I’m very new to the Buddha’s teachings and how they are currently lived, so many apologies in advance for misunderstandings.
I have been reading the thread on arahants recognising ordination.
It seems to me (living in the world that I live in, which may be very different to yours), that the Vinaya is not fit for purpose and probably less fit for purpose going forward into the 21st century.
The discussion in the other thread centred around the idea of a binary state - male and female (be that gender or sex). This is an old paradigm and one that is no longer useful in the world that I inhabit, where neither gender or sex are seen as binary and stable over the period of a single lifetime. Even our national health system (in the UK) has a sliding scale to assign the sex of a child, although it is often left unused. Each of the criteria (such as chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, uterus, genitals) all have a sliding scale across a spectrum from female to male, and so the end result - the sex of the child - is stated as being on that spectrum. It can also be seen that the characteristics can change during a person’s lifetime (as can the criteria for assessment). Unfortunately the legal birth certificates in the UK have not caught up yet and so there is still the need to assign a binary ‘male’ or ‘female’ label. But this is beginning to change. I recognise that not every area of the planet assigns sex according to multiple sliding scale criteria, some will just look at the external genitals, not even looking at the genetics of the individual, but I believe that this will change.
It seemed to me that the disagreements in the other thread should’ve been sorted out long ago in Buddhism - dudes, its 2017! There are no differences between men and women because there are no men and women. While it was (most likely) very important in the time of the Buddha to make these binary differentiations, it I probably a concept that has had its day - morally, scientifically and more importantly, spiritually.
I recognise that other religions have this very traditional binary view also, and I also recognise that religions that rely on traditional texts can often be very conservative, but I was wondering if there were any brave senior monastics that have been daring enough to remove the idea of gender/sex and run a monastery with no differences? How have they fared? I would be most interested in a UK based monastery. Is this something that any monastics on this forum might be interested in pursuing? If not. Why not?
On a related note, are there any other monastic rules from the EBTs that are not practiced anymore because they are no longer appropriate? For example, in the secular world we no longer marry 14 year olds (in the UK), and of course that would be most inappropriate, but it was not considered inappropriate in India in the time of the Buddha I believe.
Thanks you for listening.