This discussion on nuns shows how the literal word can work to the detriment of Buddhism and is not what the Buddha intended.
“And which are the five lower fetters? Self-identity views; uncertainty; attachment to rites, rituals, and ceremonies; sensual desire; and ill will.” Anguttara Nikaya 10.13
Due to attachment to rites, rituals, and ceremonies, some want to deny women the right to ordain, to deny them to live the holy life as a monastic.
“There are two ways a person slanders the Buddha; He who explains a discourse whose meaning needs to be inferred as one whose meaning has already been fully drawn out.; and He who explains a discourse whose meaning has already been fully drawn out as one whose meaning needs to be inferred.” Anguttara Nikaya 2.25
(Shows that the Buddha did not support literalism, at least not in all cases.)
“After I am gone, the Sangha, if it wants, may abolish the lesser and minor training rules.” Digha Nikaya 16
Again, shows the flexibility of the Buddha, even allowing the abolishing of some rules as needed.