Women–Materially Speaking–Are Less Intelligent than Men
When we speak of differences between the genders we are only speaking of the material differences. Spiritually there are no differences. But in the body and the material mind and intelligence there ARE real differences between the sexes. Many of these differences have been verified by different university studies…
Thank you for sending me your posts.
While there is much merit to what you say, and you have good motive for what you say, I do hope you are not offended by me offering my different view. I am not in full agreement with you on these topics. There are valid reasons. I ask that you try to consider the reasons before making misjudgments.
Not all men who may espouse that “materially”, in the mundane view, men are by nature more intelligent then women, are all misguided fallen souls entrenched in their male egos, who delight in suppressing and taking advantage of those who are far below their lofty superior being.
Nor did many of these devotee men come to KC with these mundane ideas, simply not been able to shake them off in favor of the higher transcendental knowledge of spiritual equality. But, rather, it is Srila Prabhupada and Vedic scripture and culture itself that teaches us BOTH the material differences AND the spiritual equality.
The science of Daivi-Varnashram-Dharma is to understand and act, where needed, on the platform of Spiritual Equality, and yet also, side-by-side, to also understand that materially there are differences and that society must recognize and accommodate those differences when and where needed.
There must be a full and proper understanding of Both sides.
The soul is neither male or female (ultimately female in relation to Krsna). Neither is the soul brahman, ksatriya, vaishya or sudra. Yet, for purpose of “managing” the society, Vedic culture, Krsna, and SP, all make distinction between the classes. VAD. On one side Krsna teaches in Gita that the transcendental sage sees equally (SPIRITUAL Vision) the brahman, cow, dog, dog-eater, etc., on the other hand Krsna teaches that it is He who has created the system of VA – dividing society into 4 varnas and 4 ashrams according to one’s MATERIAL qualities. A transcendental sage sees with equal vision – only on the Spiritual platform. But at the same time he teaches and guides society to adopt and follow the social system of divisions, VAD – which DISCRIMINATES based on our MATERIAL qualities.
There have been deep rooted social problems in iskcon’s fledging society. No doubt. Problems stemming from both imperfect spiritual vision and improper knowledge and maturity on how to view and engage the material differences. But, really, it isn’t that big of a deal. The problem is not that the system is too hard to implement or to difficult to grasp. The problem has been with either our being too near sighted in vision and not seeing the obvious, or in being overly intelligent and thinking the system is far more complex then it is.
The problem has been how to balance both the transcendental vision with the practical managment of the material differences. Those who use the material differences to supress others, abuse others, take advantage of others are obviously lacking in spiritual vision. On the other hand, those who try to manage the external material dealings of social intercourse by ignoring the material differences and classes and try to artificially make a classless society are also lacking in Vedic vision and insight. Krsna taught us that HE has created the system of VAD and all great acharyas, including SP, have taught that society will function, on the material level, best, only when this system of VAD is recognized and followed. It is a balance of BOTH spiritual vision of spiritual equality mixed with discrimination based on material qualities.
This is where I see we disagree – and correct me if i am wrong. But, in your essay all i am seeing is argument for the Spiritual Vision side of the equation. Prabhuji, I have also been studying VAD – especially social DHARMA aspect of it – for way over 15-18 yrs. I have studied the Vedabase as well as compared notes with the Manu Samhita, etc. and SP’s teaching always included this balance of seeing equal spirit souls along with discriminating according to material qualities and engaging according to those material differences. He taught both things, and both sides must be there for society to go on nicely. The whole basis of VAD is to discriminate and classify according to material qualities.
Maybe some devotees lacked in the spiritual vision – understanding of spiritual equality aspects and driven and controlled by their false egos misused Vedic teachings of discrimination to take advantage of women, children, etc. However, all that i am able to gather from your writing is the Equal Vision, with no balance of material discrimination. Society cannot be managed under such a classless system. Not even Iskcon, an institution designed to teach spiritual knowledge and values, because it is functioning within this material world. Too many of the members are still very much conditioned souls. It is not possible to properly manage a “material” society (which the ashrams and varnas are all apart of the material aspects, discriminating via varna and ashrama – that is all material discrimination, the soul is not brahmana or sudra, nor brahmacari or grhasta) based only on equal vision of the soul. There must be a mature balance, and i do not see that at all in your writing.
