Q: Do the Goswamis say that women are less intelligent than men?
A: I am not aware of any statement, anywhere, in any of the Goswamis’ copious writings, that women are less intelligent than men.
Q: I ask because a Gaudiya ācārya has made many such statements about women.
A: This person’s view is not consistent with the views of the Goswamis. Show me where the Goswamis say such things.
Q: What about Chanakya? Doesn’t he state this?
A: He says the opposite: buddhi taasam catur gunah: women are four times more intelligent than men.
Q: This ācārya also has made other statements about women, for example, that they…. [I decided not to include the statement here]
A: These are not the views of the Goswamis nor of the Gadadhara parivāra.
Q: Could there be some truth in what the ācārya says about intelligence? The best chess players are men, not women.
A: If you think of the IQ scores of a human population as a bell curve with a mean and a spread around it, the bell curves largely overlap between men and women. While at the extremes, the best male chess players do outperform the best female chess players, the majority of women and the majority of men are comparable in IQ. This is indicated by the significant overlap in the bell curves. For practical purposes, the data suggests that an average woman and an average man are similar in intelligence. This is evident from our daily experience as well. Some of the smartest people I know are women.
Q: I am saying that the ācārya is not completely wrong.
A: I do not get the obsession with denigrating 50% of the population as less intelligent. The gopis are women, and are the greatest devotees in all of existence. Our Goswamis are also manjaris. If a man walks around thinking he is more intelligent than women, all I can say is that the man has some psychological problems! And he is woefully wrong.