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Maybe because Buddhism also teaches women cannot ascend to the afterlife? And that women also are "cursed" men's souls or whatever who have to repeat life as women, maybe its all a big cope? I am with you totally on her pretending, I just hope she can get out of this horrid loop.

I don't think most Buddhists hold such misogynistic values anymore, and there is a lot of diversity of thought within Buddhism too. About reincarnation: the more bad karma a person accumulates, the more challenging their next life will be. Since being a woman is significantly more difficult, some people see it as a punishment for past karma.

Personally, I believe that since women had less freedoms when these religions were created, there were significantly less women who could be wandering travelers who attained enlightenment and taught philosophy.

I'm not sure what her situation is but I hope she gets better.