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Recently, The Dalai Lama said that if a female Dalai Lama were to succeed him, she should be “more attractive”. It’s sad that spiritual leaders have such a sexist mindset!
His Holiness (really?), the 14th Dalai Lama is considered to be one of the greatest spiritual leaders of the modern era. I have always been fascinated by his teachings and his grace. Like me, millions of people across the world admire him. Little did we expect him to make such a sexist statement about the possibility of having a Female Dalai Lama. In a recent interview, he said, “If female Dalai Lama comes, then she should be more attractive. (Otherwise) people I think prefer not (to) see her, that face.”
No, this is not fake news, my dear readers. This is a powerful and so-called spiritual man making such disgusting comments. What’s sad is that he had made this comment some years back and even with the changing times, this man seems to have been still stuck in a patriarchal mindset.
The problem with pointing out sexism in men like The Dalai Lama is that, they are ,well, “holy”. When someone is worshiped as God, questioning them becomes risky! But don’t let the whole “spirituality” and “holiness” stop you from seeing the truth. You, like me, might be tempted to ignore this as “just a funny comment” but small things like these add up. If we cannot stand up for “small” things, we will not be able to stand up for “big” things.
Talking about women in such sexist terms is not new for a lot of spiritual leaders. The famous Buddhist nun, Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, has been vocal about the discrimination that she faced as a woman on the path of Buddhism. Whether it is Buddhism or Hinduism or Christianity or Islam, spiritual leaders have been blaming women for “evoking desire” in them. In fact, women have been always asked to serve men who are “spiritual seekers”. If you thought spirituality would be one area where gender inequality and discrimination would be non-existent, then sadly, you are wrong!
The Dalai Lama’s comments just show that no matter how much you meditate and how close you are to “God”, you can still be making appalling statements. Maybe it’s time for some spiritual leaders to drop their ego (an important concept in every spiritual path) i.e. the male ego that thinks that women have been put in this world for THEIR pleasure (even if that pleasure is “enlightenment”). It’s high time that men, who are seeking spiritual fulfilment, stand up for women and stop treating them like second-hand creatures.
I sincerely hope that the next Dalai Lama (whether it is male or female) is “more intelligent” and “more compassionate” and well, less sexist.
The image is provided by the author
Feminist. Autodidact. Introvert. Highly Sensitive Person. Optimist. Bookworm. Spiritual Seeker.
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