ཡུམ། Tibetan Women's Reality

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Have a question about women, relationships or parenting? Ask Kunsang for a Tibetan woman’s perspective. Email questions to kunsangdolma@hotmail.com.

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20 Comments

  1. ban de jab says:

    It would be better if you point out names of individual who mistreated you in your article rather than throwing all Tibetans in the same basket of negativity. Change is fad these days, young people see all westerns as gold like old generations see everything old is sacred. For example, I disagree with your example of democracy. It is nothing I have against democracy. It depends on situations. By saying this, I am against of the idea itself. Democracy varies country to country, in many countries democracy failed because people’s education is low and also due to century old cultural and historical constraints. When Mubarak was in Egypt, it was pretty good country, now Mubarak was ousted, in the name of democracy, things are very bad. Same thing in Syria. American tried to bring democracy to Afghanistan and Iraq whether it is the true intention or not, now the country is messed up. When Saddam was in power, there was no Shia and Suni fights and daily bomb explosions. In our case, we need to change definitely, but we also think how best can we do about it by knowing the whole implications. Otherwise, nice idea such as democracy alone can turn into a nightmare for a country instead of helping. We are experiencing of such a shift by debate between Middle Way and Rangzen. Without taking aside, majority of people are politically ignorant, so they can be manipulated in anyway by interest group want. Therefore, you should have expressed ideas well and eloquent instead of putting something out there for the same of putting.

    We need to draw a limit. You can change until you let go of your values. Values are at the heart of culture, not superficial attributes or stereotypes. However, individuals have own values due to family and other stuffs. I felt very sorry for whatever happened to you. But putting all women into the same basket of victims and men are like sex maniac as if western men are Enlightened super man on earth is a big problem. Rape exist everywhere even in America today. But these events are not a cover up for same wrong things happen in our own society. We should do like others, when rape happen in America, they don’t throw all men in the same category or all women in the same victim category. You should have done the same. Rapist are rapist, it is not Tibetan culture nor it is a human thing to do. When you say we condone it as a culture, that means our own culture is direct contradiction with heart value of “all sentient being”. This term does not categorize people as men versus women, even animals included. However, Tibetans society is not a perfect and there are no perfect society on earth as well. All are different by degrees.

    Regarding women representation, at any forums or platforms, the candidate who come to it should be done on the basis of merit, but based on sexual orientations. Definitely, there is a huge nepotism going on in the tiny exile societies. Sexually discriminate on any positions of power is unheard off. A lot of people make the same accusations, with no real example. It is time to give real scenarios rather than pursuing some goals with a general views. Representations in this case known as special treatment, all people get schooled through the same system, so why not women coming up? It is better for women to study hard rather waiting for a reserved space like special people of India based on caste tribes.

    Another similar charges online about monks is, abusing younger monks. There might be isolated cases and we need to deal with it as a society and each institution. Not by describing entire monastic institutions as cradle of sex maniac monks. You have to know how to handle things case by case and solve it. Not by going online about something you yourself never witnessed, but unheard in the form of rumors. I am not accusing you of this specific case about monks. But the similarity is, you did not provide real individuals. If you think you represent women in general, you have backed up with numbers of cases. In such a way, it will be lot easier. Otherwise, it is hard to believe entire Tibetan women suffers and entire Tibetan male population is sex maniac.

  2. yeshi says:

    Are you speaking in general or specific on Tibetan Woman..? Your piece in Phayul.com looks based on individual experiences, not on research based kind of woman’s conditions in Tibetan community..?? Pls be fair by unnecessarily objectifying few look-like experiences oriented facts as reflection of community as whole..?? Your’s piece looks quite contradictory to ones written by westerners. I feel, westerners, not Tibetans can write with more fairness on such Topics due to more objective orientation,,

    • kunsangdolma says:

      I’m talking about my own experiences, what I can see with my own eyes, and what I can hear with my own ears. Of course not every Tibetan man is a problem, but it is also true that we obviously have a problem in our culture. It’s heartbreaking for me to see young people today going through what I’ve been through. Maybe you don’t know what it feels like, but I do.

      • ban de jab says:

        what is the problem in our culture that condone discrimination against women? Are women veiled like Muslim or are women prevented from showing lustful bodies of western materialist women who only see see values in sex, money, power, and other materials?

  3. dorji says:

    Thank you Kunsang Dolma la, you are brave and we are proud of you. It takes alot of courage and never mind the mindless comments of ignorant Tibetan men who would love nothing more than to maintain the medieval unjustices of our society.

  4. ban de jab says:

    Correction:
    By saying this, I am not against of the idea itself.
    Regarding women representation, at any forums or platforms, the candidate who come to it should be done on the basis of merit, but not based on sexual orientations.

