The introduction to the Dhamma Wiki's Buddhism and Misogyny article says,

Nevertheless, there are some non-Buddhists and even some Buddhists that contend that the Buddha was misogynistic. This is because of some passages in the Buddhist scriptures, the Tipitaka that appear sexist, that the Buddha was reluctant to ordain women, that the bhikkhuni line ended and cannot be revived, that the Buddha said that the teachings (religion) would only last 500 years because women were given permission to ordain as nuns (bhikkhunis), because of the extra rules that were imposed on the female monastics, including the eight ‘heavy rules,’ and the passage that states that only a man can be a samma-sam-buddha who teaches the masses after the teachings have died out.

Was the Buddha misogynistic?

  • The next sentence in the wiki says, "Each of these claims are examined below" followed by 6 sections containing 2800 words -- that's how the Dhamma Wiki addresses this question. I don't see how to answer this question: I think it's too broad (e.g. 6 different claims); it might also be also opinion-based (should this be called "misogynistic", and if so should it be attributed to the Buddha or to the society).
    – ChrisW
    Commented Oct 10, 2015 at 10:57
  • The Modern Theravada subsection says, "For the Modern Theravadins, nearly all of these issues are moot, because the seemingly misogynistic issues above are from the later writings and commentaries".
    – ChrisW
    Commented Oct 10, 2015 at 10:57

2 Answers 2

  1. Buddha said women can be Enlightened.
  2. In an unprecedented move for the times, Buddha allowed women to ordain as Buddhist wanderers.
  3. Buddha added numerous rules to Vinaya to protect women practitioners from the abuse of men practitioners.
  4. Buddha said that part of the path to Enlightenment is abandoning gender biases (AN 7.48)
  5. Buddha was a big opponent of the traditional practice of having widows join their deceased husbands on the funeral pyre.
  6. Buddha gave many teachings specifically for lay women.
  7. Both the 500 years prediction and the idea that only man can be a buddha seem to be later additions as they are present in some versions of texts and absent from others.
  • 1
    Is identifying your self as a man or a woman an issue to attain enlightenment?
    – Heisenberg
    Commented Jan 8, 2018 at 1:27
  • Well... Yes, kinda. Having a clear idea of yourself, of any kind, is an obstacle to enlightenment. You're supposed to transcend any and all generalizations "I am this" or "I am that".
    – Andriy Volkov
    Commented Jan 8, 2018 at 1:35
  • Then why have a separation amongst monks as male/female?
    – Heisenberg
    Commented Jan 8, 2018 at 1:43
  • Well, don't confuse your internal concept of yourself (relevant at advanced levels) with a basic rule guarding from sexual misconduct (relevant at beginner to mid level)
    – Andriy Volkov
    Commented Jan 8, 2018 at 2:02

Here is the root/etymology of the word misogyny

misogyny (n.)
1650s, from Modern Latin misogynia, from Greek misogynia, from misogynes "woman-hater," from miso- (see miso-) + gyne "woman".


word-forming element meaning "hater, hatred," before vowels, mis-, comb. form of Greek misos "hatred," misein "to hate." Productive as a word-forming element in ancient Greek, for instance misoagathia "hatred of good or goodness;" misoponein "to hate work." Forming many compounds in English, most of them obscure or recherche, but some perhaps useful, for example misocapnic (adj.) "hating (tobacco) smoke," misocyny "hatred of dogs."

If the word "misogyny" does mean something like that, then I think that the answer is "no": i.e. it doesn't seem to me plausible to attribute "hatred" to the Buddha.

WIthin Buddhism, hatred (which is also translated as "aversion") is (together with greed and delusion) called a root of evil -- and the opposites of hatred i.e. adveṣa (non-aggression, lack of hatred), and mettā (loving-kindness) are seen as "wholesome".

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