You want to portray your essay as being “Krsna Conscious” – so i would assume that you mean that it is in-line with the teachings of Srila Prabhupad, however, your views do not reflect the proper teachings and understanding of SP’s teachings. You have made a mockery of the idea that materially speaking women are not as intellectual as men. Where as Srila Prabhupad has many times made this discrimination. When we are speaking of such differences between the genders we are only speaking of the material differences, the differences that the conditioning of the material bodies place on us. Obvioiusly, spiritually there are no differences. But, bodily, and that includes also the material mind and intelligence, there ARE real differences between the sexes. Many of these differences have been, at various times, verified and recognized by different university studies in modern times. I do not have the references, but I read (nearly 4-5 yrs ago) that for many years there has been a large vacuum of women in the upper medical fields. Most all (if not all) heart surgeons are male, neurological surgeons, etc., mostly all male. This “unfair” discrimination was noted years ago, and so the universities undertook many programs to try and close the gender gap. Also, the same was found in the higher degrees of quantum physics, etc. There was a serious imbalance of men to women. Many efforts were made to close the gap. In fact, a coordinated effort of all leading medical universities in the nation was made to do ‘something’ about this. So, for many years they set quotas so that many more women would be admitted to the higher courses then men, this was done in an attempt to turn out more women so that the numbers of men and women would become more equal. In doing this many men who met all the qualifications were, for years, kept out of the classes and courses for these higher, and tougher, studies.
The result after many years of such efforts? Still, very very few women have made it. I can’t recall if there are yet any women heart surgeons, at least it is very few if any. Why? Because the women could not complete the courses. They fried out along the way. The courses were too hard – to much intellectual information. Studies were done, but these are kept QUITE so as to not be used against the colleges for being sexists, but what was found was that women were just not able to grasp and compete side by side with men in such demanding intellectual studies.
In fact, in the higher learning of physics many of the men who were doing well in their grades still ‘partied’ on the weekends and would take off time for sports or leisure activities, yet during the fewer hours they studied were able to assimilate far more and to greater depths. While, most all of the women taking such courses had to tune out all other social activities, took no leisure time, simply had to dedicate 100% of their full time and effort into their studies just to try and keep up with the pace and depth of studies their male counterparts were able to do with less time and effort expended. As soon as the women took time off and social breaks, as the men did, their comprehension of the higher course material dropped significantly. What happened is the women simply “burnt out”. Once they burned out, they would be forced to drop out from the higher med classes (or higher physics).
But, because the universities were working conjointly to give most of the seats to women in the classes, and most of them fried out and dropped out, what has happened is a shortage of higher educated doctors now exists.
Anyway, the point is that there are many such evidences that when it comes to in-depth intellectual understandings women and men have Different material abilities. Is that so hard to accept? Our bodies are different. Our breasts are different, our sex organs are different, our emotional balance is different, our aggressive or meek behavior is different. All these differences are caused by the bodily covering. In fact, some are chemical. Male and female bodies produce different levels of hormones that cause many of these differences. When women are given large quantities of testosterone for long periods – after a while they grow hair on their faces, their voices deepen to that of a male, and they become less “emotional”, more logic oriented, more decisive, more assertive and aggressive. Take them off the testosterone, and they revert back to their feminine nature. Give men large doses of estrogen and their breasts will grow and develop like that of women, their voices go higher and sound like a woman, and they become more emotionally sensitive, making decisions on sentimental ‘feeling’ rather than logic. They become less assertive, less aggressive, more dependent, emotionally, on others, etc. These are REAL differences between men and women. And, what causes these differences is the body, the glands that excrete the hormones are different, and those hormones cause these very REAL and documented differences between men and women.
This is all Material, it has to do with the body only, but it is REAL. The differences exist. Since we are embodied in this material world, Vedic science teaches that we must recognize these material differences and organize society so that it can function with the least friction. To ignore this shows a total lack of understanding of what VAD is all about.
