Did the Dalai Lama really utter sexist comments when he said, “[…] if a female Dalai Lama come, then that female must be very attractive, otherwise not much use.”
For a moment, the reporter from BBC was startled, and then he asked him, “Really? You’re joking I’m assuming? Or you’re not joking?”
The reporter was hoping that the Dalai Lama made an ill-advised joke, but the man who is worshipped by millions in the West answered, “No, true!”
To people living around the world, the Dalai Lama is the personification of compassion and humanity, but his latest comment baffled many of his worshippers — it broke their hearts. In a world, where women are still fighting for equal rights as men, this was another blow to their efforts, another realization that they still have a long way to go.
His comment isn’t even the most surprising part of this whole fiasco, which has left gender equality campaigners fuming. It is a fact that the Spiritual Tibetan leader is a self-proclaimed feminist. In the past, he has said, “I call myself a Feminist. Isn’t that what you call someone who fights for women’s rights?”
Unfortunately, the comment you made about the next successor being more than just affectionate and compassionate refutes and contradicts your past claims of calling yourself a feminist. Even though BBC was quick to overshadow his comments in the news coverage, feminist groups quickly singled out the comments.
What is the most bizarre irony with this entire scenario? The Dalai Lama is currently on a nine day tour in London, promoting the concepts of considerate and compassionate behavior. However, the Dalai Lama’s comments on how his female successor should be attractive weren’t very considerate or compassionate.
So, is this the first time the Dalai Lama has expressed his wishes for an attractive female successor? No, because he told Clive Myrie, the BBC reporter, “[I told the French reporter] If it is a female, the face should be very attractive.”
Since the comments stirred up considerable consternation for the Tibetan spiritual leader, BBC did him a favor by not including his comments on the website where they summarized the entire three day interview. Instead, BBC chose to highlight some of his positive comments like how one should not reject a refugee because of their religion.
People questioned the BBC as to why they neglected to highlight these points, as comments such as this usually make headlines and increase viewership. The Telegraph, a British newspaper, got the inside story from an insider at BBC who had this to say, “It was probably more cock-up than conspiracy.”
The Dalai Lama, a Nobel Prize winner and an advocate for multiple causes, is 80 years old, but when he reaches 90, he will have to pick his successor.