Sujato's Blog August 10, 2015.
https://sujato.wordpress.com/2015/08/10 ... ay-yet-be/
A thoughtful analysis of Bhikknuis'/Womens' issues...
[My emphasis.]Sujato wrote: ... if we are to have a future, it will be a future with nuns, and specifically with bhikkhunīs. The alternative is to let Buddhism be owned by the patriarchs, who coopted the Dhamma, used it to accumulate power, prestige, and real estate, and who hang on to these things even as they fade away into irrelevance. But this is no future at all. There is tremendous vitality and energy within the Buddhist world, we can see it in so many ways everywhere we look. And none of it, none of the spark, the renewal, the creation of possible futures, is happening within the halls of the patriarchs.
I became interested in the bhikkhunī issue when I noticed, as many people do, that most of the people who come to learn and practice Dhamma are women. Why is this so? One patriarch in Thailand, so I heard, said it was because all the dedicated men have ordained as monks. Ridiculous; the same phenomenon is seen everywhere, in places where there are few monastics of any sort; and anyway, it’s the same in other religions as well.
I asked a man at my former monastery in Thailand, and he said, “It’s because the men are working hard and have no time to come to the monastery.” “Funny,” I thought, “I always seem to see women working hard in the villages and men lounging around all day.”
So I did something very few monks ever seem to think of: I asked a woman for her opinion. She said, “It’s because the men prefer to go gambling, drinking, and whoring while their wives are at the temple.”
Tempting as it is, I don’t think that’s really the answer either. These are just imaginariums: worlds we live in that we build from our own thoughts and ideas. These worlds have some relation to the facts, but they are flexible and uncertain.
In my own imaginarium, the real reason why most spiritual seekers are women is because they are disempowered. It is because the opportunities for them in other spheres of life have been successively blocked or restricted. In addition to the absolute barriers of overtly sexist cultural constructs, there is the more subtle, pervasive, and ultimately more damaging “soft sexism,” which does not actually stop women from doing anything, but adds a grit to whatever women do, slowing them down, and making everything more work than it needs be. Everything is harder for women than it is for men.
So, they end up turning inwards. Let go of the external: you’ll never change it anyway, right? Change yourself, that’s the real Dhamma anyway.