Pardon me if I am politically incorrect here, but men and women are not equal -- not simply in terms of genitalia and giving birth -- but even in terms of brain chemistry and composition. These differences are subtle, but perhaps there are meaningful differences that may be a justification for an unequal set of rules. There are the stereotypes that women are more strongly influenced by emotion, are prone to being petty, jealous, and troublesome. Perhaps these are just stereotypes or perhaps not. Outside the western world, in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, perceptions like these persist. Perhaps they are misguided or maybe there is some basis behind it.Sasana wrote:I think in reality we would find that there would be little difference between men and women. Although it's true to say men and women are different, well it is also true that I am different to you and you to another and so on. The middle way should when practiced properly eliminate the potential for problems regardless of gender IMHO.Individual wrote:Rather than engaging in speculation, I think it would be better for some monasteries to make men and women equal in rules, and for other monasteries to keep the traditional rules. Then we can be mindful of the results.
If there are already monasteries out there which are like both, perhaps people with experiences with both monasteries could share their insights on how they think their way is the best.
Just my two cents as I have always thought it strange the gender bias involved in the Sangha.
When it comes to conversations like this, I am reminded of a quote by Socrates, "When woman is made equal to man, she becomes his superior." Think about what exactly that means and why Socrates might say it.
Of course it also depends on the woman. We could create further distinctions whereby there are some male monks who need further rules too, and there are some women who could probably do with less.