Hello SuttaCentral, I have a question which I hope isn’t too ignorantly worded or offensive to you all. But before I ask it, let me frame why I have it in the first place.
I’ve been lurking around this discussion board for a little while now and something is bothering me… a seemingly huge disconnect between the teachings and attitudes of general Buddhist community toward people’s bodies.
On this form, I have browsed numerous threads discussing discrimination against female monks ordaining and people choosing to undergo gender reassignment surgery… now if I understand the concept of Anattā (which I probably don’t), shouldn’t Buddhists be detached from the physical forms of their bodies?
If we are taught that we aren’t the “Khandas of form nor perception”, then why does the community place so much emphasis on having the right Khandas at birth? Isn’t gender just a form and a perception of that form? …and if you guys believe in rebirth, haven’t you all been women sometime in a past life? Where is the justification for the discrimination?
Note: As an aside here, I am a straight, white male… so life is groovy for me (…as it always has been and always will be)… so I’ve got no dog in this fight… however, as an outsider, this “conflict over gender” seems like a non-issue at the best… or an intentional disregard for the teachings at the worst. Anyone want to share some thoughts (or hurl some insults my way)?