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 ...
... middle of paper ...
... were used on the
Chinese women owned a paradoxical role in society because, although they were
restricted in education and society, women also were necessary and vital in making
society function correctly. While Chinese society initially held on and believed in the
traditional ways, roles, and customs, the government soon realized that this would not
work. Practices such as arranged marriages, concubinage, and footbinding, indicated a
flawed character and connected the women to the past. What is important to
understand about Chinese culture, is that it is not confined to the past 100 years. It
spans over thousands of years, and includes many good things along with the bad, as
with any civilization. The culture has grown and understands the mistakes and wrongs of
the past. China is gradually transforming itself into a better country.
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