Bulletproof Monk?: The Dalai Lama slips up

Very few famous people enjoy a position free from criticism, which is good in many ways, the public can criticise their leaders in a way that previously they couldn’t. And leaves them accountable for what they say and do. The days of Teflon figures are gone, with even Big Liz catching flak on occasion.
One of the few folks to avoid getting pulled up for his mistakes is His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
This is understandable as we’re talking about a dude who had to flee his homeland after the Chinese invaded and who preaches love, compassion and peace. It’s hard to hate on a guy saying all that, regardless of your beliefs.

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So it’s surprising to see him get called up for recent comments.
Surprising but deserved as it turns out.
Discussing the possibility that his successor might be female HHDL dropped two clangers. The first was a bit of classic sexist stereotyping as he stated that women are “biologically has more potential to show affection and compassion”.
Really? Is that actually true? Does femininity really bring compassion? Isn’t that a universal quality that both genders can possess?
Some women are more compassionate, but others won’t be. Attributing qualities to an entire gender is sexist, but pales next to what he went on to say. He stated that back in an old interview he was asked the same question and answered that if it was a woman “her face should be very attractive, otherwise not much use”.
Because HHDL is such an Adonis.

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Dalai Lama, what a looker

It’s a terrible thing to say, that a woman’s value is determined by her looks even in the context of a religious. It’s also sad to see someone like HHDL say it. All that talk of equality and love, and then he spills something you could imagine someone like Jim Davidson coming out with.
Also, what does it matter to a monk?! Should he even be judging on appearance?
The interviewer thought he was joking and laughed awkwardly, probably not sure what the form is for calling out a major religious figure on being out of line.
Will this hurt HHDL? Probably not, I mean, I can’t think of another time he’s slipped up and I’ve heard worse. Still it’s disappointing. (Story)
It must be worse for those who really revere him, to find his feet of clay under those robes. But it does prove that despite our holiness score we’re all still human and capable of being wrong and that we all have flaws.
Personally I kind of knew he had a flaw having briefly following him on Twitter. That flaw being repetitive and a bit boring.
He’d tweet these little messages about compassion and kindness which were nice, but rather dull after a while. I know he’s got an image to stick to but still, he could join in the joke hashtags or something. Or live tweet as he watched The Great British Bake Off.
What made it worse is that every tweet seemed to be a retread of what Bill and Ted had managed to convey a lot more concisely and memorably;

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Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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2 Comments on “Bulletproof Monk?: The Dalai Lama slips up”

  1. Katie says:

    I think the Dalai Lama is VERY attractive. His face is beautiful. I don’t think calling someone ugly for saying that they hope the next Lama is beatific, is making things “right”.
    I also think he may have meant that females are more inclined to compassion relating to things like maternal instincts and urges. There’s various “compassionate” things that are female dominated, like veganism, of which as little as 5% of the movement are male. Given that most of the “compassionate” jobs have always been denoted to women – teaching is patience, and patience involves large amounts of compassion and love, nursing and caring…
    As a female, a humanitarian and a Buddhist, I don’t really have an issue with what he said. Men are plenty compassionate, as we’re constantly shown. We’re constantly breaking out of the ‘gender norms’ – and we have male and female nurses, stay-at-home-dads and all sorts of great progress – I think… he is saying that it would be as easy and natural as breathing for the next Lama to be female, because women are just as compassionate as men.
    I also think it’s important to remember that much, if not all, of his suffering came at the hands of men.
    I still think he’s a gorgeous person. I don’t think he views anyone as lesser or more… he just occasionally blunders, which reminds us that he is human, and he is sometimes a bit silly.

    • chrisebpage says:

      I never said that he was ugly just that many would argue he isn’t the most handsome fellow and it’s never held him back. Why would a woman have to be attractive to be useful?
      Also do all women feel the maternal urge? Or those instincts?
      Anyway thanks for reading and I think I made the point that it highlights that all of us can put our foot in our mouth. Thanks for the feedback


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