Readers of my whimsical little blog will have become used to the idea that sexism is alive and thumping in the male Sangha of the WPP tradition, particularly including those in the West.
But there’s more.
Not only have the English WPP Sangha imposed the discriminatory ‘Five Points’ on the nuns there, but (and here I insert one of my legally required ‘it seems’ – in Pali this is covered by the delightful particle kira) a male majority has also been enforced on the lay committee.
The lay committee is called the English Sangha Trust. This is the original body that was formed with the intention to invite a Theravada Sangha to set up in England. After a couple of attempts, they invited Ajahn Sumedho and a group of Western monks from Thailand, and since then they have set up the monasteries at Chithurst and Amaravati. (They are indirectly involved in the other English WPP monasteries.)
Recently there has been tension in the EST over the question of nuns, as the gender tensions of the monasteries spill over to the lay committee. Obviously, women on the committee are more likely to support the nuns, and so (kira) an extra female appointment to the EST was recently blocked – by who? – so as to preserve a male majority. Since then, one of the remaining two women has (kira) resigned.
Believe it or not.