Religious or Societal
There I was working away teaching an online survey class of world religions. The textbook placed the religions into geographical grouping. We were in the Indian sub-continent, which includes Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. The previous week, we dealt with Hinduism. This particular week addressed Jainism, which was an extremely conservative effort to reform Hinduism. During the following week, we will deal with Buddhism, which was a far more liberal spinoff.
The Jains are into ahimsa, which means to do no harm. Ahimsa comes from Sanskrit, अहिंसा and ahimsā in Pāli. It is something that Hindus and Buddhist also follow. However, the Jains are far more rigid than the other faiths.
Jains will avoid inadvertently swallowing a gnat by wearing masks. In this way, they avoid doing harm to even small insects. At one level, it is quite noble to follow the injunction to avoid harming anything.
The Jains, especially the monks, are driven to reach moksha, which is a release from the reincarnation cycle of life and death, ad infinitum. This cyclical issue is called samsara. Jains' only wish is to leave this world and merge with nirvana. Leaving the world isn't to go to heaven but merely cease to exist. They can only reach moksha by means of avoiding any sort of attachment to things and/or people. It is easier to do this if the Jain is a monk. However, a lay person could get off the cyclical issue of reincarnation by avoiding any attachment.
The biggest attachment issue that males need to avoid is any relationship or dealing with females. Jains feel that females tempt men sexually. For example, women can tempt men into having children, which creates attachment to all the family members. As a result, those attachments are to this world, which result in delaying moksha or release from the cyclical issue of samsara. Additionally, women are unclean, due to the menstrual issue.
Each semester, the issue of ahimsa arises and most all the class misses it as blatant sexism. Women are to be avoided primarily, because, if men don't, men will suffer additional time going through many more reincarnations prior to release. Addressing ahimsa absorbed much of a week's discussion. Finally, at the end of the week, I posted an announcement summing up our discussion:
This class is a survey course of all the major religions of the world today. We are here to learn about them. However, that learning process involves reading/research and thinking about that religion. I think that ahimsa is an interesting idea, which many Jains follow to the letter.
This is where the thinking enters the picture. Dissing women for being women isn't ahimsa. It is discrimination and ethically wrong.
Now, the question is what's with this sexism issue. All semester, we have seen sexism in religions. It varies in degrees, but it is present. Also, sexism will be seen in all the other religions still to be studied.
That means one of two things:
Now, a part of the issue with sexism can be seen in our society today. Trump dissed Megyn Kelly regarding her questioning him during one of the Republican debates. His statement about Kelly is both vulgar and sexist, "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever. In my opinion, she was off base." That is one of the issues about sexism, the menstrual cycle. We have seen this issue in all of the religions so far.
However, sexism is seen in the way men talk about women. This posting isn't about for whom you should vote. It is critically far more important than that. It is about how males treat females.
Sexism emerges from the society. Various religions merely reflect societal mindsets. Election day will soon be here. As I wrote to my class, you choose how to vote. This election will come and go. However, the critical issue is how we deal with women. Sexism has been around since humankind evolved over 200k years ago.
This video is of Kelly asking Trump about women during the debate.
This video is of Trump's evaluation of Kelly.
Visit the Darkest Before Dawn page to read more about this topic.
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Visit the Stupid is As Stupid Does page to read more about this topic.