Another big topic in Enquirer #5 was sexism, featured in an article blatantly titled, “Krishna and Sexism.” The article started out by defining sexism as the evaluation of a person’s worth primarily on the basis of their type of body, male or female. Thus, the ultimate root of sexism is a bodily concept of ourselves and others. Unfortunately, most modern equality movements inadvertently accept the bodily concept of self, and thus nourish the root of sexism, by identifying strongly with gender, “I am woman.”
Then I tackled the complaint, “But wait, you’re a Hare Krishna… you guys are totally sexist.” I claimed not to know where the sexist things associated with Hare Krishna came from, but said confidently that they are not a part of it’s true, core philosophy. As an example I quoted Krishna directly, who says in Bhagavad Gītā (5.18), “A wise person sees everyone equally.” Not only is Krishna consciousness not sexist, I argued, it is the ultimate cure for sexism because it provides a way to realize oneself and others as conscious beings, not just as bodies.
Who I was trying to convince more, the readers or myself? I’m not sure.
Or maybe I was trying to convince the Hare Krishna’s? Trying to remind them what Krishna consciousness really should be?
God knows I saw plenty of sexism around me every day in the temples, ingrained into the fabric of how the whole International Society operated. God knows I wished devotees would pay a lot more attention to the stuff I brought up in this article, stuff like Bhagavat Gītā 5.18 and the ramifications of “I am not this body.”
– Excerpt from an early draft of
Train Wrecks and Transcendence:
A Collision of Hardcore and Hare Krishna
By Vraja Kishor [VrajaKishor.com]