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Buddhism After Patriarchy (book review) Rita M. G

A Feminist History, Analysis, and Reconstruction of Buddhism

230417: excellent work unifying, contrasting, mutually aiding, feminism and buddhism, in practice, in thought, in this very real world of patriarchal dominions. i notice this book is older than any of the young women who serve me at this coffeehouse, none of whom will allow claims of being feminists. perhaps they rather claim to be post- but this is just indication of how that term now characterizes more 'militant' attitudes. this is an error in thought. this book is written from a modern, western, open sort of culture, not reactionary and conservative, or so i liked to believe until certain political happenings...

my knowledge of buddhism has been almost entirely through reading. i have tried zazen, i have entertained searching conversations with some buddhist friends. i have not enacted any particular buddhist practices. my interest has been philosophical and in a sense it is the intellectual aspect, not the religious aspect i enjoy learning about. i could say that the same about feminism. i have read some but i am not a woman so do not 'live' the prejudice, androcentricity, misogyny, that this entails. rather i am fortunate in most ways socially, culturally, sexually, but hope this does not invalidate sincere interests...

so, this book. if there is a central theme it is: buddhism is (should be) non-patriarchal, shows no tendency towards valuing men more than women, not in language, politics, society, but has been used for 'justifications' of androcentric social and spiritual, immediate, ultimate, oppression of women. there is no such justification in buddhism, in original, modern, or contemporary forms, in any culture. there can be 'explanations' but these are suspect when shading into blaming the victim...

there is necessity to integrate thoughts of women buddhists in practice, thought, works, to correct the unfortunate if often unconscious male-dominant discourse of this way. this book is a valuable, engaging, step on this path. everything should be up for debate. it is mistaken to follow too much ancient texts and refuse to evolve as societies have. it frustrates me that half of humanity is still underrepresented, for what values, what concerns, that women may bring to buddhism is only to the betterment of any way. this is a book that in my reading is definitely a favourite. i want to read more on buddhism and feminism, so recs are welcome...

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