I came across this rather gender progressive comment from Nichiren
If we examine the Flower Garland Sutra, the first sutra to be preached after the Buddha attained enlightenment, we find that it is a Mahayana work preached by the Buddha in his aspect as the Thus Come One of the reward body. Thus, to the voice-hearers, cause-awakened ones, and others, it was like daytime to an owl or nighttime to a hawk; though they listened to it, it was as though they did so with deaf ears or blind eyes. This being the case, though people hoped that the sutra would enable them to pay back the four debts of gratitude, because it speaks disparagingly of women,3 it was hardly possible for them to repay the debt of gratitude owed to their mothers with the sutra.
which is footnoted with
3) For example, the Daishonin cites the passage “Women are messengers of hell who can destroy the seeds of Buddhahood. They may look like bodhisattvas, but at heart they are like yaksha demons” with regard to the Flower Garland Sutra. This passage is cited in A Collection of Treasures as a quotation from the Flower Garland Sutra.
I can't for the life of me find this or anything like it in my Cleary edition of the Avatamsaka. (I believe it is there, I've read all sorts of misogynistic passages in sutras, I just can't find it)