Family relations are the cornerstone on which Ban Zhao focuses most of her teachings. Not only is family paramount in Chinese culture, it is also the area where a woman could have the single greatest sphere of influence. Ban Zhao simply lists three things that a wife must do in order to be successful in marriage. They are, “be modest, complete her tasks, supe...
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...onsible for child raising, and therefore could have the greatest influence upon a young boy. She could mold and teach aspects that the boy would grow up to exhibit. Ban Zhao was the first to use Confucian teachings to explicitly relate them to female expectations and values. By doing so she helped to strengthen the foundation of Asian culture and also opened the door for women to begin to enter in to some of the historically male dominated arenas. Even in modern Asian society the effects of Ban Zhao’s writings can be felt. It is especially prevalent in the more rural areas where small, traditional family units are still prevalent. Perhaps as the world becomes more inter-connected some of these values will weaken. But for many, generations of culture will prevail and we will continue to see Confucian and Ban Zhao teachings in practice throughout Southeast Asia.
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