Many many times SP pointed out the material differences between men and women. Often times noting that the woman are less intelligent.
“O son of Prtha, those who take shelter in Me, though they be of lower birth-women, vaisyas [merchants] as well as sudras [workers]-can approach the supreme destination.” Women are considered on the same platform with sudras, and although a woman may be married to a brahmana, she is not given the sacred thread. It is also said that the Mahabharata was compiled by Vyasadeva because the direct Vedic knowledge could not be understood by women, sudras and dvija-bandhus, those who are born in brahmana families but are not qualified brahmanas. Stri-sudra-dvijabandhunam traye na sruti-gocara (Bhag. 1.4.25). Consequently Mahabharata is called the fifth Veda. The four preceding Vedas are the Sama, Yajur, Rg and Atharva. The essence of Vedic knowledge, Bhagavad-gita, is given within the Mahabharata. Women are inferior to men, and Vedic civilization is so perfect that men are given full charge of the women. It is therefore said: matu priya-cikirsaya. The son is always ready to see that the mother is not unhappy. Kapiladeva was anxious that His mother not feel the absence of His father, and He was ready to take the best care of her and give her knowledge.
Because women are supposed to be less intelligent, they should be given knowledge, and they should also follow this knowledge. They should follow their father’s instructions, their husband’s instructions and the instructions of their grown, scholarly sons like Kapiladeva. In this way, their lives can be perfect. In all cases, women should always remain dependent.(REF. TLK Vs 5)
When it comes to Bhakti – love of God, yes, both men and women embodied souls can take up the bhakti marg. It is not that women are not allowed to become devotees of Krsna. But, when it comes to social intercourse, to marriage and social duties, to management and leadership of society, then there is discrimination based on sex so that society can be managed smoothly.
Mrs. Wax: Could a woman be a temple president?
Prabhupada: Yes, why not?
Mrs. Wax: Glad to hear it.
Prabhupada: But because women are less intelligent, they should remain dependent on first-class father, first-class husband, and first-class son. Then she is first-class. That is the injunction. Woman should remain dependent in childhood upon first-class father, in youthhood upon first-class husband, and in old age upon first-class son. Woman is never independent. If she becomes independent, her life is not very good. She must agree to remain dependent on first-class father, first-class husband, and first-class son-three stages. ============ REF. Room Conversation with Mr. & Mrs. Wax, Writer and Editing Manager of Playboy Magazine — July 5, 1975, Chicago
The woman asking is very much feminist – into equal rights. She asks if a woman ‘can’ become a TP, and SP answers, “yes, why not?” She is glad to hear. Now that SP has got her to drop her defense and accept, SP immediately cuts to the fact that (materially speaking) “women are less intelligent” and because of this, they should remain dependent on a man. If she becomes independent that is not very good. So, how can a woman be dependent on a man and stll be a TP?
Queen Kunti was very qualified vaishnavi, but when Pandu, her husband died, she did not take over the kingdom, but placed herself under the care of the elder men of the family until her sons were old enough, then she placed herself under her sons. Always dependent on a male, never independent.
So many times SP has taught that women are, materially speaking, in general, less intelligent of the sexes. Is this a put-down on women? No. Should it be used to supress them? NO But, It MUST be used to PROTECT them. In pointing out that women are less intelligent, or the weaker of the sexes, or more easily misled, SP often stressed that this means that women must be PROTECTED. A sober man, a man of moral integrity, raises to the occasion of to take protect those who are dependent on him (I would have said, to protect those ‘under’ him, but felt you would take that as too chauvinistic).
A king’s duty is to protect those under his rule. A father’s duty is to protect his dependents, his children, and to protect his submissive wife.
When we speak of the sexes we can’t leave out marriage. Marriage in KC does not mean equal rights – I am equal spiritual soul and so are you, so lets both have equal say in all matters. NO. That is no way to manage anything. In work, companies, there must be a person who is in charge. In family there must be a designated person to take ultimate charge, ultimate responsibility. It is the only way an army can function, or a successful company, or a successful marriage. If there are no clear cut and understood, accepted and followed system of hierarchy, the marriage will end up failing.
