The Vedas are the considered the source of all knowledge according to Hinduism. Then why is this knowledge exclusive to only one gender? Why is enlightenment the domain of man? On one hand, we claim that the soul has no gender and the soul casts off this body like a used garment (Bhagvad Gita, I forgot the verse though) and on the other hand, people claim that the highest of the knowledge should not be accessed by women. Is it not self contradictory?
A better perspective on this can be found here by someone definitely more knowledgeable than me in these matters
I remember, that when I accidentally mentioned that I do read some Vedic verses, people got offended and started talking as if I had committed a grave mistake and that women are not supposed to read/chant the Vedas. When questioned that some of the Vedic sages were women and the ancient tradition was passing on the hymns orally rather than writing them down, so logically, these women must have chanted the Vedas, I was put down by saying that they did what they were not supposed to do and hence they suffered from serious health side effects. Not only men, but women too help in perpetuating these kinds of myths.
I do not claim to be some Vedic or Sanskrit expert but this kind of logic defies me! On one hand you cannot claim that souls have no gender and the external body does not matter when clearly, the external body is used to discriminate dispersal of spiritual knowledge. Only man can acquire such knowledge and the woman gets it through him. Quite a nice scheme to keep women subjugated to men in our society.
Another thing that hit me in the ‘Bhagavad-gita As It Is’ is the fact that even that spiritual knowledge is passed on from generation to generation only among men and when I read it years ago, I thought it was unfair and impossible. I am not surprised as prabhupada views are more like considering women as subordinate to man and with no independent identity of her own.
Evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayo viduh (Bhagavad-gita, 4.2). This Bhagavad-gita As It Is is received through this disciplic succession:
1) Krsna, 2) Brahma, 3) Narada; 4) Vyasa, 5) Madhva, 6) Padmanabha, 7) Nrhari, 8) Madhava, 9) Aksobhya, 10) Jaya Tirtha, 11) Jnanasindhu, 12) Dayanidhi, 13) Vidyanidhi, 14) Rajendra, 15) Jayadharma, 16) Purusottama, 17) Brahmanya Tirtha, 18) Vyasa Tirtha, 19) Laksmipati, 20) Madhavendra Puri, 21) Isvara Puri, (Nityananda, Advaita), 22) Lord Caitanya, 23) Rupa, (Svarupa, Sanatana), 24) Raghunatha, Jiva, 25) Krsnadasa, 26) Narottama, 27) Visvanatha, 28) (Baladeva) Jagannatha, 29) Bhaktivinoda, 30) Gaurakisora, 31) Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, 32) His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada