The Dalai Lama has prompted outrage after saying that his successor could be a woman - but that she must be “very attractive” or else she would be “not much use”.
Speaking to BBC journalist Clive Myrie, the spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism was asked about the possibility of a female Dalai Lama
He replied: “Yes, the female biologically [has] more potential to show affection...and compassion.
He continued: “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.”
Myrie laughed at what he understandably thought had been a joke, asking: “So you can only have a female Dalai Lama if they’re attractive? Is that what you’re saying?”
The monk replied: “I mean if female Dalai Lama come, then that female must be very attractive, otherwise not much use.”
Myrie gave it one more try: “You’re joking, I’m assuming? Or you’re not joking?”
The reply? “No, true!”
His comments are particularly surprising given that he has in the past labelled himself a feminist.
Many people expressed their outrage at his comments…
I simply don't know how to react when his holiness, the Dalai Lama implies that only attractive people can take on influential roles.— Yashwanth Krishnan (@yash6197) September 21, 2015
@Independent hypocrisy exposed, don't put people on pedestals— ploppi (@PloppiPlop) September 23, 2015
@Independent really! In this day and age!— Dr. Geri Akerman (@GeriAkerman) September 23, 2015
Others were less surprised however…
Breaking news, 80-year-old man has not-very-progressive views about women http://t.co/QSSYO7fRKq— Jonathan Ore (@Jon_Ore) September 22, 2015
Ask a very old man a question, get a very old fashioned answer.September 22, 2015