No. One may be surprised with the quick answer, but this is Srila Prabhupada’s answer:”NO”. He wrote it and he said it. He didn’t hesitate through a whole American preaching tour to repeat the same thing to any female reporter who challenged him right away at the local airports he was visiting. This is a sastric statement and he never changed anything stated in the sastra.
Women are specifically victimized by sentimentality. Their senses and emotions are generally far more developed than those of their male counterparts. Without them there would be very poor social life in the society and far more simple economical development. They are known as “stri”, those who expand the concept of sensuality. Just as men are characterized as simple semina-dischargers and grand conceptual visionaries, capable of sustaining in their minds occasional long term scenarios, so a woman’s character is to act instantly, emotionally and instinctively. These are general facts. Of course there are variations, but no exceptions.
That makes women entirely vulnerable to sensual impressions and easily prone to be cheated. A cheated manager becomes a cheater himself and so the whole society deviates, gliding towards destruction. This is what Arjuna was afraid of before the Kuruksetra battle started. Men controlled by women assume the same quality and that makes them specifically dangerous. They look like men but act like women. As Lord Caitanya points out, better to be in a cage with a tiger than to be together with such a remote control operated man.
Those residing in female bodies will be automatically forced to discriminate between “good man” and “bad man” only. Despite their continuous calls for “love” and “unity” this “love” and “unity” will be defined according to their emotional wellbeing and their needs only. That occasionally makes them ruthless and cold hearted consumers with no trace of any introspection or conscience. As Srila Prabhupada said, they will even tolerate their husband’s mistress when it comes to maintaining their social outlook. Practically all females established today in the political field came to their positions due to being females, in other words having their bodies as their main asset. Regardless of their age and sexual appeal, there was always a male “sponsor” in the background, having “special feelings” for their protégé. (The present German chancellor is an appropriate example :-)
Behind every “big” man there is a “big” women, conversely behind every big women there is a big man. Social position is for women who are ‘above’ moral ethics. Sooner or later part of the corrupted mentality will manifest even in their “Krsna-conscious” management. As Chanakya Pandit says; a women on her way from her husband to her lover can meditate about a third man she is intimate with…and nobody will notice one thing. A woman can have “calculated” sex life and calculated “love”. Sometimes she fails to be “professionally hypocritical” and at times she “falls in love” madly even with her abuser.(Its called the “Stockholm syndrom”.)
She can never be trusted in anyway and a man infected with the same qualities also always remains unpredictable. I witnessed in my lifetime a sankirtan trained mataji turning a whole temple into a bizarre youth hostel populated by deranged individuals once she became a temple president. Years later, dismissed and bitter, she revealed her own concept of “love”. It became clear that she was a lesbian. Today she is married to another woman. It is interesting that certainly after years of bad exposure of male pedophiles and homosexuals in ISKCON not even one question was raised until now about how many lesbian women are populating our “brahmacarini asramas” and our congregation. Maybe it’s because women are far more discrete about their deranged sexuality.
One may say that these are extreme examples and can be found amongst the men as well. That’s possible and it is for the same reason that men of the same female quality shouldn’t be managers. Managers and spiritual leaders who manage the males through females are managers of the lowest quality. One may get confused on the way and due to the nature of the quickly advancing Kali Yuga, it is more and more difficult to distinguish between male and female mentalities.
A simple argument might be useful here:”Just because there are so many stupid men, that doesn’t make women more intelligent.”
This puts all the feministic women and all the macho-men at ease and it corresponds to the sastric statement that in Kali Yuga we are all of sudra quality with an option to manifest an inclination to the other of the varnas.
ISKCON’s history has its own examples of destruction being instigated by emotionally corrupted women. As one of my Sannyasi godbrothers commented, those female “leaders” are specifically dangerous as they, in a controlled way can cry or command at their will, switching between these two regimes breaking the heart of any “soft hearted” vaisnava while establishing their point. Tears are their ultimate weapons to clear the way for their agenda. (Which may not be necessarily irrelevant:-)
Also, in this regard Srila Prabhupada didn’t specifically say WHICH women cannot be leaders, (7.7.1973, London). Who wants to rule out the possibility that any of the leading women in ISKCON is either potentially of lesbian nature or instinctively in love with some of her idealized male leaders? Trained as a brahmacarini or simply broken down by her menopause, she is not necessarily powered by physical gross impulse, but nevertheless attached to some “intellectual” hero of her choice whom she likes to imitate. Once again, behind every “big” man there is a “big” woman. And so behind every “big” sannyasi there is a “big” group of female admirers which can easily change into bitter opponents once their feelings get hurt. Getting initiated and falling in love doesn’t have to be two different things for female bodied devotees. What a relief it must be for such a spiritual leader to have married female disciples! I know a very wonderful godbrother who makes it to a condition that at the point of initiation his females married disciples are well informed that he will communicate with them via their husband only.
Uncontrolled women, without the shelter of a husband, follow their spiritual idols like shadows, making sannyasa a truly difficult task. As one of my sannyasa godbrothers humorously called them, remembering the sixties, “our groupies”. Every spiritual master and every sannyasi regardless of his age sooner or later has a good crew of “groupies” connected to him. Even Srila Prabhupada had female disciples the age of his granddaughters yelling out during His lecture: “I want to marry you!” So enchanting was His wonderful merciful glance.
The only question for a preacher remains: how will he respond to female “love” and female “hatred” appearing as a “by-effect” of his preaching? There are those who take all this as a natural result of their preaching and don’t get affected, keeping strong company with similarly protected preachers and there are those who gradually become emotionally addicted to keeping female company at a close distance, accepting personal services from them…preparing in this way their fall down.
I am certain that any mataji reading this text is at this point to some degree upset, instantly pointing the finger at those male bodied devotees who demonstrated how easy maya can become dominant, often in far more gross way than their female counterparts. That doesn’t change anything.
Men have a chance to stay emotionally aloof, women don’t. But, what Srila Prabhupada did say is, that those women who do join this movement are indeed VERY exceptional. After all, they are joining a movement which presents sastric reality, defining women as being in possession of a “smaller brain”. These exceptional women did in the past and are doing in the present TREMENDEOUS service for Srila Prabhupada’s mission.
I would prefer to dedicate to this a whole new question as I was involved with managing matajis to an exceptionally high degree during my fifteen years of serving in the brahmacari asrama and the following fifteen years of being temple president. Those who may feel that my answer here is incomplete, stay tuned for the next question coming up:-)
I take the answer to the next question as an apology to those brave and selfless matajis who managed to overcome the classical female qualities mentioned above by the spiritual power invested in them. Such is the power of devotional service and the power of sankirtan-book distribution.