Buddhist sexism

buddhist nunsAs much as I like various of the notions of Buddhism, it is guilty of the typical organized religious sexism and misogyny, largely traceable to this notion:

“From what I have heard in Bana preaching by Buddhist monks, a woman could become a Buddha if during her journey through Sansara she accrues sufficient merit to be born as a man and then attain Buddhahood.”

In her book about Buddhist nuns, particularly in the Tibetan/Nepalese practice, in a chapter called “Why Nuns Cannot Be Monks,” Kim Gutschow relates:

“Women are dangerous and polluted because of their potent sexuality. The fear of female sexuality appears in many sources, including a Tibetan myth of origins…. Women are seen as insatiable sexual predators who can drain the men they arouse. One monk explained that women are fierce…and hot…like demons and the desert.”

This deplorable sexism of Buddhism – which has manifested itself in many ways, including sexual abuse of nuns – is being addressed on various fronts, fortunately.

From what I know, a woman can become a Buddha, regardless of how many incarnations and whichever gender they may have been. Such dogma is actually contrary to true enlightenment, which needs no gender.

Consciousness has no gender.

Further Reading

Woman’s Place in Buddhism


  1. Why Not Men?
    Why not, on the other hand, just say that men cannot reach enlightenment until they can control their sexual urges around women? Sounds to me like it’s the men who are “fierce and hot,” not the women.

  2. Misogynist
    It sounds as if these men are more afraid they can’t control themselves. The age old excuse, blame the other side never yourself.

    Why are men so afraid of sexual desire? It’s actually a beautiful thing and not something to fear.

  3. Buddhism is STILL a religion
    Buddhism is still a religion. I was a “Buddhist” for most of my life, but because of crap like this I’d rather be a Buddha. I have had enough of the limitations humans put on each other. Like any cult if someone says you have to dress a certain way, or do certain things to go to heaven or become enlightened they’re full of it because all the great yogi’s in Buddhisms past lived freely, and learned from it all. At the root of Buddhism, (and probably Christianity) there is No authoritarian clergy. That has no part in spiritual practice.

  4. so true
    exactly true
    i’ve read entire books on the topic
    but the issue is totally answered by the realization the consciousness has no gender! I also had the same thought as the other comment, why not call the men the problem? As if men don’t have a greater tendency to be sexual predators and generally seek sex more intensely

  5. Priesthoods make Ancient Wisdom in Organized Brain
    My title says it all. Slave owners found that they could control the minds of the slaves through fear-induced brainwashing. Priests from the privileged classes found that they could do it more subtly and thereby help out the slave owners. The trans-induced brainwashing of religion is based on fear of the “powers-that-be” transmuted into fear of an imaginary god or devil. This is what Thomas Paine and others called “Priestcraft.”

  6. Gender bias
    Maybe the answer lies in observing how men and women act in real life.

    Men have less genes in common with women compared to a male chimpanzee. Something to think about.

    Enlightenment, btw, isn’t the same as being a Buddha.

    1. A Buddha is an enlightened being – but that’s all mythology in any case and ultimately irrelevant.

      The fact remains that Buddhism is sexist.

      1. and truth is bitter.

Comments are closed.

© 2015 Freethought Nation, Acharya S, D.M. Murdock & Stellar House Publishing