Portrayal of Women in the Suttas and what response do these texts promote?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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mabw
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Portrayal of Women in the Suttas and what response do these texts promote?

Post by mabw »

This is one of those issues that has been rather difficult for me. Some texts, are just frankly, unpleasant. Women are often portrayed as some sort of villain.Someone brought this up too in the other Wheel. Quoted passages from the Siksasamuccaya. I'm getting tired of having to resort to mental gymnastics to resolve these. Can someone tell me what is happening here?

A: There are texts that are prejudicial against women,
B: Metta practice does not support this sort of attitude against women. A common simile in Buddhism is to develop love for being like a mother would her child. And it is very clear to me that texts in "A" will cause the arising of pretty negative states in the mind of the reader (male). So this cannot be the point of the passage if the point of Buddhist practice is release from suffering.

So is the whole point of this simply to cultivate a middle ground? As in, when one finds himself/herself attached to women/ men - read A to arouse dispassion. When falling into the other extreme where there is revulsion of the other gender, read B to soften the heart.

Much thanks in advance for responses.
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DooDoot
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Re: Are Women Evil

Post by DooDoot »

mabw wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:22 am Metta practice does not support this sort of attitude against women.
Hi. Despite your noble intent, it appears metta is not relevant here. A Buddha has metta for murderers, rapists, exploiters, etc, but a Buddha does not say such beings do not engage in evil actions. Kind regards :)
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Aloka
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Re: Portrayal of Women in the Suttas and what response do these texts promote?

Post by Aloka »

mabw wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:22 am This is one of those issues that has been rather difficult for me. Some texts, are just frankly, unpleasant.
I'm a woman, and I sympathise with your feelings. However, its worth remembering that the Buddha lived in ancient India approximately 2,500 years ago, when society was very different to our own.

I don't know if you've read the Therigatha Verses of the Elder Nuns, but they can be very uplifting.

With metta,

Aloka :anjali:
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cappuccino
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Re: Portrayal of Women in the Suttas and what response do these texts promote?

Post by cappuccino »

mabw wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:22 am Women are often portrayed as some sort of villain.
they are at least dangerous
mabw
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Re: Portrayal of Women in the Suttas and what response do these texts promote?

Post by mabw »

cappuccino wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 1:09 pm

they are at least dangerous
And men are not?
mabw
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Re: Portrayal of Women in the Suttas and what response do these texts promote?

Post by mabw »

Aloka wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 11:47 am
I'm a woman, and I sympathise with your feelings. However, its worth remembering that the Buddha lived in ancient India approximately 2,500 years ago, when society was very different to our own.

I don't know if you've read the Therigatha Verses of the Elder Nuns, but they can be very uplifting.

With metta,

Aloka :anjali:
I'm a dude. The points raised are not meant to be feminist. I just try to reflect on double standards when I spot them so i don't make them as much as possible.

Yes, I forgot to mention the Therigatha in my post. Thank you.

My response to the point you made about a different society has been made on the thread regarding difficult passages. I'm interested to hear your response to that.
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