She is commonly referred to as an evil usurper due to the way she took power. However whether she fully deserves this reputation is to be examined. As the only female Chinese ruler, Wu challenged traditional gender roles and legitimized herself as a leader at a time when women were not meant for such positions. Empress Wu came to power through self-determination and a remarkable gift for politics. Once on the throne, she kept her power by all means necessary, often those means being murder and betrayal.
She was insistent on keeping her power in the Qing dynasty, to the point of (being suspected of) killing others. Though this seems despotic, recent reports say that she was just like any other ruler, and was blamed for events that would also have occurred under any other’s rule. Perhaps the saying she was in the wrong place at the wrong time could be applicable. Why does she get so much blame when many of the other emperors from other dynasties had similar faults (and even larger ones – their whole dynasties fell, Cixi helped perpetuate the Qing dynasty until her death – as tumultuous as it may have been)? One could argue that it was because she did not have the Mandate of Heaven since she was not traditionally supposed to have any power; or, because she was a woman.
Kazuko, Ono. "Chinese Women in a Century of Revolution, 1850-1950." edited by Joshua A. Fogel, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1989. Zheng, Wang. “Maoism, Feminism, and the UN Conference on Women: Women's Studies Research in Contemporary China.” Journal of Women's History 8, No.
This investigation will cover women’s participation in the Long March, the People’s Republic of China Constitution in 1949, Mao’s policies for foot binding, the 1950 Marriage Law, and women’s increased participation in society. I will analyze journal articles and books from Western and Asian authors to evaluate various historians’ views on Communists’ policies towards women and the effects they had on Communists’ rise to power. Kellee Tsai’s Women and the state in post-1949 rural China and John King Fairbank’s “The Great Chinese Revolution: 1800-1985” are two of the principle sources and will be evaluated. Part B: Summary of Evidence Women’s Participation in Long March Mao’s uprising in Hunan, known as the Long March, allowed women to participate in the movement as equal and important comrades (some women even abandoned their own new babies to continue marching), prompting them to participate in the revolution (Lewis 59). Paying attention to women’s problems and protecting their rights were important goals of the Communists to ensure that the women would stay enthusiastic for participating in the revolution (Hodes 225).
Published in 1928, 'The Diary of Miss Sophia', is a short novel, that converges on a diminutive period of a terminally ill young women's life, intricately focusing on the complexity of women during the early 1900's, through her relationships with other characters. The novel also explores the turmoil's of the young woman's country - China, through her unconventional pursuit of love. Written in first person, which was a way many May Fourth writers expressed individualism (K. Denton, 1998: 164), in diary format, the author, Ding Ling, aims to create an intermit relationship between the diary writer: Sophia, and the readers, and suggestively to provide a contextually rich piece of literature. Ding Ling, (born 1904, Hunan Province), became an activist from an early age (K. Howes, 1995: 89) and participated in the 1919 May Fourth revolution. During this year, Ling found an adoration for writing in collaboration with the Feminist concept and became one of the famous May Fourth generation writers (J. Mostow, 2003: 397), who had set about changing society through their written literature (M. Chen, 1997: 36).
Print. Zuo, Jiping. "Rethinking Family Patriarchy And Women's Positions In Presocialist China." Journal Of Marriage & Family 71.3 (2009): 542-557. Academic Search Premier.
Works Cited Bland, J. O. P., and E. Backhouse. China Under the Empress Dowager. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1914. Chung, Sue Fawn. “The Much Maligned Empress Dowager : A Revisionist Study of the Empress Dowager Tz’u-his.” Modern Asian Studies.
However, her charm caught the attention of the new emperor Taizong and Wu was called back to the palace, first as consort, and later as his empress, whereupon she held the title Zetian. After Taizong’s death in 649, Wu’s cunning allowed her to become the privileged wife of Taizong’s son and heir to the throne. Wu had been a concubine, an official mistress of Emperor Taizong. Concubines were extremely i... ... middle of paper ... ... that highlighted the High Tang era. Works Cited Carlton, Kelly.
“A Chinese Woman’s Response to Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior.” Melus 13.3/4 (1986): 103. Print.
Women's Freedom during China's Revolutionary Period During the revolutionary period in China from 1921 to 1934, although there were undercurrents of an actual feminist movement, according to Kay Ann Johnson in Women, the Family & Peasant Revolution in China, women’s progress resulted more as a necessity of the war than the leadership’s commitment to emancipate women. Furthermore, when tension arose between men and women, the leadership usually appeased men over women. By not discussing the mentality of the political parties and the dynamics of the war, Hughes and Hughes’ critique lacks an explanation of the underlying motives that drove these parties to sometimes support women and other times reject women’s interests. Hughes and Hughes explain that “male educators and members of the KMT now proclaimed Chinese women emancipated” (H&H 237). However, Johnson’s critique paints quite a different and more complex emancipation.