On Monday, the BBC posted an edited interview with the Dalai Lama in which, among other things, the highest-ranking Tibetan Buddhist expresses some unexpectedly fucked-up opinions about women and their “use.”

Around 4:50 in the video, journalist Clive Myrie asks if there will be a 15th incarnation of the Dalai Lama after him—and if so, could the next Dalai Lama be a woman?

“Yes!” he replied. “The female biologically [has] more potential to show affection... and compassion.”

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The Dalai Lama said that a reporter in Paris had asked him the same question awhile back, and he had responded similarly.

“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.”

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“So you can only have a female Dalai Lama if they’re attractive? Is that what you’re saying?” asked Myrie, trying valiantly to let him take it back.

“I mean if female Dalai Lama come, then that female must be very attractive, otherwise not much use.”

“You’re joking, I’m assuming,” says Myrie. “Or you’re not joking?”

“No. True!”

He then laughs at his own joke that his success is largely due to his attractiveness.

While the religious leader is known for his tolerance, he has made similarly unsettling comments before. He has previously remarked (and been criticized for) his view that a woman Dalai Lama would be useful because of the sex’s trademark compassion. He has also said that same-sex relationships (as well as oral sex and masturbation) are “misconduct” in Buddhism, but can be “enjoyable and harmless,” for society.


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Image via Getty.