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Now before you read and answer i would like to invite you to keep the term "Sexism" aside as this is a discussion on gender and it is impossible to talk about it without pointing out some things that would look like stereotypes.


We all belong to some gender and if we write a paragraph and ask someone to read it and guess the gender obviously that person can identify the gender that is represented in that particular paragraph.

For example Men would like Bikes and women would like luxury cruse ships, Men would not give any attention to lighting when women would work hard to decorate with candle light because they think it is romantic...

And the list goes on and on proving that we Humans who differ from each other in almost every way tend to be so much alike in some things.

But how does this happen? Clearly no one would know the answer because if you ask some guy why did you started liking Bikes he would give many reasons but he would not be choosing a single answer to be the best fit as the answer, If you ask a girl why do you like Pink she would go trough the same situation.

Now we can suggest that all of these can be influences from the environment,Good marketing,Social factors and etc.


But then we end up with a question what exactly make "Gender" apart from a biological standpoint?

or in a much simple term,

Other than the body what makes a man and what makes a woman; Spiritually?


Now there are dozens of videos on the internet, people hypnotizing others to change the gender attached behaviors and it works in fact it can permanently change someones idea about his or her own gender.

After thinking about these things i came to an idea like this,

Gender as a spiritual part is an illusion. As Lord Buddha has said "Gender is also subjected to "Anatta / Anatman", Even gender can change according to the desires and actons of a being". So as to Buddhism you and i,we all have been in both genders and we all have even been "Transsexual". So as there is no "Soul" it is OK to think that gender is a post Birth process that we learn and act after. Because there is no point that we can show to say that gender is real.


Let me say one last thing before i rest my case....

Imagine yourself going through a Transgender phase, by the end of it you will end up in the other side of the river. Now you have a mind that functions according to the rules of your last gender and a body which resembles the opposite gender. Now what reason do you have to show for the love you have for your last gender other than the attachment that you have? I suggest that Gender is an acceptance that we make while we are alive to behave in a certain pattern. And because like anything else we get attached to it we carry it in "Samsara" until some circumstance change it.


What is gender apart from the body as to Buddhism?

If gender is subject to Anithya (Anichcha) + Anatman is it right to think of gender (spiritually),an Illusion?

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    (-1) When I saw that question on the screen I suddenly doubted I'm on an Q&A site for Buddhist topics. But I am. "Is xxx what it really seems?" - I think that question (even if some more material is written in your Q) should be closed as offtopic because "opinion based"/"opinion polling". What actually does it seem to? Do we have the same view as to what it seems to be, do we the same opinion about this at first? – Gottfried Helms Jan 14 '16 at 23:13
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    Some question may inspire some, some not, and question which do not seek not for opinions are less and its not that bad to know ones view and know ones thoughts. The notion of "I think such and such... What does the Master Gotama thinks, is a pattern that appears very often in the Canon. Its merely a more open and "innocent" way of asking and very usual for Asian people when they feel integrated and part." Die haben nicht diese neurotisch Art vieler Westler, perfekt zu sein und Wege zu suchen um so zu erscheinen, werter Upasaka @GottfriedHelms Sie sprechen mit einer anderen Welt, nicht so... – user7586 Jan 14 '16 at 23:58
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    I feel this question can be answered, op is asking what gender is, if anything, aside from the body. Which leaves the mind. And Buddhism clearly does not hold the view that the mind has a gender. – Ryan Jan 14 '16 at 23:59
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    I'm not sure how this question is different from Male & Female - Is gender an illusion? -- the titles are similar, anyway. – ChrisW Jan 15 '16 at 0:45
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    I once read a Buddhist story of how a man became a woman, gave birth, and then later changed back to a man. If you can find it, it might be of some use to your question. Can't find the reference, hence a comment. – Kaveenga Wijayasekara Jan 15 '16 at 4:57
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Being male is not being free of the eight worldly Dhammas, being female is not being free of the eight worldly Dhammas, being a King..., being a tycoon..., being a beggar..., being a outcarst..., being a star... being a Buddhist... wanting to be a male... wanting to be a female... wanting to be an Arahat... wanting not to be... is not being free of the eight wordily Dhammas and being subject to them.

Being after the eight Dhammas one is subject and object of love and hate, makes and is reason for politics and the arrow is not removed, still seeking for a boot for ones fellows...

The world was entirely without substance. All the directions were knocked out of line. Wanting a haven for myself, I saw nothing that wasn’t laid claim to. Seeing nothing in the end but competition, I felt discontent...

Yet those now rich are debauched to play with the salt justice for the blind is not seen but demanded. So the Buddha talk very straight in regard of sex and how it can be seen without touching regulation worldly conditions and ones health self-estimate.

