buddhist nunsAs much as I like various of the notions of Buddhism, it is guilty of the typical organized religious sexism and misogyny, largely traceable to this notion:

“From what I have heard in Bana preaching by Buddhist monks, a woman could become a Buddha if during her journey through Sansara she accrues sufficient merit to be born as a man and then attain Buddhahood.”

In her book about Buddhist nuns, particularly in the Tibetan/Nepalese practice, in a chapter called “Why Nuns Cannot Be Monks,” Kim Gutschow relates:

“Women are dangerous and polluted because of their potent sexuality. The fear of female sexuality appears in many sources, including a Tibetan myth of origins…. Women are seen as insatiable sexual predators who can drain the men they arouse. One monk explained that women are fierce…and hot…like demons and the desert.”

This deplorable sexism of Buddhism – which has manifested itself in many ways, including sexual abuse of nuns – is being addressed on various fronts, fortunately.

From what I know, a woman can become a Buddha, regardless of how many incarnations and whichever gender they may have been. Such dogma is actually contrary to true enlightenment, which needs no gender.

Consciousness has no gender.

Further Reading

Woman’s Place in Buddhism