“Woman is more fitted than man to make explorations and take bolder actions in ahimsa.” ~ Gandhi, Mind of Mahatma Gandhi, p. 294
Certainly one can do without the gender essentialism in the 21st century, but that’s the problem when you take quotes out of their time and context. What we have to understand here is that Gandhi was working within a society and time where women were marginalized and stepped on even more than today within the social order. And within the colonial system itself, exploited nations were thought of as “effeminate.” If we look even slightly closer, we see that Gandhi is bringing women out into the open by aligning them with nonviolence, and that he includes himself and his movement in that categorization. Women are powerful. That is his message. This is actually the basis for Gandhi’s feminism: not essentialism, but deep empowerment.
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Our 2016 Daily Metta continues with Gandhi on weekdays. On weekends, we share videos that complement Michael Nagler’s award-winning book, The Search for a Nonviolent Future: A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, Our Families, and Our World. To help readers engage with the book more deeply, the Metta Center offers a free PDF study guide.
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