Perhaps I am noticing this more now, only a little more than one week away from taking Amrit, and a mere ten days away from my anand karaj, but recently, I have become keenly aware of the double standard in Sikhi bewteen males and females. Sikhi boasts equality. Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji only speaks of equality instructing all of us as Gurmukhs to "see all with a single eye of equality, for in each and every heart the divine light is contained" It doesn't say the divine light is only contained in men's hearts... women too are part of this 'all' are they not? Some things I have noticed recently in discussions on the net: - Women barred from kirtan at Darbar Sahib - Women barred from palki sahib seva at Darbar Sahib - Women kept from seva of washing sanctum sanctorum at Darbar Sahib - Discussions about whether women are 'impure' during menstruation (Hari Singh Randhawa) and whether women should be allowed to do seva of SGGSJ during their periods - or even at all (becuse she might start menstruating at any time) - Some jathas instructing wives to view their husband (and serve him) as God over her, while he is told to see her as his faithful 'follower' - Suggestions by Singhs who follow these jathas, that women are lower status than men, and so wives should bow to their husbands out of respect of this higher status he has over her - Women kept from participating in Amrit Sanchars as Panj Pyaras, with a multitude of different reasoning, the most common being that women never gave their heads on that day 1699 so they don't have the right (basically suggesting all women for all time should be punished), or that it's 'tradition'. However I have heard some males say women are actually incapable of making amrit so anyone who takes Amrit where a woman was part of the Panj, their Amrit was not authentic - (This one is perhaps the most degrading comment from a Singh towards Singhnis I have ever heard) That women can not attain 'mukhti' until they are first reborn in a male 'joon'. And that her 'dharam' is to serve her husband and then she will be reborn as a male and can progress spiritually. Also the suggestion that being born a woman is due to karmic punishment. - Suggestion that women were never meant to even have khandi di pahul. Saying that in 1800s Singh Sabha movement gave amrit to women only so the food they cooked could be eaten by their husbands. And those who believe women only should have kirpan amrit, prepared by one 'Singh' and with not all the proper prayers recited. - Sikhs practicing Lohri where baby boys are celebrated while birth of baby girls are often met with condolences. - Rakhri practice by Sikhs So here I am about to make a commitment to Sikhi, to become a Khalsa. But what am I commiting to exactly? My fiance, soon to be husband 100% supports women equality in Sikhi. In Kashmir, there have been women acting as Panj Pyaras, and they only follow Sikh Rehet Maryada. Some of these Singhs who put women down do not follow SRM but instead hold Damdami Taksal's Gurmat Rehet Maryada over SRM. DDTs RM has much misogyny in it including the instruction for wives to serve their husbands as God. It also limits women from just about every seva (except langar) any authority or leadership position in DDT's RM states 'Singh' which is their argument for no female Granthis, Panj Pyaras, kirtanis, even participating in Akhand Paaths. These same SInghs put Sikh Rehet Maryada down, and actually use degrading comments about it especially the place where it says women can be one of the Panj Pyaras in Amrit Sanchars. I have decided to take Amrit in light of all this, because I truly believe in what Gurbani says... not what certain jathas state. I follow Sikh Rehet Maryada of Akal Takht not any Jatha, or Baba or Sant. But I truly believe we need to work on women's position in Sikhi in general. But where do we start? How can we see actual change??