Essay PreviewMore ↓
Traditionally, the family has been the most important unit of Chinese society, and holds true till today. Over the last couple of years or so, new definitions of women's roles have been formed as many Chinese women have received higher education, have joined the work force, begun to compete with men, and become financially independent.
Confucianism and the Communist movement greatly influenced the role of women and the family structure in China. Classical literature played an essential part in defining family and the Classical women. The Book of Changes illustrates the role of women and family through history. This book emphasized on a perfect society in which each person would wholeheartedly accept the parts assigned to them, devoting themselves to their responsibilities to others. Other literature glorifies and defines the ideal women, by stressing the main theme of submission. Throughout life, women were to follow the Three Submissions, which are as follows: observing filial piety in childhood, submitting to ones husband in marriage, and obeying ones son in widowhood.
With such notable exceptions as the old empress-dowager, women in traditional China were largely deprived of a public role, and certainly of a political one. The position of women in traditional China was based upon two considerations.
First, there was the masculine prejudice, which was common to most societies, which insists that a women's place is in the home and their contribution in is all respects secondary to that of the male. The second factor comes from the structure of a society, which depends so much upon family and clan. In traditional China, a woman married away from home and took up residence in her husband's house, normally under the eye of her parents-in-law. The function of marriage was basically to maintain the male lineage upon which the future depended, and a woman's status depended very considerably upon the sons she produced. Should she fail this duty, a principal wife could find herself supplemented by a concubine, in which there was no reason why the husband should decline the younger favorite.
In contrast, the definition of women's roles and family changed dramatically during the Communist Movement. The idea of communism was that of collectivism and equality. In this movement, religion was thought to be a numbing agent that only caused false hope; therefore many old rituals and Confucian ideas were somewhat dismissed and women became equal. The object of the movement was to promote women's participation in all aspects of social life.
How to Cite this Page
"Women in China." 123HelpMe.com. 15 Aug 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Throughout time, women have often been referred to as the inferior gender. In China, women have had to go through dire circumstances in order to look good in the public eye. From foot binding, to enduring abusive husbands, to becoming concubines in a prison-like house, women have been through hell in order to please their men, and, most importantly, to please their society. There are a series of double standards and contradictions to how men and women are treated, and this is shown in both Lu Xun and Qiu Jun’s essays as well as in the film, Raise the Red Lantern.... [tags: China, Inferior Gender, Pure, Chaste]
1099 words (3.1 pages)
- This essay will explore two types of marriages in China, the uxorilocal and minor marriage. In a Uxorilocal marriage, the man moves into the women’s household. Usually, the women’s family does not have a son and economically, it is necessary for him to help support them. Uxorilocal marriages are very uncommon and do not happen very often. In a minor marriage, the in-laws will adopt their future daughter-in-law at a young age and then she will marry her “foster brother”. As a small daughter in law, the family of the future husband adopts the girl they would like their son to marry as a child.... [tags: uxorilocal, minor marriage, patrilineal marriage]
1441 words (4.1 pages)
- Women’s Role in China "The emotional, sexual, and psychological stereotyping of females begins when the doctor says: 'It's a girl.'" -Shirley Chislom- Women have had changing roles in every society for centuries. Depending on the country, some women have had a harder time achieving equality. One of these countries is China. These women have faced such obstacles as foot binding to concubines. Until the twentieth century women were not considered equals in their society. Many cruel things were done to women in ancient china that are considered unfathomable in other countries.... [tags: Women Feminism Chinese Culture Essays]
1282 words (3.7 pages)
- Women in China Traditionally, the family has been the most important unit of Chinese society, and holds true till today. Over the last couple of years or so, new definitions of women's roles have been formed as many Chinese women have received higher education, have joined the work force, begun to compete with men, and become financially independent. Confucianism and the Communist movement greatly influenced the role of women and the family structure in China. Classical literature played an essential part in defining family and the Classical women.... [tags: Papers]
634 words (1.8 pages)
