General Feeling of Discussions on Garudhammas and Bhikkhunī Ordination on SC

Laurence, the past 6-7 or so posts you replied to me have been blatant generalizations about patriarchy, dictatorship, world wars, control, politics, authority and I’m forgetting some—when the only thing I talked about was seniority.

Now you’re in this thread bringing up chauvinism and saying I want to start a debate, all the while asking me for examples of generalizations?

I agree—this is exactly my point.

I don’t believe I have made sweeping generalisations. What I have said seems self-evident to me but, you don’t seem to agree - or am I being paranoid? It looks like others agree with you - for reasons unknown (to me). However, there is one thing I am relieved to hear, we seem to agree about what I have said (above): the quote in your last response. Is the glass half full? :rofl::joy::kissing_heart:

Thanks Kay, that’s great to hear - its hilarious! Did you hear that Samseva, we seem to be on the same page but in parallel universes? We could try some performance-art that might clarify things?

I got the same impression - I still have not seen an example of a generalisation of a ‘men versus women’ typology. I saw comments that seem to not be supportive of ending discrimination in the monastic codes of discipline. There were more than a few comments that were insisting that nothing should change in the codes of discipline under any circumstances and, others that seem to be saying that the garudhammas should be observed by bhikkhunis. That seemed to be the general attitude that was expressed regarding behaviour change (don’t do it) - when it came to the ‘conservative’ voices in the discussion.

I am pleased that the mittas who took that line had an opportunity to express themselves - may they be well and happy! I am sure they would take comfort in the knowledge that most everybody - with few exceptions - found reasons for indefinite delay when it comes to actual behaviour change.

Heaven forbid that anybody would simply refuse to undertake discriminatory practices and, form their own circle of like-minded practitioners despite the lack of support from the ‘establishment’. This prospect seemed completely beyond imagining. There must be some kind of magical-taboo - stopping it from happening?

There seems to be an unwillingness to act independently as if, something terrible might happen? Without popular support and sanction from the ‘establishment’ we will not know if we are really Buddhists or ‘something else’ - perhaps unworthy - of what exactly? Its magic!

I don’t fear losing my Buddhist convictions - or love of the Dhamma - whether I receive the approval of other practitioners (or not). I know what Buddhism means to me and I don’t require others to decide that for me - that would be co-dependency. I love the idea of interdependent cooperation but co-dependency is not my cup of tea!

If you will forgive me to ask for clarification on this, is what you are contesting the tone of others’ arguments that rely on patriarchy as a conceptual framework, or the conceptual framework of the notion that a “patriarchy” exists at all? Are you arguing that some people who believe in “patriarchy” are being inadvertently sexist and/or misandrous incidental of their belief in “patriarchy”, or are you arguing that believing in a “patriarchy” is misandrous in-and-of itself? Or neither/none of the above?

Patriarchy does exist and I don’t believe it to be inherently misandrous. The only thing I’ve been saying is that constant repetition and generalizing that the issue is control of bhikkhus over bhikkhunīs—or of men controlling everyone in the case of patriarchy—when the garudhammas and pacittiya rules were created by the Buddha (or some very ill-minded bhikkhus), for one, doesn’t fix things, and for two, just alienates men and bhikkhus who don’t believe in these rules and even whom are for the bhukkhunī sangha.

Again, it’s easy to brush off when it’s said once, but when it’s a recurring theme, it gets to you. I’m not expecting anything; I just wanted to point it out.

I agree, it is tiring. It can be alienating, if we do not talk with care and respect. We all exist in this world, generating kamma until we get over the threshold. The issue did not go away , and most of us have been in this world for a long time. The kamma one generates on this issue - what if it is the reason we all keep coming back? May all beings achieve liberation. All beings.

Please, brothers, sisters, friends. No cruelty, no sadness. Just metta, as if all our beings depended on it.

It is personal, for every one. But don’t we already know how to work?


