Continuing the discussion from Translating the Four Nikāyas:
That’s really cool Russell. I’m originally from south asia and from a country that was heavily colonised for several centuries so those influenes are there… But I remember that my paternal grandmother never changed her name to that of her husband’s…I always wondered if that hearkens bark to another way of doing things…It’s a pity I never got a chance to ask her. We’re so quick to assume that gender inequality’s the norm in every time and place… it’s just not the case (even today…as far as I know…in Finland, daughters surnames are linked to their mother’s names, not their fathers) and if it is the case, it doesn’t seem to necessarily manifest in the same ways that and forms that it does today.
I wonder about the time of the Buddha. I mean, we’re so quick to all agree that women were in a subservient position. But I wonder, what exactly, the details of this were.
I’m sure we would easily be able to say, “this is how they were unequal…here is the evidence in an ancient text…”…
But the more interesting question, which I’m posing to anyone that’s interested in finding it in the EBT’s in particular (but not exclusively) is:
How were they equal and where is the evidence for this in ancient texts?
Of course there’s the very major one of the Buddha saying that women can practice the 8 fold path…ie…get enlightened… I’m talking about less obvious things…even practical day-to-day things… I bet they’re there!
If anyone knows or has the time to hunt them down, it’d be a marvellous thing…sadly…at present…I don’t have that time… But if such a list could be compiled, I think it would a very interesting thing indeed… With some…I believe…some potentially interesting and useful implications on both psychologial and social levels.