Gendered Teachings Of Buddha Or Man?

buddhist philosophy - don't get too close to the buddha, ladies

Another year limps into view bringing a sense of trepidation mingled with inevitability. I’m about eight months into weekly Buddhist training and this week revealed the inevitable sexist leanings of the culture that Buddhism began in where the Buddha had be cajoled into accepting that women could become a nun after initially refusing albeit with the proviso of more stringent rules that still hang over to this day. Dismissing concerns about this as being mixed up in notions of “I” or worse an obsession of western culture is a tad hard to swallow but like all things it’s a case of *snip* *snip* and take the bits that work for you and put the out of date doctrine from a different era on a shelf marked “meh” though it of course concerns me that nuns continue to play a subservient role to monks and the rules seem set to discourage women from “pushing it”.

It doesn’t help that the Dalai Lama revealed his own cultural leanings when asked about this thorny issue a while ago. Encouragingly he said there was no reason that the next Dalai Lama could not be a woman. Then the was a profound foot in mouth moment when he stipulated that it would be advantageous if she were physically attractive.

Doctor Who regenerating as a woman will very likely happen first.

Image by Nina under this creative commons licence