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University of New South Wales

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Gender Essay
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Gender Essay

ARTS1900 - Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies

8 Pages University of New South Wales Essay / Project Year: Pre-2017

The social context in which Buddhism arose was one rooted in patriarchy and the Brahman system of caste hierarchy and distinction. (Stearns, 2006, p.36). The single purpose of women was to serve the superior men and produce male offspring. Further, property rights and rather significantly spiritual equality and salvation was denied to women. Buddhism provided spiritual equality for women in a background of caste distinction and Hindu emphasis on inequality pushing past some of the patriarchal attitudes prevalent (Stearns, 2006, p.36) Buddhism, rather does not make any distinction between human beings, animals nor the planet, and further denies the existence of an autonomous individual (King, 2000, p.307). Buddhism, unlike other patriarchal monotheisms did not dictate patriarchal regulations e.g. gender roles, marriage and duties to family.

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