As long as the student practiced, then understanding of Tao was possible. There was no restriction based on gender. There was no requirement that one come from a certain class. There was no stipulation that one have some mysterious talent. Young and old, rich and poor, any were welcome to follow Tao. But they had to make the effort. They had to purify themselves of bad habits and misconceptions. They had to work to acquire skill, so that they could not only help others, but live their lives in independence. That took a long time. It took practice.
The more you harmonize with Tao, the more easily you can go back to it. The more you apply the lessons of Tao to your daily situation, the more skillful you become in moving through the intricacies of life. All this is elevated by practice. Like a woman reeling silk, those who follow Tao constantly draw themselves into finer and finer levels of meaning.