Footbinding In China Summary

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According to the article “The Body as Attire: The Shifting Meanings of Footbinding in Seventeenth-Century China”, the writer claims that there is no neutral knowledge about footbinding because most footbinding in the past was colored by China’s search for a male identity under the harm of imperialism. The act of footbinding not only kept women in a hobbled and subservient domestic, but also rendered women to satisfy certain abnormal erotic fantasies of men. The article also talks about when and why footbinding appeared in China. It mentions that footbinding is kind of the signal of genteel status in early ancient time, and was promoted in the late Ming and prohibited during early Qing period. Footbinding was looked as an expression of Chinese…show more content…
“Encyclopedias routinely classified footbinding as clothing or bodily decoration.” The article said footbinding was an embellishment, because the females, except the servant girls, do not need to work, cook or even shopping. In ancient time, the only job for women was to serve their husband after they got married. Thus, when men want their wife to have small feet rather than regular feet, women begin to take the action of footbinding. It reveals that the status of women is far lower than male status in the history. Luckily, this situation is no longer appearing with the development of China. Thirdly, there is a point in the article that is worth to think about, “ That is to say, in the classical Chinese formulation, what signifies a body is its cosmological location, not physicality in itself.” The paragraph in the article detailed that ancient people did not realize the harm of footbinding to women. Footbinding was recorded as pressing a girl’s four toes toward the heel with cloth binders, and then bulging the foot into an arched shape, hence they could wear tight socks for a slender look. In conclude, the article “The Body as Attire: The Shifting Meanings of Footbinding in Seventeenth-Century China” gives a rounded analysis about footbinding, which includes how foot binding works and why footbinding is

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