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    Good points. However it's funny how the sentiment towards OES is since it is hardly Masonic at all and shares very little in common with it other than a lodge room. Its basically renting the room to them and many lodges here do that with other orders such as OTO or GD.
     
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  12. LK600

    LK600 Premium Member

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    If your GL advises you those things, AND doing so doesn't violate any laws, bylaws, landmarks etc, by all means do so. But there is no such things as somewhat irregular or kind of irregular, or even almost not irregular. They are either irregular or they are not. It doesn't make them bad people, it just makes them not Mason's.
     
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  13. Scoops

    Scoops Registered User

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    But they are masons, merely irregular ones.

    Take, for instance, the Grand Orient of France, the largest masonic body in France and with a history as long as any other Grand Lodge. Up until the late 19th century they were considered regular and recognized by the UGLE. After they ceased requiring belief in a supreme being that recognition was duly withdrawn and they were declared to be irregular. Did every single member cease being a mason at that point or simply an irregular (to us) one?

    Further on down the line, some of those masons decided to reverse the change and splintered off to form the Grande Loge Nationale Francaise. This grand lodge was then recognized by UGLE. At that point, did all the members suddenly regain their masonic status or should they simply be considered long-lost brethren welcomed back to the fold? I would argue strongly for the latter.

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  14. LK600

    LK600 Premium Member

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    Yes.

    Yes to both, long lost would be fitting... they were lost from Freemasonry until they returned to the rules/landmarks.

    As I said earlier... we all are going to have to agree to disagree. I'm fairly certain neither side is going to be swayed.
     
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  15. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Apart from the woman thing. So it is "just a little bit" irregular?
    Yep!
    Yes, they did.
    Agreed!
     
  16. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    When I was very young I lived in a world of black and white, but then color TV arrived.
     
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  17. LK600

    LK600 Premium Member

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    when i was younger, I was to poor for colored TV, so we all sat around and learned the value in not breaking rules because it didn't suit us at the time.
     
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  18. David612

    David612 Registered User

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    Ultimately it’s not for the individual member to decide who is a mason or not, the lack of recognition is what is relevant here. It may well be be the in due time UGLE recognises then in a misguided effort to bolster numbers and interest in the craft again however until that time all the pleasantries may be extended but it’s for naught if they are not seen as regular.
     
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  19. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    Nah, particularly if one adapts the cynical undertone, for UGLE would not wish to lose their voice in the Masonic world.
     
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  20. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Lol! Good one!
    Sounds good to me.
     

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