On Sex & Gender

Hi friends, I hope you’re well. Recently, Bhante Yuttadhammo made a video about gender that I would like to share and discuss:

Bhante mentions some really interesting ideas about how gender is in some sense determined by the standards set-out and taught by one’s society. However, I think it’s important to differentiate between sex and gender in this context, because whereas sex is pre-determined (though not always unchanging), gender is constantly changing and fluxing both according to one’s own mind and potentially the external forces impacting it (though I am somewhat less convinced of this idea).

I am more inclined to think that ideas of stereotypical ‘sexed’ norms are informed by societal values. This is one reason why I think ‘transgender’ is such a difficult term and state of being to encapsulate societally, because society is so fixed into a binary of ‘male’ vs. ‘female’, and many things outside of that binary are thereby ‘othered.’

These are just some preliminary thoughts, I might have forgotten some of the things that Bhante said and went off of my own tangent…

Also, I’m interested to know how the EBTs depict ideas of sex and gender (specifically non-binary sex/gender examples). For instance, the only example that I know of a non-binary representation of sex is in the Vinaya, where female genitalia/characteristics appear on a monk and vice versa. This is notably not an example of what it is to be transgender, as the text refers to changing physical characteristics as opposed to non-conforming or non-binary gender ideals/identity.


Yuttadhammo has accurately represented the Buddhist view, which does not encourage creating personality-view or self-identity (sakkaya ditthi).

[quote=“Brenna, post:1, topic:4621”]
Also, I’m interested to know how the EBTs depict ideas of sex and gender (specifically non-binary sex/gender examples).[/quote]

I doubt there are any EBTs about non-binary sexuality, since this matter probably only personally effects a very small minority of people and, unlike American Buddhism, the EBTs appear to have no particular pre-occupation with minority groups since they appear quite mainstream.

Once upon a time, there was no such thing as universal birth control. This time period existed for about 1,999,950 years of the 2,000,000 years of human history. Therefore, for 99.999% of human history, sex & gender were not questioned by the vast majority of people. Young men & young women had sex, the women quickly became pregnant & that was basically the end of the story. The EBTs appear to exist within the conventional framework of this story that existed once upon a time.

There are EBTs about women, which say things like there are peculiar characteristics of women that must be considered by a man, such as:

  1. Women like to (AN 6.52) & should (DN 31) dominate a marriage relationship (but not monasticism).
  2. Having children gives women power & purpose (AN 6.52).
  3. Women don’t want to be a co-wife (AN 6.52).
  4. Women have a monthly period (which can make a woman moody) (SN 37.3).
  5. Women carry & bear children (which require special care & attention) (SN 37.3).
  6. Women have a tendency to give/serve their family (which should not be taken for granted) (SN 37.3).
  7. Women who do not have morals are expelled from good families (SN 37.30).

Yuttadhammo referred to these.

1. At one time the Blessed One was living in the squirrels’ sanctuary in the bamboo grove in Rajagaha.

2. The Blessed One addressed the monks from there: “Monks, these five unpleasant things are exceptional to women and are not shared by men. What five?

3. “The woman even when young goes to the man’s family separated from her relations. Monks, this is the first unpleasant thing exceptional for women, not shared by men.

4. “Again monks, the woman has a season, this is the second unpleasant thing exceptional for women, not shared by men.

5. “Again monks, the woman conceives, this is the third unpleasant thing exceptional for women, not shared by men.

6. “Again, monks, the woman gives birth, this is the fourth unpleasant thing exceptional for women, not shared by men.”

7. “Again monks, the woman has to attend on the man, this is the fifth unpleasant thing exceptional for women, not shared by men.

8. “Monks, these are the five unpleasant things exceptional for women, not shared by men.”

SN 37.3


AN 10.48 refers to the 10 daily reflections of a monk or nun, which includes:

1. "‘I am now changed into a different mode of life (from that of a layman).’ This must be reflected upon again and again by one who has gone forth.

3. "‘I must now behave in a different manner.’ This must be reflected upon again and again by one who has gone forth.

I personally think AN 10.48 is a good example for those overtly concerned with non-binary sex/gender because I get the impression the non-binary sex/gender crusaders are aggressively pushing their crusade onto other people, which I think is never a good or skilful thing. Plus it exhibits a lack of self-esteem or self-acceptance.

In my mind, there is a large difference between non-discrimination and proselytising.

AN 10.48 can help the non-binary person accept their difference or uniqueness & establish harmonious social boundaries with the majority of people who are different to them.



