Dalai Lama says female successor must be 'very, very attractive' otherwise she is 'not much use'

Spiritual leader had previously described himself as a 'feminist'

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The Independent Online

The Dalai Lama – a self-professed feminist – has claimed should his successor be female she must be “very, very attractive” otherwise she is “not much use.”

In an interview with the BBC, the spiritual leader recalled telling a French journalist approximately a decade ago there must be a female Dalai Lama because, he claimed, women had a greater “biological” capacity “to show affection … compassion.”

“I think female[s] should take more important role and then – I told the reporter – if a female does come her face should be very, very attractive.”  

When probed by increasingly nervous interviewer Clive Myrie if a female Dalai Lama “must be” attractive, the spiritual leader responded in the affirmative: “Otherwise not much use.”

His latest remarks stand in stark contrast to comments in 2009 in Tennessee. “I call myself a feminist,” he told an audience while accepting an International Freedom Award. “Isn’t that what you call someone who fights for women’s rights?”

The Dalai Lama is in London for nine days to promote compassion – and how being considerate can make us all happier.

In the BBC interview he also discussed the sweeping generalisations made regarding refugees and urged European nations not to reject individuals because of their Muslim faith.


Condemning the use of force within the Middle East, he said: “Unless you deal with this problem in a non-violent way, today one Bin Laden, after a few years ten Bin Laden, after more years hundred Bin Laden could come.”