FeminismReligion and Spirituality

Job’s Daughters

I think they talk about the Masons a bit in one of the National Treasure movies...

When I lived with my mother, years ago, she and her dad spoke all good things about an organization that my grandpa helped out with. It’s called Job’s Daughters, and is an offshoot of the Masonic Lodge. I know relatively little about the Masons, other than it’s an all-male society that seems to saturate US history in subtle ways. They’re God-fearing and probably self-identify as Christian. Oh, and their effing symbol is EVERYWHERE. Anyway–the title “Job’s Daughters” should have already given you a general impression of the group. They reference the Bible in their name, so obviously they’re a Christian organization. What they don’t show you past the pictures of smiling girls’ faces is that the whole thing is weird, ritualistic, and is impressing girls to be inferior at the most fundamental level of its teachings.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Book of Job, I’ll give you a quick rundown. Job is cast as a pious man, to whom God has given much (a large family, lots of livestock, etc). The Devil and God essentially make a bet. The Devil claims that he can make Job lose his faith/curse God, and God bets that Job will remain loyal through any hardship. Lucifer wrecks Job’s entire life, killing his family and livestock, destroying his home and land, leaving Job homeless and quite alone. Job keeps his faith and continues to praise God, and is finally rewarded with twice as much good fortune as before. “And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job” (Job 42.15)

That reference to the daughters of Job is where we get Job’s Daughters. Fundamental lesson of the organization: Faith in God, no matter how shittily he treats you, will result in more benefit than you’ve ever had from doing anything else.

When I was in Jobies (I had completely forgotten about this aspect of my past until a week ago, and now I’m using old colloquialisms, lol), we met bi-monthly on Tuesday evenings. The meetings were very ritualistic in nature. We had to wear white robes, white undergarments, white hose, white slippers, and other various adornments depending on when you had joined and how much you had accomplished.

We walked into the specified room in a certain way, sat down in a certain order. Each person in the lodge would have a title, like secretary and Honored Queen (she led the meetings), as well as having pre-determined seats for each role. There were chairs set in a pattern in the middle of the room and several seats at the head of the room. You had to walk a certain path to request permission to leave, and had to exit and re-enter the room only at appropriate times during the meeting. No one who hadn’t yet gained a position in one of the related organizations (Masons, Rainbow Girls) could sit in. I’ve neglected to mention this so far, but you also can’t be in Job’s Daughters unless one of your male family members is a Mason. My grandpa was, of course, my Mason family member; if that isn’t reinforcing female dependency on males, I don’t know what is.

It was very rigidly hierarchical and ritualistic. The actual subject matter of the meetings is vague to me at this point. I remember reading the minutes from the previous meeting and occasionally discussing/planning events like luncheons. We would sometimes meet with other groups for fundraisers. At one point in the year, all the lodges in one area have a talent competition-type event. You can advance from a member of a lodge to Supreme Bethel Honored Queen. It was fun, from what I recall. We went on trips and had sleepovers, but we also had extra responsibilities.

And, of course, the main problem with the whole thing is that it’s religious and uses one of the most depreciating stories from the Bible as the foundation for its principles. The Book of Job essentially takes all credit away from the individual in their accomplishments, which opposes what we want to teach young people about having control over their lives.

Job’s Daughters isn’t a cult. It is possible to remove oneself from it. It doesn’t stress subservience to your husband or anything like that outright. It can even be fun at times. But, it is yet another Christ-based organization that specifically targets and recruits young adults and teens. We should be aware of these child indoctrination tactics so we can provide alternatives and alert others to their presence.

**If you can’t read the small text on the featured image, the dark purple are states where there are bethels/lodges, and light purple are states without.**

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Lux

Lux

Lux is a female genderqueer weirdo, writing from Kansas. They happily identify as a militant atheist(+), feminist and liberal. Their time is consumed with Doctor Who, reading, and playing WoW with a cat on their lap. If you're lucky, you might catch them smithing jewellery or cleaning something.

2 Comments

  1. May 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm —

    The masons aren’t religious. In fact – if the lodge up holds the rules as they are supposed to the discussion of religion is prohibited.

    • May 14, 2012 at 11:00 am —

      I’ve heard this before, and yet they still have a branch called “Job’s Daughters”? How is that not at least related to religion?

      My grandfather was also a Mason, but he died when I was five or six so no knowledge was transferred–only a ring. I remember wearing that ring when I briefly worked at the post office, and a man I had never met literally pulled me aside to ask me 20 questions about that ring. The entire time, he was telling me that I had no business wearing it and ultimately talked to me about getting paperwork or something to join up. Ha! No thank you.

      That ring has since…let’s say disappeared.

      Also, I had somebody’s little Job’s Daughters book thing, and I’ve used it as a coaster, a clipboard, a thing to let the little kids write in, among other things. Out of something we will call, for the sake of argument, respect, I never actually read anything in that book.

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