Women and Freemasonry
Freemasonry has traditionally been an all-male, fraternal organization. Although wives and female family members are encouraged to take part in Masonic events, membership is still generally all male. There are, however, various affiliated female Masonic orders.
This is a sensitive subject that needs to be discussed in an honest and open way. Let’s try!
So, can women become Freemasons? Yes and No. What do we mean by this?
All traditional Grand Lodges of Freemasonry (the highest governing bodies) only accept men into the brotherhood, usually over 21 years of age. This hearkens back to when Freemasonry began in the Medieval Age as a group of stone masons, what was then a profession occupied by men.
There are options for women
So, whilst women cannot join traditional Masonic Lodges under most Grand Lodges, there are Masonic organizations for only women. Some of these female Freemasonry organizations are not only recognized by some major Grand Lodges, but enjoy very close and cordial relations.
It does however remain the case that a female member of one of these organizations cannot attend a Lodge meeting in one of the mainstream Masonic Lodges, which are all male. Females can be Freemasons.
There are some organizations that style themselves as Freemasons. Now we cannot prevent this from occurring; no one owns the trademark to Freemasonry. These organizations are not recognized by any mainstream Grand Lodge of Freemasonry.
What is interesting to note, is that some of these organizations accept both male and female members – this is known as “Co-Masonry”. Male members of these so-called Masonic organizations cannot attend mainstream Freemasonry Masonic Lodge meetings at all.
There have been various movements and an increasing openness within mainstream Freemasonry regarding the admission of females into mainstream Freemasonry. So far this is in very early stages, but we’ll update this article as things develop.
Women can be Freemasons. There are female Masonic organizations that are recognized by mainstream Grand Lodges. It still however remains the case that there is not intermixing between Lodges; male Freemasons cannot attend female Masonic Lodges and vice-a-versa.
What are your thoughts? Comment below (and please, be civil 🙂 ).