Gender bias in Zen
- Hi, folks!
Sent this a week ago or so, but Yahoo! didn't like my smtp server. I think I got that figured out, and if you see this, I did.
richard horvitz wrote:
Greetings all. Just testing to see if this list still exists. I don't mean to disturb your zazen.
I would like to remind everybody that anyone can start a discussion. The main reason why we have no traffic here is because the old-timers have used up all the old topics. So, if you have a topic of interest to you, throw it up here and see what people say.
I'll start. Recently, there have been a few coincidental occurrences of accusations of gender bias in American Zen. Anybody have any opinions or observations they'd like to share?
- On Mon, Apr 12, 2010 at 8:26 PM, Weasel Tracks <weaseltrax@...> wrote:
But Pat made an excellant point -- how much would I be aware of gender bias, given I am not a target of it. I simply can't be aware of what I am not aware of, although that can change. One way I can be made aware of things I'm not aware of by listening to the experience of other people. Thus my question. Still, I have known women who saw gender bias in the actions of men directed against them, when such actions had entirely different motives.
If a person doesn't have these social skills, you might not be able to understand what is going on around you.
We all have different levels of sensitivity to our social environment. If you don't have the antennae, then you have to get the social information by report, from folks around you.
In the situation of the young woman apprentice I shared earlier, I experienced even stronger bias from the old craftsmen for different reasons. One, being my age (I was 46 when I started.) All the Japanese apprentices were 22. I was the oldest person to have ever apprenticed there. So I often noticed bias against the young woman happened in my presence. .The the thing of it is, if you are not open to what is happening, it is easy to let it fly below your radar.
As bad as this young woman's treatment was, she freely applied the group bias against me. It is a common phenomenon. Experiencing bias does not automatically make you more sensitive when it is done to others, actually, scapegoating frequently happens.
So, awareness is necessary. But also intention. Without intention or bodhimind, we simply become better thieves.
Lee Love in Minneapolis
"Ta tIr na n-óg ar chul an tI—tIr dlainn trina chéile"—that is, "The land of eternal youth is behind the house, a beautiful land fluent within itself." -- John O'Donohue