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Freemason Feminists: Masonic Reform And The Women’S Movement In France, 1840-1914

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines more closely the remarkable coincidence between masonic reform and the women?s movement in France. The struggle to initiate women must be seen in the context of the struggle for women?s political rights, if only because so many feminists were active in mixed Masonry around 1900. The rise of liberal society in modern France has been regarded as something of an historical contradiction. The first effort to define the instrumental function of women in Masonry was made by Théodore Juge, an early proponent of feminist interests. A much better known incident in the development of mixed Masonry was the attempted initiation of Maria Deraismes by ?Les Libres Penseurs? of Le Pecq in 1882. The rituals of the Grande Loge Symbolique Ecossaise (GLSE) II and Le Droit Humain suggest why so many feminists were attracted to mixed Masonry.

Keywords: France; Grande Loge Symbolique Ecossaise (GLSE); masonic reform; mixed Masonry; Théodore Juge; women?s movement



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