Why (Engaged) Buddhists Should Care about Gender Issues

Rita M. Gross

in A Garland of Feminist Reflections

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780520255852
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520943667 | DOI:
Why (Engaged) Buddhists Should Care about Gender Issues

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This chapter argues that if Buddhists really followed their central claims about gender, engaged Buddhists would not need to be concerned about gender issues. But living in a situation that is far from the Buddhist ideal or norm regarding gender, engaged Buddhists therefore do need to care about gender issues among their many other concerns. This chapter focuses on gender in work as an engaged Buddhist, even though it would be far more pleasant and easier to give up that work, and giving up that work would probably also result in less hostility from many in the Buddhist world. The chapter also discusses the two main reasons why engaged Buddhists must care about gender issues: first, among all the social concerns upon which engaged Buddhists generally focus, internally, Buddhism's record on gender is far worse than its record on racism, colonialism, economic injustice, or militarism; second, of all the issues that engaged Buddhists care about, gender alone is within the control of Buddhists, at least within our own Buddhist world.

Keywords: gender issues; engaged Buddhists; social concerns; racism; colonialism; Buddhist world

Chapter.  1859 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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