*Somewhat squiky topic ahead*
Menstruating women are not allowed to go into temples. From Wikipedia on Culture and Menstruation: “In Buddhism (Theravada or Hinayana) menstruation is viewed as “a natural physical excretion that women have to go through on a monthly basis, nothing more or less”…but menstruating women are banned from attending temples.” I find this very interesting because different cultures view menstruation having different roles, especially in religion. I actually have a book of short story fiction of a girl’s first time menstruating. In certain cultures, women who are menstruating have a certain power and in the past, there were even males who imitated them through induced genital bleeding. Going back to religion, women who are on their periods are not allowed in the temples (buddhism, hinduism, etc) have a certain type of power despite the opposite view of being impure or unclean. They are kept away from the temples because they are capable of nullifying sacred mantras long practiced by Buddhism priests, because of which the men, to continue controlling the women, declared them unclean–a custom that was handed down through the generations, despite the fact that there is nothing in Buddhist teachings banning menstruating women from their place of worship. In fact, this practice is wrong in that they need more emotional support but ironically, they are refused. (Particularly in Thailand)
Inhumane Dismissal of Suffering: My mother always talked about how I must have done good in my past life to get an awesome brother that I have now. And what did she do in order to deserve a stupid daughter like me. Buddhism is similar to Christianity in this regard–that they write off suffering and considering it a necessity of sorts on the path of life. They teach their followers to accept pain and suffering and instead of fighting suffering, they are told to accept pain. I think it’s important to remember that we can do something about all the suffering in the world and I do think that the values of Buddhism don’t include helping others less fortunate than you as much as some other religions that I can think of. For example, there are many Christian charities that are dedicated to help end suffering and Islam have a clause that reserves 10% of their paycheck to alms.