There are certain scriptural verses on the nature of women that do not reflect observed, perceived reality. Verses such as:
For women there is no dealing with the sacred texts; such is the rule of law; the fact is that, being destitute of organs and devoid of sacred texts, women are ‘false’
Medhatithi's commentary for this verse:
‘Destitute of Organs’—‘Organ’ here stands for strength;—courage, patience, intelligence, energy and so forth are absent in women; that is why they are prone to become over-powered by sinful propensities. Hence it is that they have to be carefully guarded.
This verse is quoted in Vivādaratnākara (p. 412), which adds the following notes:
‘Nirindriyāḥ,’ devoid of the faculties conducive to steadiness, truthfulness and so forth;—“strīyonṛtam,” women are called ‘untruth’ in the sense of being addicted to lying
Women are unreliable witnesses according to the Manusmriti:
A single man, free from covetousness, may be a witness, but not many women, even though pure,—because the understanding of women is not steady,—nor other men who are tainted with defects.
But women are never admissible,—be they one or many,—‘even though pure’—possessed of high qualifications; and the reason for this is that ‘the understanding of women is not steady’; fickle-mindedness is the very nature of women; while other qualifications are acquired, and as such liable to lapses through carelessness, idleness and so forth; so that their inherent fickleness remains as a constant factor.
As for the declaration (in 70) that ‘in the event of no witnesses being available, women may be made witnesses,’—that refers to cases where they can be immediately questioned, and there is no possibility of their mind being tampered with by any person. When however there has been an interval of time, it is quite possible that they may be won over by the party whose case is weak and who is in fear of losing it. So that in such cases their evidence is not admissible at all.
But all of these verses contradict our perception and reality in an egalitarian, modern society where we see that women are successful and effective national leaders, judges, lawyers, police, scholars, scientists, doctors, athletes, etc. And we don't notice any significant difference between men and women in capability and competency in these things apart from physical sports, where there is accepted gender segregation.
Moreover, sociological and anthropological evidence do not show any significant biological differences between men and women apart from physical capability. And if there are biologically rooted differences in temperament, morality, etc. then these are very minute, and have been overridden through formal education and training which men and women today receive in equal measure.
I think that in ancient India, since women did not get formal and rigorous training like women today, their mental and physical capacities were underdeveloped.
My question is, what do modern acharyas say? Do they concur with this assessment?