Roles Of Women In Confucian Society

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Confucian Literature in East Asia. Professor Kang
2nd Paper Peilin Su

Women in Confucian Society

The role of women in Confucian society was complex, it was characterized by its dualistic nature. On the one hand, women were traditionally considered inferior in compared to men. In the traditional Confucian ideology, the role of a women was strictly bound to domestic affairs. It correlated with man’s duty in society. They both symbolized virtue but with emphasis on different characteristics. Women were taught to be obedient, to be industrious, a woman’s self-value was demonstrated through her reputation which was determined by her husband’s family. However, there were some transformations that took place. By comparing and contrasting the two well-known books about women, Ban Zhao’s Lessons for Women, and The
Memoir of Lady Hyegyong. The comparison of these two works illustrates the twists and turns in the usage of Confucianism and how these changes benefited the women in Confucian societies.
Ban Zhao was the first widely known female Chinese historian, and one of the most

well-known female scholars in China. Unlike the vast majority of women of her time, Ban Zhao was extremely fortunate to receive literary education. In the first century, she wrote Lessons for Women. It was meant to advise her daughter on how to become a worthy women. Ban Zhao’s work contributed largely to the principle behavior of women and remained influential in China for thousands of years.
Ban Zhao
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