In my opinion, the idea of gender been “just a mental construct” relies on the world view that everything is just in our minds, that “the world is mind-made”. But not everyone in the world is forced to share our world views. We should not impose our world views on others. What we can do is try not to discriminate against other people.

For those who do not hold metaphysical views that the world is mind-made, the male-female duality exists because of sexual dimorphism that is present also in the human specie:

In my opinion, what we need to do is protect people from discrimination and encourage peace and solidarity between us. If we try to impose our metaphysical views about the world been mind-made, then we might make other people feel we are acting like religious proselytizers and make them react with aversion towards us. For example I do not agree with this kind of ideas about the matter being mind-made being taught in schools just like I don’t agree with mandatory religious education being taught in schools.

In my opinion, the thing that really is “just in our minds” is identity.


Thanks for an interesting question Brenna!
And interesting talk by Bhante Yuttadhammo to open the conversation.

I think non-binary and non-gender conforming are some of the most difficult and interesting examples, because we’re so programmed to think in either male or female. Even when we think of trans we just think “oh that’s a female that became a male”. The vinaya example, while surprisingly progressive, isnt really even about being trans as you say.

But what if we even step outside of that.

Ok, here is my heretical hypothetical, where it comes to the crunch.

I am a person with female sex characteristics, but I don’t feel like ‘a woman’ (or a man) inside. Everything the EBTs say a woman should want or do, I don’t want or do.
Let’s say such a person wants to ordain. Not feeling that they ‘are’ a woman, why should they follow rules for women?
What if they just follow bhikkhu vinaya? ‘Male’ is taken as the gender standard for everything else, so in absence of some other indicator, is the default ‘the male rules’?
The more I think about it, the more I can’t even get my head around sex-segregated rules…!
Now I know what you will say. ‘Women have wombs and menstruate, so they need the vinaya to tell them how to handle that (etc.)’. But not all people biologically or identifying as women have wombs or menstruate.

If there really is ‘no gender’ why are rules determined by it?

The idea of taking on rules or guidelines according to my sex or gender makes me feel more trapped by it, not free…


Well, disregarding my personal position on the issue, I should remark it is possible your gender, even if it is socially constructed, doesn’t depend on what you feel like. It is possible it is like being American, Russian, or Australian: It is feasible that one may not identify or feel as particularly Russian or American, but will exhibit behaviour typical for these nations. So, it is possible you are a woman even if you don’t feel like one. I don’t say you are, and I don’t say you are not, it is just a possibility we cannot ignore :slight_smile:

It is possible that the gender we identify as and the gender we show in our behaviour are not necessarily one and the same thing. It is possible to imagine, say, a woman who wants to be a man and identifies as one, wears men’s clothes, etc., and still behaves like a woman: in fact I saw quite a few of such women on the Internet. It is also possible to imagine a woman who wants to be a man and behaves as a man, don’t get me wrong :slight_smile:

I think the prohibition to ordinate transpeople was motivated partly by the wish to avoid this and similar problem. Once we use the gender instead of the biological sex as a basis for ordination, we are faced with hordes of big legal conundrums, so avoiding the issue altogether is something I consider a wise decision. Of course, one can argue it is unfair for the transpeople, and it is, but again, the numbers of real non-binary people are not that high, the numbers of non-binary people willing to ordinate are truly tiny, so yeah, call me callous, but I would leave the Vinaya as it is. Besides, people having debst cannot ordinate as well, which is a huge deal for people paying their mortgage for at least 25 years until it can be even too late to ordain. I realize that it is something that is very likely to happen to me later in my life, and I will hardly have a chance to go forth, but well, tough luck.

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Hmm, not really, because gender (as constructed to sex or even appearance, behaviour, etc) is based on personal feeling.

That kind of logic doesn’t make sense to me. To me, anyone who wants to call themselves some nationality can. What’s to stop them? I’m not going to follow them around to see if they act according to a national stereotype :laughing: Obviously people from many backgrounds come to Australia and I would consider them to be Australian if they wanted to be, regardless of their language, customs, appearance etc.

In this example, I would encourage the person to just sell the house! You’re supposed to get rid of everything anyway when you ordain, right?

I mean, if you have a gambling debt that you have to repay then fine, you have to do that. But at some point someone made the choice to gamble, to take a loan, etc, etc. It was choices that got them there, and choices that can get them out, even if it takes many years. It doesn’t mean it’s impossible, as you seem to say. And ordination for trans/non-binary people shouldn’t be impossible either, just requires a bit of genuine discussion and investigation.

