Women in Chinses History

Powerful Essays
Women in Chinese History

Although there have been women in China that have held positions of power and even lead in prominent positions, the history of the Chinese civilization has been one of male dominance. “Unfortunately, no level of leadership, education or social prominence for women has changed the patriarchal nature of traditional Chinese society (Perry 279).” Women in Chinese society are still considered to be a possession of the man or are looked upon as servants. Because they are seen in this manner, except for a few, women have not been able to contribute spiritually, politically or scientifically to Chinese society. It is to say almost for certain that women being constrained in this manner has prevented China from advancing to its full potential. The morale of a suppressive society is not one that encourages imagination, exploration or advancement. Although the Chinese in general are an efficient people, they have not continued their at one time rapid advances in technology. This is partly due to the fact that women have so often been kept to the side and unable to be involved in the same aspect as men are. Some may argue that the women influence in the home as a caregiver would have somewhat of an impact on their value and importance. However, in Chinese and many other societies, “homemaker” is thought to be the only role for women and not considered to be one of great value. It is not surprising that after thousands of years, the transformation of the Chinese society still reflects the patriarchal history of traditional China and the defining characteristics that define women in a submissive role to men. This paper will examine the attitudes and feelings toward women, give examples of women in leadership positions throughout the history of China, discuss their inability to bring forth change to the patriarchal society and the modern day status of women.

Since as early as the 7th century BC, gender inequality in China has been an on going problem from before the birth of a child until after its death. The "We want a boy" mentality still exists today in Chinese thinking when it comes to young couples planning to start a family. What's even worse is that it is reinforced by nonsensical family traditions in a nation where filial piety often dictates family decisions. Parents usually desired sons in order to make familial propagation, sec...

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...chievement. The beliefs that have been engraved into the Chinese society for centuries will not easily be changed, but remembering that girls were once considered useless, brings to light the true strides that have advanced Chinese society in the form of legal recognition. Securing the equality of women and men, in law and in fact, is the great political project of the 21st century.

Works Cited “Medical Research Team Finds Higher Suicide Rate Among

Women.” China Daily. 4/April/2002 Beijing Time. “Women a Rising Force in China’s Politics”

People's Daily Online

Mann, Susan. Precious Records. California: Stanford University Press, 1997

Mote, Frederick W. Imperial China 900-1800. USA: Harvard University Press, 2000

Perry, Susan. Holding Up Half the Sky-Women in China. Current History

September, 1998. Pp 279 Pruitt, Idaho.

Spence, Jonathan D. The Search for Modern China. USA: Maple-Vail, 1990
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