Chapter

Women, Men, Suffering

Schaeffer Kurtis R.

in Himalayan Hermitess

Published in print July 2004 | ISBN: 9780195152999
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849932 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195152999.003.0005
Women, Men, Suffering

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Several of the songs in the Life of Orgyan Chokyi offer rich statements on the relationship between gender and suffering. Simply put, according the Life suffering is partly determined by sexual difference. As it becomes clear, the very nature of suffering is explicitly associated with the female body in the Life. This is one of the most important points that can be drawn from this work in terms of the broader study of Buddhism and gender. However, her words should not be heard in isolation; one must ask if this gendering of suffering is unique to Orgyan Chokyi, or if it is found across a range of Tibetan Buddhist writings. This chapter suggests that the strong equation of suffering with the female body is characteristic of Orgyan Chokyi's writing as a woman. In short, the Life characterizes suffering differently from the Lives of her male contemporaries precisely because it portrays the perspective of a Buddhist woman.

Keywords: songs; gender; suffering; Life of Orgyan Chokyi; female body; Buddhism; Orgyan Chokyi; sexual difference

Chapter.  6904 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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