Thursday, March 8, 2012

Buddhist Feminism on International Women's Day

"Buddhism, as a way of living with compassion and insight, is radically liberating for women. Yet Buddhism as a historical institution reflects both 2500 years of men’s power over women, “patriarchy”, and women’s struggle for empowerment. One can find within the Buddhist tradition women who prefigure modern feminism by two and a half millennia, and yet writings which equal the worst anti-woman polemics of any religion.
The liberative project of dharma-practice, as opposed to historical Buddhist culture, is intrinsically opposed to patriarchy. Patriarchy, as the limiting of human potential, is rejected by those who cut through habitual, socialized thoughts and behaviors. Patriarchy, as the institutionalization of violence against women is rejected by those who practice peace. Patriarchy, as the proprietary relationship of the sexes in the patriarchal family, where men own women’s sexuality, their labor-power, and children, their product, is rejected by those who eschew the illusion of self in property. Throughout history spiritual radicals have been driven from everyday patriarchal society, “the householder life”, into radical sexual alternatives such as celibacy...."

No comments:

Post a Comment