The Role Of Sexism In Asia

1533 Words7 Pages
News reports, blogs, and even new releases at local bookstores remind women of the many horrors happening overseas. Murder, rape, kidnapping – common headlines in countries all over the world that people ignore because of their prevalence. While the Middle East holds the spotlight, many other Asian women face sexism on a daily basis, and have dealt with its poison sting for centuries. This issue has just recently gained popularity and aid from people all over the world, but few know the origin of the widespread discrimination of the “fairer gender.” Religion, one of the most blamed causes, has played a great part in the creation of gender roles, but did it create sexism in Asia? The religions in question, Buddhism, Shintoism, and Islam, make up…show more content…
In Buddhism, most sexism seems to stem from the strict rules of the Vinaaya, one of the Buddhist religious texts. More specifically, the Parajika and the Pacittiya, two sections of the Vinaaya, contain explicitly sexist rules. While rules one and five of the Parajika, as religions often do, condemn sexual intercourse and other such activities, eight condemns touching or even standing alone with a man – if done so lustfully. The Pacittiya, a slightly more complex division, contains examples of sexism in sections two, six, and nine. Rules 11 through 14 of section two forbid nuns from talking with a man “one on one.” Rules 50 to 53 of section six outlaw any form of perceived disrespect to monks – including entering the same room without permission. Lastly, rule 94 of section nine prohibits nuns from sitting in from of a monk without permission (Bhikkhunī Pāṭimokkha). Reverend Nakai addresses these inequalities, saying that the sutras (such as the Vinaaya above) and Shinran 's wasan (a collection of poems) limit the power of nuns and other women in Buddhist societies by reinforcing ideas about their inequity (Nakai).
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