That would be ‘well and good’ if that was what was actually taking place. I am not saying this kind of misunderstanding of the issue could not take place and that would be unfortunate but, perhaps understandable. Personally, I don’t see it as a ‘men versus women’ issue. I see it as a social dynamic that is deeply entrenched in various cultural contexts. Including, age-old religious traditions that developed in societies where patriarchy was a ‘given’. I am convinced - through seeing its impact on men and women that it does not serve a beneficial purpose. I believe the human-rights of everyone, to live with mutual respect and support, in a society free from all forms of oppressive discrimination is undermined by discrimination based on gender.

It would seem that the United Nations has concluded that women suffer from discrimination that is wide spread and pervasive and we should all do something about it wherever it takes place. Forget about the ‘man against woman’ argument as it serves no useful purpose. It can - and is - reversed by patriarchal enthusiasts and used against those people - men and women who seek positive change - in a misguided attempt to justify their commitment to discriminatory and harmful behaviour.

The patriarchal enthusiasts are not just men, as women also support oppression and discrimination against women - and other forms of discrimination based on ethnicity etc.

My motivation is not about misandry or misogyny - not at all. I am simply a father, brother, friend, Buddhist, citizen who is not prepared to tolerate practices that are clearly harmful. That would be complicity as, all it takes for evil to prevail is for good-people to do nothing.

I do agree with the statements here which point to the complexity of these issues-- I do see in discussions of the subject a lot of “X is the problem. If we remove X, then everything will be fine. Do not tire me with discussions of ABC or Z”. It is so very, very complicated and has so many facets, it is absurd to think it can be easily “fixed”.
Whatever happens in the future with nuns or the dhamma in general, I hope we “travel well” in addition to “arriving well”. That meaning, the process of working together to support options for women seeking ordination, and also supporting ordained women is just as important as what the end result is in the future (even though there may never be an “official universal new position” on this).

There is a lot of contentiousness in this subject which I think has the potential to cause very damaging divisions in the Buddhist community which I for one would hate to see more of. I don’t think we are made stronger by a uniformity of opinion.

We are made stronger by respecting each others differing views (which we shouldn’t be clinging to!) while at the same time encouraging each other’s dhamma practice.

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Misogyny is the hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against women or girls. Misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including social exclusion, sex discrimination, hostility, androcentrism, [patriarchy], male privilege, belittling of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification.

Should we respect another (views) if they are mysogynist, misandrous, racist etc. We can care for the individual and have unconditional loving-kindness with regard to them but not endorse their views - if they are intolerant or insensitive to the needs of women or, other people whose basic human-rights are not respected.

So, should we be ‘open’ and, accommodating (understanding) when people have mysogynist, misandrous or, other pernicious opinions because, this would mean we are not narrow-minded, against diversity, believing in the need for a uniformity of opinion?

[quote=“dharmacorps, post:30, topic:7805”]
Do not tire me with discussions of ABC or Z”.

a) social exclusion, b) sex discrimination, c) hostility: d) androcentrism; e) patriarchy; f) male privilege; g) belittling of women; h) violence against women etc etc. etc. Then, there are the damaging impacts on men and very other member of the community.

Nobody wants to see damaging divisions in the Buddhist community. If, talking about things that really matter in the lives of practitioners is damaging to the community then that is unfortunate. However, to remain silent about issues that are damaging to individuals in the Buddhist community would be something I would not endorse.

We need to have a open and transparent Buddhist community that is not afraid to ‘air its dirty linen’ in the interest of some kind of sham-uniformity of views. By not discussing matters of real substance and doing something about them we will be encouraging an ‘oppressive’ uniformity of opinion - signifying nothing.

Yes. It is best to treat everybody with good will. If you put limits on your good will you put limits on your mind and your practice. People who hate others or are intolerant usually suffer greatly from their anger and attachments and should be included in Metta. All that means is we hope they see the error in their ways and how their adherence to unskillful actions and intentions causes suffering.

For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time: hatred ceases by love, this is an eternal rule.–Dhammapada


Respecting people equally does not mean respecting all views equally.


I don’t get this feeling at all. The sense I get from it is that historically bikkhunis were treated in a certain way, and these things influenced the development of the Bikkhuni Vinaya. This is the object of discussion.