One to whom it might occur,
‘I’m a woman’ or ‘I’m a man’
Or ‘I’m anything at all’ —
Is fit for Mara to address.

This verse seems to speak to the benefit of not identifying with any gender at all. However this view does not seem to prevail, with so many corners of both Buddhist and secular society reinforcing gender roles and rules, even to monk/nun-hood.


Hearing Yutta say something similar, I personally disagreed because I get the impression thinking ‘male’ & ‘female’ is quite natural or unprogrammed where the recent media-political transgender push is an attempt to programme people about transgender.

I think most women have failed to lived up to the ideals of ‘feminism’ (such as the feminist ideal of not having children), which probably shows feminist thought was a form a programming since the instincts of most women probably eventually rejected feminist ideological programming.

At least in my younger life & in my younger meditative years, I did not discriminate much between ‘men’ & ‘women’, which always eventually lead to dukkha & misunderstanding.

The world is manifestation of male & female energies thus to see the world clearly, at least for me, distinguishing male-female is helpful.

The teachings of the EBTs are two-fold, as stated in MN 117. MN 117 is probably one of the most important sutta in the EBTs.

The teachings about “women” in the EBTs are mostly mundane (worldly) rather than supramundane. A person that wants to ordain is ideally focused in the supramundane thus they leave gender identity behind.

[quote=“Cara, post:4, topic:4621”]
Let’s say such a person wants to ordain. Not feeling that they ‘are’ a woman, why should they follow rules for women?[/quote]

My opinion is because not everyone is enlightened & because of public image. If a person is enlightened, following worldly conventions is not an issue.

The original community was male. The men did the hard yards. Then, once the monks had land & monasteries, the impression is the women asked to join the men. It was possibly similar to a sexy blonde that catches a millionaire. The monks had love & compassion therefore it seems the women wanted to join them due to the monk’s spiritual ‘wealth’.

That why there are the rules because some women, in wanting to control things, can’t acknowledge they did nothing to merit such a position. Its like the sexy blonde that snags the millionaire and expects 50% of his wealth.

When women bear children, when women sacrifice their lives & work for their families, such women, on the basis of their kammic merit, warrant tremendous respect & authority, which is why the Buddha taught a husband gives his wife authority in the home.

But with monasticism, men left their homes, men wanted solitude, men lived in the dangerous forests, men gained enlightenment, men has the spiritual authority to start the religion, men risked their lives & were often killed travelling alone to spread the religion, men received the donations of land for monasteries based on their social merits, then the women turned up demanding to join & use the real estate, even though, unlike mothers, these women did none of the monastic work.

I have not read the Vinaya but found the rule above. My impression is generally the rules are related to social image. The Buddha was not an anarchist. The impeccable public image of the Sangha was very important to him.

[quote=“Cara, post:4, topic:4621”]
The idea of taking on rules or guidelines according to my sex or gender makes me feel more trapped by it, not free…[/quote]

The rules are easy for those who are free & thus simply see conventions as ‘conventions’.

In Buddhism, ‘freedom’ is not the freedom to pursue worldly desires. In Buddhism, ‘freedom’ is freedom from self-identity, as Yuttadhammo explained.

Not all monastics are enlightened. Many rules follow social conventions, as mentioned. The above verse appears to be related to ‘inner enlightenment’ rather than ‘external conventions’.

Secular society revolves around families with children because families represent the future of society (rather than fringe minorities that do not bear children, such as monastics, feminists, hetero swingers, homosexuals, transgender, single male refugees, etc). In the world of families, which in Buddhism is called the ‘manussaloka’ (human world), distinct male & female identities & roles are very important.

At least in my former worldly life, I have discerned the in-born inadequacies of my male psychology and discerned ‘something’ (like in the Beatles song) within women that I did not naturally have which strongly benefited me when I received that ‘feminine’ (not ‘feminist’) quality. I personally think there are very large natural differences between men & women and the idea that there are no significant differences are delusions.


I am afraid you are conflating gender and gender identity. It is even stated in the first line of the links you have provided: gender is identity is one’s personal experience of one’s own gender, which suggests they are not the same thing, are they? So, let us assume gender is a social construct. It basically boils down to behavioural characteristics you are exhibiting or are expected to exhibit if you subtract biologically conditioned sex differences. So, it may be that women who are identifying as males are clearly showing typical female behaviour and vice versa, and in fact I saw quite a number of people like this. My example with nationalities didn’t refer to nationality but rather to culturally conditioned patterns of behaviour. Like, we all know that American love their exaggerations, so even if an American guy moves to Germany and starts identifying as German, he will be speaking like an American guy, which doesn’t really correspond to patterns of behaviour we label as German.

