Women In Imperial China

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Women are breaking down barriers in today’s society. Some are CEOs, doctors, councilwomen, scientists, lawyers, and businesswomen. They have rejected the norm that says that a woman’s only role is to tend to the home and be obedient to their husbands. Unfortunately, that has not always been the case. In Ancient history, women have more commonly been inferior to men. In earlier times, women were responsible for taking care of the home and being submissive to their husband. They often had little or no access to education or job opportunities. This is seen in countries like China and India. Although this tradition had become the norm in ancient history, not all women were subject to these restrictions. Some of them became important figures,…show more content…
In imperial China, women were inferior to men. According to the text, “with the rise of imperial bureaucracy and the increasing emphasis on filial piety, a more rigidly hierarchal, patriarchal model of proper women’s behavior gradually developed.” With men as the head of the family and as the most superior, women were restricted and had to follow more rules. During the same time, sons began to become more important than daughters in the Chinese family. Sons were said to “carry the ancestral line and their potential to win admission to official state service led to a gradual devaluing of daughters.” When times were hard economically, parents often had trouble taking care of multiple children. Thus, daughters were the ones to suffer first. Parents sometimes sold the young girls into prostitution and if they had infants, they were killed. Daughters also were considered ‘expendable”, meaning they would marry or be placed with another family through adoption or servitude. Women, whether they were young or old, were not respected. Young girls were not as valuable as young males. Women ultimately had no status. In other parts of China, the life of a woman was the complete…show more content…
The historian Ban Zhao (48-116 CE), women of the Shang, and women of the Zhou era are some examples. Ban Zhao was an elite woman that achieved prominence intellectual pursuits. Ban Zhao is considered the foremost woman scholar and teacher in Chinese history. “Yet only to teach men and not to teach women—is not ignoring the reciprocal relation between them?” is a quote from her book, Admonitions for Women. In China, men and women were said to have a reciprocal relationship. They were supposed to feel the same way about each other and value each other the same. Elite women of the Shang participated in political and military affairs. Fu Hao, one of Wu Ding’s 64 wives was one of the most prominent women in the Shang. She was buried with artifacts such as hundreds of bronze, jade, and bone ornaments, sacrificial skeletons of 16 people and six dogs. In Patterns of World History, that he inscriptions on oracle bones that were found in here tomb indicate that she had a “considerable amount of power and influence before she even became the wife of Wu Ding.” She owned and managed a family estate that was close to Shang’s capital of Yin. She was said to have been well educated in several areas and this knowledge would equip her for life in a palace. Unlike some women in China, Fu Hao had many leadership positions. She supervised and conducted religious rituals at work and during military expeditions. She also was her
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