From a feminist perspective, Empress Cixi can be considered a role model. In a society where women were not considered equals, Cixi became extremely influential, and controlled what many women today cannot. Though she could not truly take advantage of her power as openly as a man would have, she did not let her gender hinder her.
Cixi began as a concubine to the Xianfeng (Hsien-feng) Emperor, but when both his consort and his wife could not produce male heirs, he found hope in Cixi, who soon gave him a son. There are a ...
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...the Chinese people wanted – though, this could have been to keep her own position. Even if that is the case, she could have done what they did not want and keep her position using more violence than she actually used.
Carl, Katharine A. With the Empress Dowager of China. London: Nash, 1906.
Douglas Reynolds, China, 1898-1912: The Xinzheng Revolution and Japan. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993.
Sit, Tony. "The Life of Empress Cixi” (from Issue 10 of the China in Focus Magazine). Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding (SACU), 2001.
Warner, Marina. The Dragon Empress: Life and times of Tz'u-hsi, 1835-1908, Empress Dowager of China. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1972.
"Historical Opinions on Empress Dowager Cixi." History - China Culture.
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