Myanmar Women

Myanmar Women & Burmese Girls

Women in Buddhist Burma, the attitude of the Buddha to women was one of distrust and suspicion typical of monastic sentiment all the world over. This is brought out in some of his conversations with Ananda who frequently advocated the cause of women.
`Master,’ says Ananda, ‘how shall we behave before women ?’

`You should shun their gaze, Ananda’.

But if we see them, Master, what are we to do ?’ `Not speak to them, Ananda.’

But if we do speak to them, what then?’

`Then you must watch over yourselves, Ananda !’

Clearly the Buddha regarded women as the most attractive and dangerous of all those snares which arouse the physical senses. Yet it can be claimed that he called on men and women alike to abandon the sexual nature and set out on the long road to spiritual maturity.

He did not refuse the hospitality and alms of devout laywomen and there are a number of well-known women who were allowed to minister to the need& of himself and the Sangha and so gain merit towards their own ultimate enlightenment.

In response to repeated pleas from Ananda the Buddha at last gave permission for women to enter the Sangha and an order of Bhikkhuni or Sisters was founded. But his permission was given reluctantly and safeguarded by regulations which made it clear that the eldest ordained sister must behave extreme humility even to the most junior monk.  But this gave them their chance to show their worth. The claim was made good in the Psalms of the Sisters in which the songs of those who attained to Arahantship are preserved. This fact, generally ignored, shows that the attainment of Nirvana is possible in this life even to women.

In Burma the Order of the Sisters has not been maintained, although there are meithila, ‘nuns’ so called, who live a semi-monastic life, a half-way house between the old Order of Sisters and the domestic life common to most women. They wear a special robe of their own, possess a certain amount of property, do their own marketing and domestic work. They are not held in anything like as inch esteem as the monks. A Burmese saying runs : ‘Only you have lost your child, or your husband has left you, or you have failed in trade, or got badly into debt, will yam become a nun.’

As to the women of Myanmar generally,

theoretically their only hope is to be reborn as men so that they may become monks and so attain Nirvana. But in practice the women of Burma are the freest of all the women in the East, and although tacitly paying lip service to the superiority of men (the Burmese woman always addresses her husband or any other man as shin, lord), yet they are very much the equal companions of men.

In Buddhist Law if husband and wife separate each takes the dowry brought by him or her to the marriage, together with half the increase that has been added during the years they have lived together. Burmese women are intelligent and capable; many friendly observers regard them as having more backbone and character than the men. They take an active share in the

Myanmar women on a happy day
management of the home, much of the petty trade of the country is in their capable hands, while in the villages they share with their men-folk the work of planting and harvesting.

As in the West, the women are the chief supporters of religion. They are much more regular in their visits to the pagoda, more often in prayer before the images of the Buddha, more generous in the daily support of the monks

Myanmar women are somehow very different from Myanmar guys, not only physically.

They are in the very best tradition of other women in Asia such as Thailand, Philippines and Malaysia etc.

Since the boys are brought up as the little “pashas” and the girls have to do the work, the evolution clearly prefers the girls and after naturally the women. You can take almost any very successful company in Myanmar, Thailand or Cambodia and they mostly have the same parameter, either they are run by foreigners of the Caucasian type, Chinese, Indian or local women. I know the guys don’t want to hear this but it’s a simple fact which cant be negotiated because it’s the true. In both countries the guys are mostly active in politics and military and that’s one of the major reasons why there are all the problems.

Women in Myanmar usually also have a better education than the guys, this is also very similar to other countries which are patriarchic driven by the guys because of religion and sheer fear of the guys because they can’t stand the competition of the women, here aregirls working in the night shift.

Notable Arab countries where the guys cultivate their strange pasha behaviors out of the religion, a relict of about 400 years ago, the evolution didn’t touch them, unfortunately. It is not on such a extreme level in Myanmar and Thailand but it is, actually it’s a little bit similar to most countries in the world but not to such an high level and that’s makes the difference.