- Women In China During 'The Long Eighteenth Century'; During the 18th Century women in China continued to be subordinated and subjected to men. Their status was maintained by laws, official policies, cultural traditions, as well as philosophical concepts. The Confucian ideology of 'Thrice Following'; identified to whom a women must show allegiance and loyalty as she progressed throughout her life-cycle: as a daughter she was to follow her father, as a wife she was to follow her husband, and as a widow she was to follow her sons.... [tags: essays research papers]
1260 words (3.6 pages)
- Women in China at the beginning of the twentieth century China was suffering a great loss at the beginning of the twentieth century since half of its citizens were not able to contribute much to the country. The Chinese society at that time was male dominated, so though women comprised almost half of the total population, they had actually very little part to play in uplifting the country economically, socially and intellectually. Nevertheless, Chinese women should not be blamed for that. They had their own reasons for being so unproductive, which they later tried to overcome successfully.... [tags: essays research papers fc]
913 words (2.6 pages)
- Different cultures promote widely variant ideas of the proper role and place of women within a society but I am discussing women in China and America. Is there something significant in the similarities and differences on my list. The American women are totally different from the Chinese women. American women enjoy more personal freedom and independence than women in many other parts of the world. In many places in the world, women are expected to hold marriage and children as their primary goals and interest.... [tags: essays research papers]
413 words (1.2 pages)
- Despite the oppression women were subjected to in China, they still occasionally overcame it and accomplished something extraordinary. Some worked, and helped to earn the family living, some were extremely honorable in their efforts to uphold their chastity or their family's honor, and some accomplished even more influential feats. Fa Mu Lan trained for fifteen years in order to become a woman warrior. She became as strong as a man, but swifter and more graceful. After saving her father from the draft by dressing up as a man, she assembled an army.... [tags: Asian History]
968 words (2.8 pages)
- Regardless of location, revolutions have always had an effect on women's role in society and on themselves as well. Some Revolutions gave women more opportunities while others restricted them to domestic servants. During the Chinese revolution of 1949, women gained their greater rights and freedoms and joined various branches of the Women's National Salvation League, while education rights were given to city women it didn't spread countryside. In Iran, matters were taken in opposite directions in their revolution of 1979, where women had expected to receive equal opportunities and gender rights none were received.... [tags: Gender Studies]
491 words (1.4 pages)
- 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 wom... [tags: Asian History Historical Essays]
1374 words (3.9 pages)
Women in China today are otherwise known as "half the sky," (Yanfen, 2000), which is a popular saying indicating that women can make the same contribution to society as men, and enjoy the gender equality and social status assured them since the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949. In fact, China's Constitution guarantees gender equality. By the end of 1997, women accounted for 46.5 percent of the national workforce, one of the highest labor participation ratios in the world. Economic independence has also resulted in improved family status for women. They can marry a husband of their choice, is able to possess on inherit property, and can decide for themselves whether or not to have a child. Over the past half a century, the consciousness of gender equality has made a big impact on Chinese women today. They now have a higher sense of self-respect, self-confidence, self-improvement, and self-support. Despite the tremendous achievements throughout this past century, there is still much more that needs to be done. Women are still inferior to men in education, employment, and political participation especially in rural areas. With the new technological innovations, economic growth, and social progress, hopefully, Chinese women and men become entirely equal.
Compton's Living Encyclopedia. Chinese Cultural Studies: Women in China: Past and the Present. "Modern Chinese Society and the Family." 2000. April 2001.
De Crespigny. China this Century. "New Age, New Outlook." Oxford University Press. New York.1992. Pgs. 194-195
Gascoyne-Cecil, Lord William. "Changing China." D. Appleton & Company. New York. 1910. Pgs. 122-123
Li, Wen-lang. Changes in China -Party, State and Society. "Changing Status of Women in the PRC". University Press. New York. Volume 1. 1989. Pgs. 201-220.
The Republic of China 1998 Yearbook. Government Information Office. 1st Edition. 1998. Pgs. 322-326
Yanfen, Zhao, Mr. China 2000. "Women in China today; holding up "half the sky". http://www.china2thou.com9904p5.htm. April 1999. April 2001.