Come one, let’s be real, very often an ordination is impossible for ordinary people like you and me. Of course, we can sell everything and leave our family and people we are morally obligated to help, but whether this would be an ethically sustainable decision, I highly doubt. As for the trans monastics, it will cause a huge number of practical issues. You would first have to decide where they should live, whether in male or female communities, because with all due respect, placing someone with penis, even identifying as a woman, into a female community is calling for trouble - and it is even more true for placing someone with a vagina into an all-male community. There was a story a couple of weeks ago about this trans guy who was put into a female jail in California, if I am not mistaken, and made his living by prostituting himself to other women - I don’t mean it will happen in monasteries, but it shows how dangerous this idea is.

So, if we ordinate trans monastics, they will either have to live in the monasteries corresponding to their sex but not gender or form their own communities. The latter variant is feasible only in Thailand, as only there we find sufficient numbers of trans people who could want to become monks and nuns, but then we should expect enormous social and legal pressure against this idea and be well aware there is no guarantee they will be supported by lay people, but it is still doable, even though a bit utopical. If we place them in the same-sex-opposite-gender environment, you are still in a very awkward situation. In a monastic situation having a woman, albeit with a penis, but still behaving, moving and speaking like a woman, can and almost inevitably will be tough for some monastics. So, what should one do? This is just one issue arising in that case.

It does. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a world where flying arahants dim the midday sun, so we should expect most monks and nuns still exhibiting gender-specific behaviour. Now, whether we like it or not, cis-folks make up the overwhelming majority of the population pretty much everywhere, and among them heterosexual people outnumber homosexuals, so separating monastics with penises from monastics with vaginas makes a lot of sense from the practical standpoint. The whole oppression bit and this ‘every nun is junior to every monk’ story doesn’t make any sense, this is true, but the very idea of separating communities based on their sex is a very clever idea, in my opinion.

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Right I see what you’re saying. ‘Gender’ is a social construct, but my gender is not. Across different individuals and cultures etc., people may see my gender as different. In Thailand, my friend found me very masculine, because I am tall and muscular and I went around wearing her late husband’s clothes. However, in the West most people read me as female because I have more similarity to western females. So it seems there’s no ‘consensus’ from society that decides what gender I am. It could be a number of things at any given time. That’s why I was putting more emphasis on gender identity. Anyway I am not going to split more hairs on that. My intention was to talk about gender identity, whether that has value to you or not.

I just don’t agree, sorry. Difficult, perhaps, impossible, no.
I’m also not asking about who should go in which community. Although there have been and are mixed communities so it’s not the most important question. What I am asking is what determines who follows which Vinaya and why have different ones anyway.

And exploring this idea earlier, Brenna asked what references there are to non-binary gender in the EBTs. In fact, I think Bhikkhuni Soma’s verses can stand as a reference here as she talks about stepping out of any gender identification or identity whatsoever, which seems to me a non-binary stance.

In terms of how trans individuals could be ordained or live in community, I don’t think it’s at all as desperate as you make out. I mean, we’ve had the conversation before on this forum about monks and nuns of different sexes living together. It has been and is done.

I always find the obsession with sex segregation as prevention for monastics having sex so ridiculous and punitive. Firstly, they should see the danger and repulsion in it and have no desire to even try, as seen below, that path is death. But no rule, boundary, wall, robe, etc, is going to stop that if they want to. As you will know if you’ve been to any monk’s monastery, women are swarming the place. It doesn’t take much for the mind to proliferate based on that, and anything could happen.

Secondly, no one is forcing all monastics to mix. Obviously, there should be different communities and a choice. It needs to be with wisdom and strict mindfulness, and the relationships should not be close anyway.

Lastly, They’re not children or being forced into robes. Monks and nuns need to be responsible for their own livelihood and have the wisdom to know whether or not they can live with the opposite sex, and make their own choices.

The responsibility always rests with the individual to be worthy of their livelihood.
And may it be noted in the following sutta, no one chastised the women for entering the monastery dressed innapropriately. Only the monk chastised himself and corrected his own faults to live up to his spiritual ideal.

