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Metta vs Male/Female Argument - Dhamma Wheel

Metta vs Male/Female Argument

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Cal
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Metta vs Male/Female Argument

Postby Cal » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:34 pm

I have been following with astonishment the male/female arguments today. I normally use Dhamma Wheel as a source of sanity, compassion, inspiration and learning. I have found today's outbursts truly off-putting.

I didn't want to cause offence so kept away from the discussion threads. But it now seems to me that it might be timely to remind participants that we're supposed to be practicing metta and right speech here. I find the Buddha's words on loving kindness very relevant :-

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .amar.html

Perhaps people on both 'sides' still feeling aggrieved would consider checking their views and behaviour against this standard?

This is meant in the spirit of reconciliation.

:anjali:

Metta
Cal



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Aloka
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Re: Metta vs Male/Female Argument

Postby Aloka » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:45 pm

If its ok with everyone, I'd like to take this opportunity to recommend listening to a really excellent Dhamma talk from Ajahn Sumedho. I had the good fortune to attend it myself and enjoyed it so much that I'd like to share it.

"Who Needs Enlightenment when I Have My Opinions ?"





with metta,

Aloka

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Dan74
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Re: Metta vs Male/Female Argument

Postby Dan74 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:50 pm

This sort of an issue is the one that seems to bring out the fact that many of us live in different worlds.

For me sexism is not a reality of my daily life. My partner and I have deep mutual respect and we support each other physically and mentally as well as we can, especially now that her brother is very ill and she spends a lot of time in the hospital with him. She works in a supportive and warm environment (mostly female but she gets along very well with the men there too). My working environment is not exactly warm but quite fair and reasonable. She is a strong and active woman, a great organiser with a talent for getting things done and done well. Besides her job and managing the family, she is involved in several community projects, swims and pursues her hobby of pottery. I have never heard her level an accusation of sexism at me, but of course we do have our usual little male/female minds gripes (usually to do with cleaning and organisation, or lack thereof in my case).

Our little daughter is growing up to be an active and inquisitive kid. She likes her dolls but she also like the duplo, riding around on her bike and scooter and generally keeping up with her older brothers.

I don't see patriarchy at work in our little world. But I have seen it elsewhere, so I am not denying the possibility that other women are suffering from sexism.

What has been unfortunate in this episode at DW is the broad brush and hateful approach to it, which to me indicates that people are smarting from their wounds and resentful at men in general. In private I would just say "I am sorry" if confronted with this sort of stuff, but in public it has to be challenged because as a statement of fact, it is unfair to men and unfair to leave it unchallenged.

So a public forum is probably not a good place to get things like these off your chest. It just comes across as an attack and of course people get defensive.

Women here may well have legitimate grievances and I am sorry if they had been mistreated. Hope we can heal enough to see that not all men are sexist and deserving of being scorned and put down. And that the male gender as a whole is not evil.

On the other hand it can be important to acknowledge the biases that are at work in some parts. It's all part of healing together.

I guess I am speaking as one who has had to deal with a fair bit of hurt and prejudice myself, having grown up in a Jewish family in a hotbed of anti-semitism that is the Ukraine, at a time when the memories of massacres like the one at Babi Yar (where 33000 people where killed in a single operation assisted by local collaborators) were still fresh. Should we have harboured hatred towards Ukrainians while living amongst them? We knew a family that had risked their lives hiding their Jewish neighbours during the occupation. They got no fame or reward after the war, nor did they expect any. Later I shared house with some German exchange students here in Australia and we did talk about it all. It is not easy, but holding on to the hatred is even harder I found. But healing does take time and above all the courage to open up to it all (the pain, the disappointment, the guilt, the hate) and the strength to let it go.
_/|\_

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Alex123
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Re: Metta vs Male/Female Argument

Postby Alex123 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:20 am

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Cittasanto
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Re: Metta vs Male/Female Argument

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:44 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Dan74
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Re: Metta vs Male/Female Argument

Postby Dan74 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:55 am

I certainly know a fair few cases where men are on the receiving end of crap. Does it invalidate patriarchy? I don't know. The world is changing.

And perhaps those of us who are younger are not quite cognizant of the kind of sexism that older women have had to put up with.

But I think the reaction here is symptomatic of the dissonance with the victim/aggressor labeling that simply does not fit anymore. It is far too simplistic. We are not the aggressor and most women we know are not victims and would resent this kind of implication. Of course the system is not perfect. It is not perfect for men either. Does it have a male bias? Quite possibly, but it's not the kind of "male" that all males would even identify with.

It is a deep subject and worth exploring but not in the sort of environment like we've been seeing.
Last edited by Dan74 on Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
_/|\_

Justsit
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Re: Metta vs Male/Female Argument

Postby Justsit » Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:10 am


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daverupa
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Re: Metta vs Male/Female Argument

Postby daverupa » Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:20 am

Then the bhikkhuni Soma, having understood, "This is Mara the Evil One," replied to him in verses:

"What does womanhood matter at all
When the mind is concentrated well,
When knowledge flows on steadily
As one sees correctly into Dhamma.

"One to whom it might occur,
'I'm a woman' or 'I'm a man'
Or 'I'm anything at all' -
Is fit for Mara to address."

~SN 5.2

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Cittasanto
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Re: Metta vs Male/Female Argument

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:22 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Cittasanto
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Re: Metta vs Male/Female Argument

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:25 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

Justsit
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Re: Metta vs Male/Female Argument

Postby Justsit » Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:40 am

Of course.
But perhaps opining that anyone should be "shut up" may not be the most skillful way to do it.

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retrofuturist
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Re: Metta vs Male/Female Argument

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:40 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Cittasanto
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Re: Metta vs Male/Female Argument

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:51 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Kim OHara
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Re: Metta vs Male/Female Argument

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:46 am


Reductor
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Re: Metta vs Male/Female Argument

Postby Reductor » Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:06 am

I didn't come away thinking it was a matter of imprecise language, Kim. :'-(

Anyway, I wish everyone the best. That goes for my young and beautiful son, whom I hope never has to be saddled with a collective guilt he never has earned. May he be treated as more than an ugly generalization.


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