Here are some horrific ideas about women prevalent in modern bhakti sects, but which have no basis in bhakti śāstras and are not a part of traditional Caitanya Vaiṣṇavism. This is not an analysis of these cringe-worthy statements, but a search for the tag ‘women’ on jiva.org and reading some of the articles will help set many of the scriptural distortions straight.
- Women are less intelligent than men. [ In modern academic theory, this attitude is called hostile sexism.]
- Women as a class are untrustworthy, with an intelligence level no higher than 12 year old boys.
- Women are nine times more lusty than men.
- Women like to be raped. [This indefensible statement is being defended in some modern bhakti sects by apologists! But then all the views in this list are indefensible.]
- Women cannot be a guru, but men can. [Maharajji’s lineage has multiple women as gurus.]
- Women as a class should not be given a college education [unlike men who deserve it.]
- Women who go to universities for a college education are licentious. [men are paragons of virtue?]
- Women as a class are cold-hearted and selfish. [Not men of course]
- Women as a class are of ‘sinful’ or ‘low’ birth.
- Women are less qualified for the knowledge that ‘we are the ātman, not the body’ than men, because they are more attached to their bodies than men.
- Women and/or their form is māyā.
When confronted with these ridiculous notions, apologists come up with disingenuous, mind-bending arguments to defend them. The simple truth is that all these notions are false. They are derived from one’s ignorant worldview, which causes distorted interpretations of bhakti scriptures. Further, carrying them in one’s head is pratikula or offensive to bhakti. Deriding others or oneself is not at all the purpose of the bhakti path.