For a country which has thousands of years of history, China, like majority society in the world, still remains some kind of patriarchy and it is continuously affecting the gender roles in China and all around the world. As a person who born and raise in China, I evidenced how gender roles alter with the development of China.
Gender Roles in Early China (From Han Dynasty to Republic of China)
There is no doubt that males have a very dominant social status in China, and this phenomena is even more evident in early period of China due to the strictly hierarchical from of society which is highly influenced by Confucianism (Richey). Confucianism has a very specific ethical structure and rules, such as “subordinates should serve and be loyal to supervisors (or emperors); children should serve and be loyal to parents; wives should be loyal and serve husbands”, which is called “San Gang (Three Cardinal Guides)” and followed by ancient people for hundred of years. In a meantime, women in ancient China cannot participate in election, nor involve political activities—their main job is taking care of their husbands and children, doing housework and cook for their family (Huang, Anderulis and Chen).
There are other means to restrict women: binding feet is also one of the popular Confucian ways to control and dominate women in ancient China, because such inhumane action can reduce women’s mobility therefore they can be more loyal to their husbands.
Hence, the social status of women in ancient China is extremely inferior and such “philosophy” still influences present Chinese gender roles.
Gender Roles in People’s Republic of China (Form 1949-Present)
Gender roles also changed for multiple times since the establishment of People’s Republic of China, because of numerous revolutions, campaigns and policies, which are keeping pushing the equality of gender roles. During the period of Culture Revolution (1966-1976), the government started a campaign “Destroy the Four Olds and Cultivate the Four News”, which intended to eliminate the superstition, old thoughts, customs and habits, including Male Chauvinism, Confucianism and its perspectives of gender roles. Furthermore, the leader of Revolution Mao Zedong also supported women activism, and his word “Women hold up half the sky” and “Times have changed, and today men and women are equal. Whatever men comrades can accomplish, women comrades can too” are still mentioned by feminists (Keshena).
Although the traditional culture was devastated severely, however, since then, the social status of women starts promoting greatly in China.
One-Child Policy in China
However, there is still a long way to go for gender equality in a patriarchal society. Having a male child is still being considered an honor than having a female child in traditional Chinese family, because the male has been considered has more dominant strengths in society and can succeed fathers industry.
In addition, the word “Marry” has two different words and...