(1) Nikkhantam - Renouncing

  1. I heard thus. At one time venerable Vaṅgīsa lived in Alavi in the Aggalavi monument with his teacher Nigrodha Kappa.
  1. At the time venerable Vaṅgīsa was a novice, one who had gone forth recently. He was living under the orders of the chief resident monk.
  1. Then many women who were anxious to wander about in the monastery, decorating themselves approached the monastery.
  1. Seeing those women, venerable Vaṅgīsa was discontented, lust arising in his mind.
  1. Then it occurred to venerable Vaṅgīsa: `This is not gain for me. This should not happen to me, this discontent with lust arising in my mind. How could I dispel the discontent of others and arouse contentment in their hearts. What if I dispel my discontent and arouse contentment in my heart?”
  1. Then venerable Vaṅgīsa dispelled his discontent and aroused contentment in his heart and uttered these stanzas that moment.

“I renounced my household and became homeless in want of appeasement,
Yet these dark unruly thoughts disturb me. I’m one, thoroughly trained,
Uggaputta of Mahisa is my teacher. Let any amount of women come and surround.
I will not go away from the Community, they will not change me.
I am well established in the Teaching.”
I thoroughly know the words of the relation of the Sun.
My mind is well established in the path of extinction.
Even when living thus, the Evil One pounces on me.
I will not let Death know my path.”



The term you want to search for is paṇḍaka, which is loosely analogous to the modern usage of the word “queer” as referring to a community. I am not sure of its prominence in the earliest of Buddhist literature. Sometimes mentioning of a paṇḍaka is not accompanied by moral outrage, sometimes it is. On a thread in DhammaWheel that I recall, it was said that in the commentary of Mv.I.61. concerning whether or not a paṇḍaka was able to ordain, that decision (arbitrarily?) came down to these divisions in what constitutes a definition of “pandaka” for the abovementioned purposes. This is what the user wrote about the contents of this vinaya commentary:[quote]1) An asitta (literally, a “sprinkled one”) [the user gives us this definition:] a man whose sexual desire is allayed by performing fellatio on another man and bringing him to climax.

  1. A voyeur[, the definition given by the user for this term is: a man whose sexual desire is allayed by watching other people commit sexual indiscretions.]

  2. A eunuch [the user gives this definition:] one who has been castrated.

  3. A half-time pandaka [this is the strangest category. Sometimes in the ancient world (in the Near East at least), rituals required pseudo-homosexual behaviour from their observers, generally in the name of fertility, my spouse thinks this could reference a similar practice, the user on DhammaWheel says:] one who is a pandaka only during the waning moon. [the user here argues that this refers to bisexuals but it is clearly too strange IMO to be just referring to bisexuals.]

  4. A neuter [the user says this refers to] to a person born without sexual organs. This passage in the Commentary further states that the last three types cannot take the Going-forth, while the first two can (although it also quotes from the Kurundi that the half-time pandaka is forbidden from going-forth only during the waning moon.) [/quote]The first two classifications are apparently able to ordane. I’ll try to get the link to the original in a bit.

I have no access to the document in question, so I do not know if what is aboove is accurate.

Pandaka is a complicated term, sometimes refering to homosexuals, sometimes to transvestites, transexuals, prostitutes, or sexual nonconformists in general. It is not always uniformly a negative term either.

As is usual in LGTB history, the above discourse only seems to focus on sex acts and seems focused on “males”, even if pandaka can be thought of as a seperate gender.

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Okay, I see :slight_smile: My point was not about you in particlar, more like a general observation.

I respectfully disagree :slight_smile: Sure, monastics should be responsible for their thoughts and actions, and sure there are other women visiting the place, but what people should do and what people do are two different things. However, you can’t avoid problems arising because of visiting women, but you can avoid ones arising because of the co-habitating nuns if there are none. Moreover, this system should prevent not so much sex but rather affection and romance. There is a number of quite senior monks with many vassas under the belt who disrobed because they fell in love with ladies regularly visiting the monastery. Should the nuns live together with monks, I think the numbers would be significantly higher. The lofty ideal of a dutiful Sangha not identifying as any gender and living as a mixed-sex group without any issues arising out of that is just that, an ideal, it won’t happen in reality. One can’t base a monastic organization on ideals only, one should also be aware of human weaknesses.

I think it is important to emphasize you or me have nothing against transpeople per se and and don’t think they are less worthy as human beings :slight_smile:


Exactly. And because we should desire the well being of other people, it is important to do our best and save them from suicide or a life of depression, such as the European Union is trying to do. Those who support child transgender operations or transgender transition without the laws used in the EU are indirectly supporting murder and life long depression because of their lack of information and superficial awareness about the problem. Compassion is great, but if there is no wisdom, there will be problems.


