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Jocelyn Brewer answers John Nolan
I have been following, the RVC gender debate with great interest as a devotee completing a post-graduate Diploma of Education and currently writing a major piece of work on the contemporary Vedic education system.
In response to John Nolan, women understand that men have difficulty conceptualising females in ways other than ultimately sexual temptation. We can only hope that men one day can evolve beyond these notions of women as such objects and understand that their fear of temptation is pure psychology.
The point being made by Palika dasi and Georgina, I would suggest, has more to with the complete lack of a women’s program and the exclusive discourse which headlines like "Give your son the highest education" perpetuates. Inherent in such a statement is "give your daughter the lowest... or nothing."
Why would any organisation so blatantly deny interested parties the opportunity to advance their Krishna Consciousness, especially in the age of Kali Yuga when so many people are abandoning all forms of religion and spirituality?
Perhaps the RVC has limited funds to establish a separate program for women’s education (as are available at the VHIE)? Perhaps there are other reasons for women not being currently provided with an equal opportunity to advance their spirituality through education. I look forward to Danavir Goswami clarifying these points for the benefit of both men and women.
While noting your point about the tradition of celibacy within the ranks of clergy people in most world religions I would point you to the current issues of homosexuality, child abuse, and sexual misconduct which the Catholic church is currently experiencing as a result of such strict doctrines.
In saying this, I agree that celibacy has a vital role within Krishna consciousness; however, it is important not to confuse women as the sole source of temptation and thus to subjectify us as such. Perhaps bramacharis like Mr Nolan could benefit from a form of "desensitization," that is, the more contact made with women, especially of an academic nature, the less they would find it necessary to view women as the apple in the garden of Eden (to borrow an ancient phrase).
Your humble servant,
P.S. for the benefit of Sudama das, I am Australian and any spelling mistakes you find are because I’m using UK not American English.
[See "RVC: It’s Discipline Not Discrimination" Chakra May 23, 2002]
© CHAKRA 28 May 2002
Rupanuga Vedic College
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