There are SO MANY reasons why women MUST take to the submissive, even subservient, role in a marriage. For instance, raising children. Children need to see a clear leader – an distinctive authority, in their very early lives. Male voices are deep and commanding. Women’s voices are higher pitched and simply don’t carry the weight or authority. It is by Krsna’s divine arrangement. The mother tells the children do this, do that, they don’t really take mother seriously half the time. But, when father says it, they act. I saw this documented on TV some years back. Researchers found children who were raised in home where there was full effort made to not discriminate on sex, or boys raised without fathers in the home. Children, by nature, responded differently to male and female voices. (Also, at less then 1 boys and girls – on their own – develop very distinct female or male characteristics). For example, one lady’s husband left her before her son was born, he was 8 and had only been under his mother’s care. Still, when she told him to clean his room, he always ignored her, but her brother (the boy’s uncle) came over, he would ask one time, bam, the kid does it. So, on camera the boy was asked why? He said because he just doesn’t like girls, even his own mother, to tell him anything. But, when his uncle tells him, he feels he has to do it – he didn’t know why, but he knows if a man tells him, he just has to do it. But, it is proven, for children the father, the man’s voice, it commands respect.
So, if the woman takes to the submissive role in the family, and she submissively serves her husband and treats him with the greatest of respect – something magical happens. The children automatically respect “Authority” – not just their own father, but they respect authority in general. Where as if the women is belligerent and shows a lack of respect for her husband, does not see him as authority over her, but tries to share equal, the children do not have the same respect for authority.
And, even though it seems nice for some to think that women and men should treat each other equally, this is not what SP teaches in respect to husbands and wives. The wife must take to the submissive position. When women can do this, so many marriages will be saved.
Trying to make men and women equal on the material level is ARTIFICIAL, and as such it is doomed to failure. Spiritually, on the spiritual level, we are absolutely equal. But, as soon as you speak of Men and Women you are no longer talking about the spirit soul, but the material body, and the male and female are NOT equal, they are DIFFERENT. Is one greater and one lesser, yes, materially. But, it has be to balanced. Is a brahman superior to a sudra? Yes, materially speaking. But, the two can still be vaishnav and both are equal spirit souls. But, for the functioning of society, the Head is more valuable to society then the foot. One can live, not nicely, but one can live without legs, but one will die without a head. Legs are important, but the head is superior. Sudras are needed in society, but a brahman is superior. This is Material. Women have their duty, and their roles are absolutely essential to society, but men do have the duties to take the materially superior leadership roles in society.
Reporter: Are men regarded as superior to women?
Prabhupada: Yes, naturally. Naturally, woman requires protection by the man. In the childhood she is protected by the father, and youth time she is protected by the husband, and old age she is protected by elderly sons. That is natural. Female
Reporter: That goes against the thinking of a lot of people in America now. Do you know that?
Prabhupada: No… America, maybe, but this is the natural position. Women require protection.=========== REF. Interview — March 5, 1975, New York
Woman Reporter: Where do women fit into these four classes?
Prabhupada: That I already explained. Women’s position is subordinate to man. So if the man is first-class, the woman is first-class. If the man is second-class, the woman is second-class. If the man is third-class, the woman is third-class. In this… Because woman is meant for assisting man, so the woman becomes suitable according to the man, her husband.
Woman Reporter: Would you say that women are inferior to men?
Woman Reporter: Why?
Prabhupada: By physiological condition. Just like you are. Your bodily features are different from the man’s features. You cannot deny it. So according to the bodily features, the psychological condition and everything is there. How you can deny it?
Woman Reporter: Do you think that I am inferior to you?
Prabhupada: It is not the question of inferior or superior. Different. Now you take one inferior or superior. That is your calculation. But the bodily features are different. That is material. But spiritually, they are all one. Materially… Just like your bodily feature and a man’s bodily feature is different. Now, so far question of inferior, superior, that is your calculation. But we say that by nature, a woman and man is different.
Woman Reporter: What does this mean as far as whether women can do the same things that men can do, or whether women can lead people?
Prabhupada: Well, women can bear children, but the man cannot. Is it possible to bear children? A man can become pregnant? Is it possible?