I think that all persons who are required to perpetuate gender discrimination,Bikkhunis and Bikkhus, men and women, all suffer as a result.



I have a lot of good-will with regard to mysogynists, misandrousists (great word), racists etc. You are right, loving-kindness is a universal and unconditional teaching. Nobody is suggesting that we should have ill-will towards anyone. I encourage and celebrate all my dear-mittas in Buddhism - including mysogynists, misandrousists, racists etc. I encourage them to share their views and opinions openly and freely.

I would not want to be part of a Buddhist community that tried to suppress free-speech or enforce a sham-uniformity of views on its practitioners. Let the mysogynists, racists etc. share their understanding with us, as some of them have done in a couple of ethnic conflicts in Asia - in recent times.

It’s good-news that the Burmese monks inciting ethnic violence in Myanmar took some valuable time off their meditation routine to explain to us all the views that they held as to why Buddhists and Muslims are incompatible.

If you have any alternative views that you would like to share with us so we are not bored by hearing A-view, at the the expense of b, c, d etc. then please share - so we can increase our diversity and broaden our understanding. I would like to hear some views expressed about the benefits of patriarchy - how our lives are enhanced by it - if you know of any?

Do you have any views that are not ‘just’ the boring ones expressed in this discussion that can serve to demonstrate the narrow-mindedness of respondents - and their lack of inclusivity?

Now I see what Samseva was referring to… It feels like one of those, “if you’re not with me, you’re against me scenarios!” Even when some people seem to be clearly, “with you” on some points.

How does one effect positive change when one alienates people, not just those who have an explicit stake in patriarchal structures, but everyone else too?

Might I suggest you look into how the Sangha makes decisions? We Mods try and use a similar system…if there is no unanimous agreement, the one disagreeing still supports and doesn’t bring down, the majority decision.

When you renew your BSWA membership, go and sit in on a committee meeting, several of them. Those guys don’t all agree. But mainly go to watch and listen. Don’t talk. Watch and listen to how Ajahn Brahm is… He is very non-controlling, quietly inspiring and only uses speech when he has to. Reckon he’s seen it all before, reckon he’s got a good handle on the bigger picture; because when he does act or speak, it is with great effect.

Do you think Ajahn Brahm would have inspired others to so much good, if he had ever addressed anyone or any group like this?


Dear Kay, this was shared earlier in the thread:

This is why I said:

Was that an unkind thing to say - no.

It is good to have non-boring views shared for the benefit of all - we should actually get an opportunity to hear these alternative views rather than express boredom with ones that have already been shared.

But, none of the ‘bored’ seem to want to share these diverse views in this forum. I wonder why? They are happy to complain about the lack of diversity of views and opinions but not provide any examples of what they have in mind. This is not helpful - if you have something to say that may be helpful - even if it is boring - then please share it with us - this is all I meant to say. Why not? Boring is fine by me but interesting is also welcome - :heart_eyes:

I suppose it could create a number of different effects at different times and in different situations. It would be a situation that I would probably seek to avoid in the first place. It does not seem like something I would encourage a loved-one to do - if they can help it.

Many of us have experienced situations where we have suffered injustice in one form or another. When I have found myself in that situation I usually did everything within my power to not suffer the injustice. I have also been in a situation recently were others - near and dear - were being treated unjustly and cruelly - and I adopted the same approach. I did everything I could to right the wrong - I was unsuccessful - but at least I new that I had done everything I could in that situation. My loved-ones were grateful for me trying as best I could and this assured them of my support. If I had taken another approach and decided that I - we - should just accept the situation, be philosophical about it - understand that this is a place where bad things happen and, make the most of it then, I don’t think I would feel the way I do now that all is lost! I feel joy that I at least tried as best I could and did not just accept that ‘this is the deal’ - life’s tuff, it will put you through a lot of changes, this is what we should expect of other people - including our loved ones. It was close family members who had carried out the injustice and inflicted it upon other members of the family. This is something we should avoid like the plague!

Sorry, but I’m not interested in saying more than I already have. I don’t think I’ll be baited into further discussion, especially when it seems you are doing a pretty good job of proving my point. With Metta.

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