Male Masons often say that they enjoy coming together without their wives. Some take a step further and say that the presence of women will be contraproductive regarding the “work”. There are even those who say that they would never be able to remain attentive when they would sit next to a woman. I even read a Mason wondering what his wife would say if there were women in his lodge or people wondering how rituals go.
I wonder what the rituals look like of the lodges of men who think their wives would find improper when conducted on a woman? What I have experienced so far was nothing so wild that it could be seen dishonourable. Sure, sometimes a knee or part of the chest has to be visible, but how arising is that compared to what you see when you look around you in the shopping mall?
Or you are sitting in the lodge and your neighbour is a woman, or there is a woman on the opposite side, would that draw your attention away more than thoughts about a problem at work, a sore thumb or the realisation that you wear two different socks? These arguments hardly seem arguments to me. In fact, I am of the opinion that men and women complement eachother spiritually. Sure, the woman’s perspective can be different from the man’s, but you can say the same of two men. In fact, you best hope that the members of your lodge have different opinions, otherwise things would be rather dull.
Ah yes, in the “operative” period, when masons really were masons, there were no women masons (or at least very little). That argument has some merit, but after almost 300 years of “speculative” Freemasonry, is that still a valid argument? I wonder. I do know that there are women in co-Masonry who have looked around in different organisations, Masonic or not, and in the end decided that the building and light symbolism and the way Freemasonry works is what they are looking for. Why deny them the right? The possibility exists.