Has religion had a generally negative impact on Hindu and Buddhist women?  Has religion had a generally negative impact on Hindu and Buddhist women?

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akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The previous post is correct.  I cannot agree with these thoughts anymore.  I think that there are some jumps made in the logic of the question that have to be assessed.  The first would be the most elemental.  I am not sure that either religion casts women in a negative light or has directly brought impacts upon women that have increased their lot to bear.  As with other questions that collapse both religions into one, there is some risk of being inaccurate.  Buddhism is not particularly demeaning to women in its philosophy or its religious tenets.  It should be noted that one of the most revered individuals in the Buddhist faith is Sujata, a woman who offered Gautama Buddha food after he decided that his ascetic austerities were not going to result in enlightenment.  It is already understood that female deities in the Hindu pantheon occupy a large and powerful role.  The Goddesses are always seen as more than simply ornaments for the Gods.  Whether it is the Goddess Parvati or Lakshmi, Saraswati or Kali, or the Supreme Goddess Durga, there is an undeniable role and force that the Goddess possesses, as she represents "Shakthi" or strength.  I am not sure that such depictions in either religion would result in a generally negative impact on women.  Indeed, there are individuals, probably men, who over time have twisted the roles of women in order to consolidate their own power.  However, just as we would never condemn a religion in the West for what humans have done to twist the faith, we should not do the same for their older and more established counterparts of the East.

krishna-agrawala's profile pic

krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

The question implies some unfair and unfounded assumptions.

The question alleges that some negative characteristics are observed in Hindu and Buddhist women which are not present in others. Without identifying what characteristic are being branded as negative, it will not be right for anyone say that these are really "negative". Only when this negative nature of the influences has been established can we move to the subsequent question of whether these are present only in Hindu and Buddhist women, and whether their religion is responsible for it.

However, I would like to say this much. All religions as practiced by the majority of people have their good influences as well as bad ones. The nature of these influences varies from one religion to another. But there are no religion with only good influence or only bad influences. I would like to repeat, I am talking about the religions as practiced by the majority, and not what was preached and promoted by the great souls who formed the inspiration behind these religions.

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