EDITORIAL: Freemasons are unlikely victims

Mike Dewar and his team at MDA have an unenviable task trying to

turn round perceptions of the freemasons of the United Grand Lodge of

England. Who can forget Monty Python's satire on freemasons? Middle-aged

men clad in aprons and antler horns, shaking hands in extravagant

ways.



Yet for many this is the perception of freemasonry - as a secret, sexist

organisation made up of mysterious chaps doing each other favours.



As part of this PR push, the masons are claiming they are secretive due

to persecution by fascists in the 1930s. They also claim that they are

prolific fundraisers and refute any claim of sexism.



But will the victim tag for this elite bunch of men really wash in the

21st century? When asked how he would counter claims of sexism, Dewar

said members were far from prejudiced, but were merely upholding an

innocent tradition.



This is not an easy message to find public sympathy for. After all,

surely women are just as capable at fundraising as men are?



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