The Dalai Lama has recently been on a tour in the U.K. to speak on subjects such as compassion and how being more considerate can lead to happiness. He stopped by for an interview with the BBC’s Clive Myrie, which was posted yesterday, and made a rather interesting comment about the possibility of a female Dalai Lama.
At around the 4:50 mark in the interview, Myrie asks of a potential 15th incarnation of the Dalai Lama and whether that person could be a woman.
The Dalai Lama said:
“Yes! The female biologically [has] more potential to show affection… and compassion.”
He recalled a similar question posed to him by a reporter in Paris and continues:
“Today in a more troubled world, I think females should take more important roles, and then I told that reporter, if a female Dalai Lama comes, their face should be very attractive.”
As he says “very attractive,” the Dalai Lama points to his own face, perhaps trying to make a joke that his own success was attributed to his attractiveness.
“So you can only have a female Dalai Lama if they’re attractive? Is that what you’re saying?” Myrie tries to clarify.
“I mean if female Dalai Lama come, then that female must be very attractive, otherwise not much use.”
“You’re joking, I’m assuming,” an unsure Myrie says. “Or you’re not joking?”
“No. True!” the Dalai Lama retorts while chuckling.
The Dalai Lama previously sparked controversy over comments he made two years ago during a visit to Australia. He remarked on the possibility of a woman Dalai Lama and said:
“…biologically, females have more potential… females have more sensitivity about others’ well being… if the circumstances are such that a female Dalai Lama is more useful, then automatically a female Dalai Lama will come.”
Critics and supporters debated whether his comments on women reinforced gender stereotypes or whether they highlighted women’s strengths and advantages as a leader.