Despite the multicultural intent of the IAU’s charge, the serious lack of Eastern representation in the membership of this supposedly international organization has serious repercussions for the naming of Venusian surface features. As this paper will demonstrate, the criteria used in naming eight Venusian features after “Tibetan Buddhist goddesses” is inconsistent and ambiguous at best, and clearly erroneous at worst. The attempt to pigeonhole Tibetan Buddhist iconographic representations of the feminine principle into a Western model fails because of what is posited to be a serious lack of understanding by the WGPSN of Tibetan Buddhist culture and beliefs. It will therefore be argued that the IAU must reconsider the membership of its Nomenclature groups and include representatives from Eastern traditions in order to prevent such problems in the future.
I Prostrate to the Goddess Foe Destroyer – Tibetan Buddhism and the (mis)Naming of Venusian Features.
Journal of International Women's Studies, 7(4), 186-197.
Available at: http://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol7/iss4/12