Woman Reporter: No.
Prabhupada: Physically… Therefore there are so many things which is possible in man and which is not possible in woman, by nature. How you can say that they are of the same nature?
Woman Reporter: I’m not saying they’re the same. What can…
Prabhupada: Then if you not saying that, then they are different in their physiological condition. So now this physiological condition, you may calculate, “This is better, this is better.” That is your calculation. Our calculation is the man and woman are different in their physiological condition.
Woman Reporter: But you say women are subordinate to men.
Prabhupada: Yes, that is also natural. Because when the husband and wife are there or the father and daughter is there, so the daughter is subordinate to the father and the wife is subordinate to the husband.
Woman Reporter: What happens when women are not subordinate to men?
Prabhupada: Then there is disruption. There is disruption, social disruption. If the woman does not become subordinate to man, then there is social disruption. Therefore, in the western countries there are so many divorce cases because the woman does not agree to become subordinate to man. That is the cause.
Woman Reporter: What advice do you have to women who do not want to be subordinate to men?
Prabhupada: It is not my advice, but it is the advice of the Vedic knowledge that woman should be chaste and faithful to man.
Woman Reporter: What should we do in the United States? We’re trying to make women equal with men.
Prabhupada: I am not trying. You are already not equal with the man because in so many respects, your functions are different and man’s functions are different. Why do you say artificially they are equal? As I told you that the husband and wife-the wife has to become pregnant, not the husband. How you can change this, both the husband and wife will be pregnant? Is it possible? Is it possible?
Woman Reporter: No, it is not.
Prabhupada: Then by nature one has to function differently from the other.
Woman Reporter: But why does this mean…?
Prabhupada: So how you can change?
Woman Reporter: Why does this mean that women have to be subordinate?
Woman Reporter: Just because they bear children and men can’t?
Prabhupada: Well, by nature… No, as soon as you get children, you require support from the husband. Otherwise you are in difficulty.
Woman Reporter: Many women have children and have no support from husbands. They have no husband.
Prabhupada: Then they have to take support from others. You cannot deny that. The government is giving you support. But the government is embarrassed. If the husband supports the wife and children, the government is relieved of so much welfare contribution. So that is a problem.
Woman Reporter: What happens when women support men?
Prabhupada: First of all try to understand that you depend. The… After man and woman unite, there is children, and the man goes away, and you are embarrassed. The woman is embarrassed. Why? Why this is, is made possible? A man and woman unites, and the woman becomes pregnant, and the husband goes away. Then the poor woman is embarrassed with the child. She has to beg from the government. So do you think it is very nice thing? The Vedic idea is that woman should be married to a man and the man should take charge of the woman and the children independently so that they do not become a burden to the government or to the public.
Woman Reporter: Do you think the social unrest…
Prabhupada: I am thinking like this. You give me the answer. Simply you go on questioning. I question you, do you think this burden to the government or the public is good?
Woman Reporter: I don’t understand what you’re saying. Nitäi: Do you think that the burden caused when the husband goes away from the wife, that burden to the government is good?
Woman Reporter: No.
Prabhupada: So that has happened. Because the woman does not agree to be subordinate-she wants equal freedom-so the husband goes away and the woman is embarrassed with the children. And it becomes a burden to the government.
Woman Reporter: Is there anything wrong when the woman works?
Prabhupada: There are so many things wrong. But first thing is the wife, the woman, the wife of somebody, and the child born by somebody, they should become burden to the government or to the public. First of all answer this thing. Why she should become burden to the government? What is your answer? Do you think, from social point of view, this position of woman and the fatherless children are very nice thing? No.
Woman Reporter: What I’m trying to say is that… This may happen to some women. I’m talking about women who are not…
Prabhupada: Not… These are the general cases. You cannot say, “some.” I see in America mostly the woman…
Woman Reporter: Oh, then what you’re saying is not all women should be subordinate to all men.
Prabhupada: No, woman should be subordinate to the man, so that the man can take charge of the woman. Then that woman is not a problem to the public.
Woman Reporter: Is it true for all woman and all men?
