Virtuous Women In Ancient China

1542 Words7 Pages
Chinese women suffer from the unfair notion for thousands of years. The basic requirements of being virtuous women are “Three Obediences and Four Virtues (三从四德)”. The “Three Obediences” were “obey your father before marriage (未嫁从父); obey your husband when married (既嫁从夫); and obey your sons in widowhood (夫死从子)”. And the “Four Virtues” were “Female virtues (妇德)”, “Female words (妇言)”, “Female appearances (妇容)” and “Female work (妇功)”. (Sun, 2015). The three obediences and four virtues occurred in ancient China society. It is a set of basic moral principle for women in Confucian. These instructions first appeared in the “Book of Etiquette and Ceremonial” and in the “Rites of Zhou.” (Kelleher, 2005) to describe traditional ceremonial and behavior.…show more content…
Yin-Yang theory is the Chinese symbol of creation that explained the binary opposition and the balance between two opposites. According to the terms of yin and yang, women were yin and men were yang. “Yin was soft, yielding, receptive, passive, reflective, and tranquil, whereas yang was hard, active, assertive, and dominating. Day and night, winter and summer, birth and death.” (Ebrey, 2010). Yin Yang theory emphasize the belief that women have to follow men and cannot make any decisions. Ancient society drives men to dominate and oppress every course of women life. Chinese men define a good wife as women who have cooking skills, good manners and tolerance for hardship. In addition a good wife has to be a good mother for their sons (Hays, 2008). Chinese women can make family proud of them if they have sons and be a good wife. Moreover, the influence of Confucianism obstructs ancient women right. The Three Obediences and the Four Virtues derived from Confucianism to control and tyrannize female. Confucianism classifies male and female’s proper role by heaven-ordained explanations more than two thousand years ago. (Hays, 2008). Confucianism is a way of life and philosophy created by Confucius (Kong Fuzi). The Three Obediences and Four Virtues still have an effect on modern Chinese society. Traditional Chinese society is polygamy family that men have…show more content…
They equally get the opportunity to study and work. However, according to the 2010 national census, the rate of employment for women between the ages of 20 and 59 in 1990 was 84.3 percent. In 2000, it had dropped to 79.5 percent, and in 2010, it was 73.6 percent. (Erdenebileg, 2016). The employment rate of women is continuously decreased. Furthermore, Chinese women have to face gender discrimination in workplaces. According to Zhaopin survey, the leadership positions were still dominated by men in China. About 72 percent participants had men as their direct supervisors, while only 28 percent had women as supervisors. The survey showed even women get opportunity to work but it is still hard to get promoted. Women apply for a job harder than men and confront with gender discrimination. The faith of ancestor’s instruction defeats women to make a better life and raise their social
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