You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : January 1996

Re: Rama's treatment of Sita (fwd)

From: Lakshmi (lgopal_at_mailbox.syr.edu)
Date: Wed Jan 17 1996 - 16:13:38 PST

> Subject: Re: Rama's treatment of Sita
> You have a point there.  I am by no means a feminist,  but I strongly
> believe that in both the Hindu epics (as well as in religions that
> branched off from Hinduism like Buddhism etc) a woman is not at all
> treated with respect.  On one side, a woman is idolised as "Ma Kaali" and
> on the other she is definately treated infinitely inferior to a man.
> Take the Mahabharath for instance.  Ok, agreed that polygamy was a rule
> of the day (a necessity even, for Kshaatriyas) but Draupathi was
> considered a, well, something of a prostitute, for having 5 husbands.
> And when Karna calls her so, there is no defence for her.  The reason for
> her having 5 husbands is that she wanted a husband with 5 of the greatest
> quallities possible and it was "wrong" for a woman to desire such traits
> in her man.  And Arjuna could go town after town and marry as many women
> as he pleased.  (And so could Krishna, although "bhakti" would have been
> the reason to be given to Krishna's romances, for which i have no
> objection.).  A woman is always considered a temptress (during times she
> is not considered Maa Kali).  That reflects badly, not on the woman's
> fidelity, but on the man's lack of any self control or morality.
> Sorry, if that was a strongly feministic argument,  but I could go on and
> on, about Vali just abducting Tara,  Gautama rishi cursing Ahalya for no
> fault of hers,  Draupadi being accused as the reason behind the war,
> inspite of the ultimaate insult to womanhood that she faced-derobing, not
> including the not-technically-Hindu stories of Gautama Buddha totally
> abandoning the woman he had promised to protect all her/his life etc etc...
> Lakshmi Gopal.
>