The Role Of Chinese Women Essay

2219 words - 9 pages

The Role of Chinese Women


China, located in East Asia, is the third largest country by area and the largest
country by population in the world. While China has one-fifth of the world’s total
population, and it also has one of the earliest civilizations, dating back to some 5000
years ago. China is often distinguished for its technological advances and intelligence,
but in the early 20th century, Chinese society was far from perfect. The women in China,
lived a slow and difficult life, bound by tradition and obedience. Women had to bind their
feet at birth or face adversity throughout their entire lives. Footbinding was a painful
process that allowed women to be thought of as beautiful and a good future wife.
However, their roles in society soon changed, with the invading Communism. Women soon
received the same treatment and the respect Chinese men had because of Western
ideas and influence.
Chinese women suffered pain and heartache their entire lives. From the moment
a woman was born, she was considered nothing, she was unimportant.1 Sons were all
that mattered because the family name would live in them, while a daughter would be
married off and take on the duties for their in-laws. A woman earned little respect from
her family. For example, when a son born was born, the umbilical cord was saved in a jar.
However, if a daughter was born, her umbilical cord was buried outside because she left
and married off when coming to age and there was no need to save the umbilical cord of
a guest.2 They were mostly uneducated and played out the role of a servant or slave.
They did everything: they washed, knitted, and were required to serve our marital
duties.3 In dealing with the challenges that women faced, one primary fact becomes
apparent- a woman rarely had a free day without chores or problems. Unborn while inside
the womb, a girl baby faced the possibility of being aborted because there was no time, or
money, to care for her.4 Each day she lived she was forced to complete so many chores
that she became tired out when the day was over. Along with basic necessities such as
bathing and eating a women served their families, cooked all the meals, cleaned all by
themselves, and then worked the humid fields.5 It was nearly impossible for women to
leave the family and make something out of themselves because they had very little
education. They were required to leave when the boys were studying or asked to copy
some words out of a book, when the tutor was free.6 Although they were given some
money for groceries and other supplies, women could not spend cash freely, without a
man’s permission.7 In addition, when their husbands brought home a concubine, a
mistress or prostitute, there was no scene of jealously, unacceptance, or animosity. If
these feelings were displayed, the women were shamed and this was a way for the male
to request for a divorce.8 Death, a time for release and independence, was not such a
time...

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