Honor the Dalai Lama: Replace Him With a Girl

Next reincarnation of the Buddha ought to be a woman
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2009 10:35 AM CDT
Exiled Tibetan women participate in a rally in Dharmsala, India, March 12, 2009, to mark the 50th anniversary of the failed uprising that forced the Dalai Lama into exile in India.   (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
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(Newser) – The Dalai Lama’s work for peace has been so widely praised that it’s almost obscured his wonderful work as a feminist. He has worked tirelessly for women, seeking to raise their position in Tibetan society, writes Amy Yee for Double X. He even suggested, scandalously, that his next reincarnation ought to be female. “Woman is more compassionate,” he reasoned, “and has more power to understand and feel the needs of others.”

The suggestion went too far for many, and odds are pretty good it’ll be ignored when the Lama dies. But that won’t undo what he has already done for women. He included women in his first exile government, bringing them into Tibetan politics for the first time, and, in a radical move, opened the rank of geshe to female monks. Maybe the 15th Dalai Lama won’t be a girl—but thanks to this one, there’s hope for the 16th.