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Buddhadharma : Winter 2010
there’s no more racism.” The fact that things are moving along in a positive direction for women doesn’t mean there won’t be any more problems. rita Gross: There have been a lot of strides for women in the thirty years or so that I’ve been involved. The important ques- tion for me has always been, Are there women teachers? There are a lot more women teaching Buddhism in the West, though in the Tibetan system we’re all pretty much teaching under the guidance of a Tibetan, and not teaching independently. There’s been a lot of improvement in liturgies in terms of gender-inclusive and gender-neutral language, but it’s still not always the case. It’s a big stride that people no longer say, “Oh, that’s not an issue. We don’t need to talk about it.” But the younger generation sometimes frightens me. Very recently I was at a retreat and some- one was talking about my newest book, and one of the young resi- dents there said, “Oh, Buddhadharma: Each of you has been involved in Western Bud- dhism for decades, so I expect that you’ve seen some changes and hopefully some progress for women over the years. When you look at the way things are today for Buddhist women in the West, would you say there’s cause for celebration or for dismay? GraCe sChireson: We do have cause for celebration, par- ticularly with what Ayya Tathaaloka accomplished recently with the ordination of bhikkhunis at her center in Northern California. But that doesn’t mean all our work is done. It’s like when Obama came to office and people said, “Oh great, photos clockwise from top: toM PlucinSki, a. JeSSe Jiryu daviS (aJJd), genine lentine, corey kohn, aJJd, aJJd