Obsessing over one's gender identity causes only suffering: AN 7.48 so it has to be abounded for the yogis sake.

"A woman attends inwardly to her feminine faculties, her feminine gestures, her feminine manners, feminine poise, feminine desires, feminine voice, feminine charms. ...Delighting, caught up in her femininity, a woman goes into bondage with reference to men. This is how a woman does not transcend her femininity.

"A man attends inwardly to his masculine faculties, masculine gestures, masculine manners, masculine poise, masculine desires, masculine voice, masculine charms...Delighting, caught up in his masculinity, a man goes into bondage with reference to women. This is how a man does not transcend his masculinity.

"And how is there lack of bondage? Saññoga Sutta: Bondage

Yet, since you are in the world, since you live in dependency of society and measures, such thinks matter and you would give up the cause first and not fall into imitating a result and even demand it. Never go in between because such causes all orientation.

(Note: this answer has not been given with the agreement to be means of trade or the purpose of/for trade and/or keep people trapped and bound. How you handle it lies in your sphere, but does not excuse the deed here either.)

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According to the Abhidhamma gender distinction is there in every part of the corporeal structure. In Buddhism illusion is used if the meaning breaks down at a lower level of abstraction, but in this case, gender is there to the most basic material composition, hence not an illusion. This is more on how you define illusion and what gets translated into the word illusion.

If you have any view, perception about gender this is illusionary as it it is constituted by Citta and Cetasika.

Gender does decay and has the potential to change from birth to birth.

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    "Gender does decay and has the potential to change from birth to birth." That is what most forget when taking on a stand. Sadhu! – user7586 Jan 15 '16 at 4:49
  • If Paramartha (in this case Rupa Paramartha) is non illusion or ultimate reality then gender is ultimate or a non illusion. This is being in line with the words of the Buddha who I do not try to second guess. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Jan 15 '16 at 6:41
  • Sadhu again! Yes, "one may call it "object" what ever mind has as object has the notion of rūpa. What ever of the six kinds of consciousness come into being has rūpa as its object. Or without rūpa, without and object (essence of food) there is no consciousness. If liked very lit. Abhidhamma maybe Kalāpas - Groups of matter is of use. But better look for your self where it is, one would easily take words as very inmaterial and give them inherent substance (!). Reading woman, thinking woman, perceiving male... what appears? rupa nama, "being", and decay. – user7586 Jan 15 '16 at 7:08
  • If you look at rupa in meditation and if your are sharp enough to see the gender element what you would see is the ultimate which is not an illusion. In this more or less discussion or talking in this matter under social convention we have mental construct of the concept which is a illusion. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Jan 15 '16 at 7:51
  • Sadhu! But since still paramatha, it matters in daily life and is therefor subject for Sila (Vinaya). – user7586 Jan 15 '16 at 8:09
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Mind can be seen as having a gender. It is true that thoughts are not classified in Buddhism as female thoughts or male thoughts. But the gender conditions your likes and dislikes, which intern condition the mind (Thanha paccaya Upadana, Upadana paccaya Bhava). When you were born, your gender(physical) was not selected randomly. You were born as male or female because of the conditioning of the mind in the previous life. Generally males are less emotional, less fearful and less capricious compared females. But a female can condition her mind like a male and as a result be born as a male next life. Same goes for men who are very emotional and need lots of comforting. They can be born as females next life as a consequence.

Furthermore, those who attain Jhanas are born as Brahmas who have no physical gender. So it is obvious that conditioning of the mind determines your gender.

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    Hi Sankha, it the causality you mentioned above from a sutta? – Kaveenga Wijayasekara Jan 15 '16 at 4:51
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    It's dependent origination – Sankha Kulathantille Jan 15 '16 at 4:53
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    "You were born as male or female because of the conditioning of the mind in the previous life." interesting notion, yet dangerous. How ever, is there any hint known that the Buddha risk to let such a danger be assumed or a matter of discussion? Don't forget you are in female dominated and ruled world here and there is also much danger in victim-blaming you would vast be subject of attack. But lets see :-) – user7586 Jan 15 '16 at 4:56
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    @SamanaJohann Sex elements (bhaava ruupaani) are not uncaused: Vinnana paccaya Nama-rupa. Not sure what you mean by 'danger'. – Sankha Kulathantille Jan 15 '16 at 5:02
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    "Not that I can recall." good, than be as wise as the Buddha and don't play to much with is, even if not wrong. DANGER!! :-) To become a macho has also reason and to come as a macho in an area where there is danger for machos is then the fruit. :-) so let it be a so called "womans sacred" one would not tell or talk about. – user7586 Jan 15 '16 at 5:15

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