Just so you are aware, since you self-identify here as someone who is informed about trans people, “transgenders” is considered a deeply offensive word to use for that community. “Trans” is the word used “Trans*” (with an asterisk) if you want to be “very proper”, but the asterisk has always seemed awkward to me, even though it is designed to be maximally inclusive.

Calling trans people “transgenders” is a little like calling Indian people “browns” or black people “blacks”, it’s not the N-word, but it’s not nice either.


Sorry about that. But why is it considered offensive ? It is still the most used word.

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I don’t know. I’m just the messenger! :sweat:

I recall, for a while in the 90s, “transexual” was the big go-to word used in the media, etc., and part of the push to stop “transexual” being an umbrella term for all gender/sex nonconformity, came from the fact that it was framed as an overly sexualizing word (and, indeed, it even has the word “sexual” in it), and oftentimes being trans has little to do with sex and sexuality.

I think “transgenders” is considered rude just because it is older. Like the word “Mohammedan”. Also because of the rise of “people-first language” when dealing with controversial social issues that might cause hostility when discussed in public.

Given the historical relations between sex-and-gender minorities and the larger scientific establishment, I suspect “transgenders” might also be considered offensive in the same way “homophile” gradually began to be understood as derogatory due to its use in conservative social polemics disguising themselves as legitimate “behavioural science”, etc.

If people did not co-opt and misuse words, there wouldn’t be a need for attempting to socially engineer language changes (which I am highly against as a general practice, yet can see the contextual need for occasionally).

If people didn’t misuse words we would still have homophiles, saphists, lamaists, amidists, judaizers, etc. Nelson Mandella’s suggestion of using the latinate terminology for “black”, to refer to a global community, would have perhaps caught on, etc. But alas!


here’s what the Buddha has to say about using words

“‘One should not insist on local language, and one should not override normal usage.’ So it was said. And with reference to what was this said?

“How, bhikkhus, does there come to be insistence on local language and overriding of normal usage? Here, bhikkhus, in different localities they call the same thing a ‘dish’ [pāti],
a ‘bowl’ [patta], a ‘vessel’ [vittha], a ‘saucer’ [sarāva], a ‘pan’ [dhāropa], a ‘pot’ [poṇa], a ‘mug’ [hana] or a ‘basin’ [pisīla]. So whatever they call it in such and such a locality, one speaks accordingly, firmly adhering [to that expression] and insisting: ‘Only this is correct; anything else is wrong.’ This is how there comes to be insistence on local language and overriding normal usage.

“And how, bhikkhus, does there come to be non-insistence on local language and non-overriding of normal usage? Here, bhikkhus, in different localities they call the same thing a ‘dish’ … or a ‘basin.’ So whatever they call it in such and such a locality, without adhering [to that expression] one speaks accordingly, thinking: ‘These venerable ones, it seems, are speaking with reference to this.’ This is how there comes to be non-insistence on local language and non-overriding of normal usage.

“So it was with reference to this that it was said: ‘One should not insist on local language, and one should not override normal usage.’

MN 139

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S’all good :slight_smile: :thumbsup: I get what you’re saying now.

Cool, cool we’ll agree to respectfully disagree on that one :smile: :pray:

Hm yeah interesting. I always thought pandaka was always a male (at least biologically) or androgynous in terms of sex characteristics. Then the rest of the description comes down more to sexuality than gender.

As usual nothing said about the females. We could run half-mad and naked down the street and no-one would…oh hang on! :laughing:


The Vinaya certainly has very binary ideas of sex, and does not accommodate for those who exist outside of it. I don’t know if there’s necessarily a solution to this problem, as both tradition and the texts themselves establish this binary very firmly.

Not so sure about this Vstakan…do you have a source?

I think this is one issue with trying to identify differences in gender, as we still define ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ at opposite sides of a binary. Thus, gender norms are held in relation to those norms, when in actuality gender doesn’t necessarily need to be based on or in relation to these qualities of behavior.

Let’s be careful to not endow trans* people with a certain level of alterity.

Eh, I don’t really like paṇḍaka as a word for queer, because that’s not really what it means

Do you have a source for this?

This isn’t really on-topic, Maiev. This conversation is not in regards to what are the positives and negatives of being trans,* but rather how trans* and non-binary people are represented in the suttas/EBTs.