  5. May all beings be happy! We have trouble enough in life without gender inequality. Women have had it bad in most societies around the world and change needs to happen within each and every culture to rectify the situation. Our mothers, ourselves and our girl children shouldn’t need to suffer from the evils of inequality. If HH the Dalai Lama could address this concern in plain language to the men in Tibetan society, then they will attempt change. I believe this is the only way to truly reach them, as the Tibetan men I know refuse to acknowledge that such a problem exists. Just look at the hierarchy of gender inequality in the positions of power within the government and other areas within the community, and it is obvious women need to have their voice within these organizations. Hopefully, awareness with come quickly and with this, positive change.
    Thank you,
    Maria Shaneman

    • kunsangdolma says:

      The silence of people at high levels is definitely part of the problem. Not only His Holiness, but most important or well educated Tibetans don’t want to talk of gender inequality. Tibetan society faces a lot of serious problems, so the focus tends to be entirely on freedom, but if we look at the situation carefully it’s obvious our society is falling apart in the meantime while important people treat the everyday problems like gender inequality like it’s beneath them.

      • ban de jab says:

        Tibetan society is truly falling apart because of willing assimilation into other races and cultures…are there any merits to be worried about society at large? I would look in the mirror and talk…..I would rather fight for rights of undocumented and minority’s discrimination at the hands of white supremacy!

        BDJ

  6. Dolker says:

    Thank you for your braveness. I totally agree with you. I have experienced harsh judgement by Tibetan society in the settlement during my early teens and twenties. I am sorry to hear what you went through. You overcame with your experiences, and became one strong woman. We are proud of you. My next purchase is your book, can’e wait to read. Thank you again, and good luck. Free Tibet!

    • kunsangdolma says:

      Thank you Dolker. Unfortunately, Tibetan have been quiet but if we don’t stand up and speak up who is going to fix this for us? We need to stay healthy and strong for our kids and keep them safe. Right now a lot of Tibetan men truly don’t know that what is going on is wrong. Even though they know about something like nomadic girls in Tibet being routinely raped in their early teens, they think it okay because it has been going on a long time or they think women say no but really want what men do to them. We have to speak up to make it stop.

  7. Dawa says:

    བཀྲ་ཤིས་བདེ་ལེགས། ང་རང་ནི་བོད་རིགས་སློབ་མ་སྤྱིར་བཏང་བ་ཞིག་ཡིན་ལ། ང་རང་མི་རིགས་རང་ཉིད་ཀྱི་སྐད་དང་ཡི་གེ་བཀོད་སྤྱོད་བྱེད་པར་ཧ་ཅང་དགའ། ཁྱེད་ཀྱིས་བདག་ལ་བོད་ཡིག་དེ་ཇི་ལྟར WordPress ཡི་ནང་དུ་བཀོད་སྤྱོད་བྱེད་ཚུལ་གསལ་བྱེད་རེ་གནང་རོགས་ཞུ།

    • kunsangdolma says:

      ངས་འདི་བོད་ཡིག་ནང་དུ་བེད་སྤྱོད་ཇི་ལྟར་གཏོང་དགོས་མི་ཤེས་པས་དགོངས་དག མ་གཞི་འདི་བོད་ནང་ནས་བེད་སྤྱོད་གཏོང་མི་ནུས།

  8. Kalsang Gyaltso says:

    “The Tibetan community has always held women in high esteem”, said Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay at a three-day workshop on women empowerment which began on 17th December, 2013. So, i hope you might be research on the status of women in our community. I really want to know that what is your opinion for the above statement.

    • Wangmo says:

      “Tibetan do place women in high place”, Do we really in practice? We are gender neutral in practical. It is leaders job to show positive side of the society to take the community to best side. I am not saying Sikyong is wrong here, he is right but we as a people in the community are we practicing and following it?
      See for instance, a teenager girl gets impregnated by her boy friend (some 14 years ago) for that community blamed her for not staying in her place, its the society who says that, he is boy (as if boys can do anything in this world) blame comes squarely on the girls and she has to look after the kids her whole life. This is real story, I am not making up here. My camp mate went through this.

      Even if extra marital affairs happen women suffers, they blame the women for not staying in here place. It must be the man who first proposed her.

      • kunsangdolma says:

        Thanks for the question Kalsang-la, and for caring about about women’s issues. It’s a good question, take a look at the newest post for my answer. Tashi Delek Wangmo, unfortunately I think your campmate’s experience is very common. People are quick to blame women, and don’t think about what women go through.

  9. Tai88 says:

    I have a humble question: I am a gay western man that helped a Tibetan family in the United States for many years. The wife of the family discriminated me worse than anyone has in my life and in any country Ive visited around the world. She treated me worse than an animal, without any hesitation. She then accused her husband of domestic violence. I truly believe in Tibetan women standing up for their safety and freedom.. but, is there any kindness from them towards LGBT individuals? Would appreciate your response.

    • kunsangdolma says:

      That’s an interesting question. I’ll think about it and make a post soon.

    • notsering says:

      whatever happened with u was very bad. whoever treated like this with you, am sure she ll realize what she did with u was wrong. lack of ethic is 21st c problem. all the people are different in their religion, color, custom and choice and to respect all equally is very basic manner of human being.i appreciate that u share it with us.it doesn’t matter who u choose to be, r u one of us. i respect and appreciate u.

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