Prabhupada: Yes, that is the nature. You take even in the dogs. The dogs they also take care of their children. The tigers, they take care of the children. So in the human society, if the woman is made pregnant and the man goes away and she is embarrassed, she has to beg from the government, that is not a very good situation.
Woman Reporter: What about women who do not have children?
Prabhupada: Well, that is also another unnatural thing. Sometimes they use contraceptives. They kill children, abortion. That is also not very good. These are all sinful activities. These are sinful activities, to kill child in the womb. And take shelter of abortion. These are all sinful activities. One has to suffer for that.
Woman Reporter: Is the social unrest in this country caused because…
Prabhupada: Because of these things. They do not know that.
Woman Reporter: And if women were subordinate to men, it would solve all of our problems?
Prabhupada: Yes. Man wants that woman should be subordinate, faithful to him. Then he is ready to take charge. The man’s mentality, woman’s mentality different. So if the woman agrees to remain faithful and subordinate to man, then the family life will be peaceful.
Woman Reporter: Thank you. It’s late. …
Woman Reporter: You have different schools for men and women, is that correct?
Prabhupada: Yes. Man is regulated to become a first-class man, and woman is regulated to become very chaste and faithful wife.
Woman Reporter: There is one more question.
Prabhupada: Then the life will be very successful. And marriage, compulsory. Marriage, compulsory.
Woman Reporter: Everyone should marry?
Prabhupada: Yes. Every woman, at least, should be married. Therefore, according to Vedic conception, polygamy is allowed.
Woman Reporter: Is allowed?
Prabhupada: Yes. Because every woman must be married. But every man may not be married. Therefore man has to accept more than one wife.
Woman Reporter: There is one question I have for you. You say that a woman’s brain is smaller than a man’s.
Prabhupada: Woman? Nitäi: Woman’s brain is smaller than a man’s brain.
Prabhupada: Yes, that is a fact. In the history there is no woman who is a big philosopher, a big mathematician, big scientist, big educationist. We don’t find. They were all men.
Woman Reporter: What about women who are leaders of countries such as your own country?
Prabhupada: Well, according to Vedic conception woman is never offered leadership. But experience has shown that woman’s leadership has not been successful.
Woman Reporter: Do you think Mrs. Gandhi’s leadership has not been successful?
Prabhupada: Well, there is already trouble. There are many big, big men, they do not agree with her and she has taken emergency steps. So on the whole, the country is in trouble.
Woman Reporter: What about Mrs. Meir, president of Israel?
Prabhupada: I do not say of any particular woman, but according to Vedic civilization, we have never seen in the history that woman has become a leader. ============ REF. Television Interview — July 9, 1975, Chicago
SP has spoken many times about how and why women should be trained to take the submissive (subordinate) role in marriage and in society. SP said, specifically, that when women refuse to accept this what is the result:
Woman Reporter: What happens when women are not subordinate to men?
Prabhupada: Then there is disruption. There is disruption, social disruption. If the woman does not become subordinate to man, then there is social disruption. Therefore, in the western countries there are so many divorce cases because the woman does not agree to become subordinate to man. That is the cause.”
3-4 times SP repeated, there will be social disruption. Divorce is caused by women not taking to the submissive position. Divorce = break up of family, children suffer the most in a broken home, a broken family. Remarriage is unchaste for women. Children become unwanted and all of society degrades.
But, if women take up the submissive duty and roles in marriage and society, then what is the result:
Woman Reporter: Is the social unrest in this country caused because…
Prabhupada: Because of these things. They do not know that.
Woman Reporter: And if women were subordinate to men, it would solve all of our problems?
Prabhupada: Yes. Man wants that woman should be subordinate, faithful to him. Then he is ready to take charge. The man’s mentality, woman’s mentality different. So if the woman agrees to remain faithful and subordinate to man, then the family life will be peaceful.”
All social unrest is due to this one thing, women not taking to the subordinate social position.
This is all material consideration, but we are speaking of material society, how it functions. It is no more or less material then the Varnas and Ashrams. The soul is not sudra or brahman, but we discriminate by such classes for the smooth functioning of the social body, which is material.
ys Ameyatma das