MARIE DERAISMES LODGE #352
Marie Deraismes Lodge #352 is a part of the Le Droit Humain American Federation. To learn more about Le Droit Humain American Federation and the International Order of Freemasonry for men and women we encourage you to visit our Le Droit Humain page.
Masonic lodges have names chosen by their founders. As Susan Henderson, the United Grand Lodge of England's Communications Adviser, says, 'It can be a fascinating insight into the lodge's formation. What has struck me is that people have a real emotional attachment to a lodge name.' These names are links: to places, values, figures of history, whether masonic or not, culture, literature, or myths. Our lodge is named Maria Deraismes.
Maria Deraismes is one of the most fascinating characters in masonic history. All the freemasons know her as the first woman initiated in France and co-founder, with another invaluable character Georges Martin, of the Grand Scottish Rite Mixed Lodge of France—Human Rights (Grande Loge Symbolique Ecossaise de France – Le Droit Humain), in 1893.
Born in 1828 in a middle-class family, she was highly educated in various domains such as literature, philosophy, drama and history (something out of the ordinary at that time). Excellent writer and orator, she was also a woman of action, dedicated to women's rights. She helped create the weekly Le Droit des Femmes (Women's Rights), the longest-lived women's publication of its time. She also founded an association for the defense of women's rights, and organized the first International Congress of the Rights of Women in 1878.
Until her death, she advocated many essential social progress domains, like education reforms, divorce, women's vote, protection of mothers and children, and freedom of thinking.
She died ten months after creating the lodge for men and women. The Order expanded quickly and is, today, one of the most prominent Masonic orders of modern times. By giving our lodge her name, we celebrate her outstanding contribution to women's condition and her audacity, strength, and light.