The Dalai Lama faces online backlash after 'misogynistic' female successor comments

Danielle Fowler
Freelance Writer
The Dalai Lama has sparked controversy over his latest 'misogynistic' comments [Photo: Getty]

The Dalai Lama has further cemented his beliefs that a female successor should be “attractive” explaining that people would not want to look at her face.

The religious leader made the controversial comments during a recent interview with the BBC at his home in northern India.

Foreign correspondent Rajini Vaidyanathan questioned him on divisive remarks he made back in 2015, where he claimed that a female successor would need to be “very, very attractive” - otherwise, she would be “not much use”.

But the 83-year-old - who is the 14th man to take on the role as the Dalai Lama - did not apologise and instead, reiterated his previous views.

“If a female Dalai Lama comes, she should be more attractive,” he stated.

The 83-year-old then screwed up his mouth and added, “People would prefer not to see that face.”

If that wasn’t enough to ruffle a few social media feathers, he then went on to suggest a make-up budget to help out a future female successor.

“I think there’s an opportunity to ask whether [a female successor] can spend some money on make-up,” he continued.

“A lot of people would say that’s objectifying women,” Vaidyanatha replied. “It’s about who you are inside, isn’t it?”

The Dalai Lama agreed, before adding: “But we’re human beings... I think appearance is also important.”

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Understandably, a number of Twitter users were less than impressed with his controversial views.

“Why a female leader has to tick the attractive box I’ll never understand, one tweeted. “This goes the same for female political leaders too.”

“He’s said this a couple of times now, it’s not an off-the-cuff response,” a second added. “He feels that people respond more to a pretty face sending a message, it’s both misogynistic and generally true albeit harsh.”

While others disagreed and believed the Dalai Lama was joking.

“He’s clearly having a laugh here,” one wrote.

Another agreed, tweeting: “I think the interviewer was missing his point to try and hammer home her interpretation to what he was saying. This is where trouble begins.”

Though his views on a female successor weren’t the only headline-gracing comments he made during the interview.

On the topic of US President Donald Trump, he said that the 73-year-old has a “lack of moral principle”.

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