⌛ Womens Roles In East Asia

Wednesday, October 27, 2021 5:54:48 AM

Womens Roles In East Asia

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In later centuries this emphasis on the necessity of sons led many to be disappointed at the birth of a daughter. In the centuries after Confucius, it became common for writers to discuss gender in terms of yin and yang. Women were yin, 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, indeed all natural processes occur though processes of interaction of yin and yang. Conceptualizing the differences between men and women in terms of yin and yang stresses that these differences are part of the natural order of the universe, not part of the social institutions artificially created by human beings.

In yin yang theory the two forces complement each other but not in strictly equal ways. The natural relationship between yin and yang is the reason that men lead and women follow. If yin unnaturally gains the upper hand, order at both the cosmic and social level are endangered. Maintaining a physical separation between the worlds of men and the worlds of women was viewed as an important first step toward assuring that yin would not dominate yang. The Confucian classic the Book of Rites stressed the value of segregation even within the home; houses should be divided into an inner and an outer section, with the women staying in the inner part.

Han laws supported the authority of family heads over the other members of their families. The family head was generally the senior male, but if a man died before his sons were grown, his widow would serve as family head until they were of age. The law codes of the imperial period enforced monogamy and provided a variety of punishments for bigamy and for promoting a concubine to the status of wife. Men could divorce their wives on any of seven grounds, which included barrenness, jealousy, and talkativeness, but could do so only if there was a family for her to return to.

There were no grounds on which a woman could divorce her husband, but divorce by mutual agreement was possible. Much was written in Han times on the virtues women should cultivate. It also contained cautionary tales about scheming, jealous, and manipulative women who brought destruction to all around them. Another very influential book was written by Ban Zhao, a well-educated woman from a prominent family. Her Admonitions for Women urged girls to master the seven virtues appropriate to women: humility, resignation, subservience, self-abasement, obedience, cleanliness, and industry.

By the end of the Han period, the Confucian vocabulary for talking about women, their natures, their weaknesses, and their proper roles and virtues was largely established. The durability of these ways of thinking undoubtedly owes much to continuities in the family system, which from Han times on was patrilineal, patrilocal, and patriarchical, and allowed concubinage. Yet, because of the practice of concubinage, even if a wife bore sons, her standing could be undermined if her husband took concubines who also bore sons.

Thus, so long as the family system continued without major change, women would continue to resort to strategies that seemed petty or threatening to men, and not until a woman became a grandmother was she likely to see the interests of the family in the same way men in the family did. To most of those who left written record, however, the problem did not lie in the family system, but in moral lapses. Thus, moralists held up models of self-sacrificing women for emulation, women who adhered to principles of loyalty, chastity, and faithfulness, often at great personal cost. By Song times, historical sources are diverse enough to see that women undertook a wide range of activities never prescribed in Confucian didactic texts.

It is often said that the status of women began to decline in the Song period, just when Neo-Confucianism was gaining sway. Foot binding seems to have steadily spread during Song times, and explanations for it should be sought in Song circumstances, but widow chastity had very little specific connection to the Song, the idea predating the Song and the exaggerated emphasis on it developing much later. Mothers bound the feet of girls aged five to eight, using long strips of cloth. The goal was to keep their feet from growing and to bend the four smaller toes under to make the foot narrow and arched. Foot binding spread gradually during Song times but probably remained largely an elite practice. In later centuries, it became extremely common in north and central China, eventually spreading to all classes.

Women with bound feet were less mobile than women with natural feet, but only those who could afford servants bound their feet so tight that walking was difficult. By contrast, the idea of widow chastity was not new in Song times. By the early Qing period , the cult of widow chastity had gained a remarkably strong hold, especially in the educated class. Childless widows might even commit suicide. At the same time that widow chastity was becoming more prevalent, more and more women were learning to read and write.

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries a surprising number had their poetry published. Women with poetic talents figure prominently in the great eighteenth-century novel, The Dream of Red Mansions also called Story of the Stone. Although the male hero, Baoyu, is a young man of great sensitivity, several of his female cousins are even more talented as poets. The young unmarried women, however, may have been able to acquire literary educations as good as the boys, but they had even less control over their fates than he had. Foot binding, widow chastity, parental control of marriage, and concubinage have all been eliminated. To help build this large bureaucracy, many took the Civil Service Exam.

Chinese men would spend years learning the Chinese classics like The Analects by the famous Chinese philosopher Confucius. Based on their abilities, they would take a series of exams that would award them greater power and influence. A person who passed any one level of these exams entered a new social class: the scholar gentry. This approach to governing lasted until around ! The stability of the Tang and Song Dynasties allowed for the Chinese to economically develop.

A lot of this development was based on their new technologies, regional trade, and their growing dominance. Below are a series of new developments that helped the Chinese to have the strongest economy between Its rice allowed for multiple harvests per year. With more harvests came more food and, once it was imported to China, a growing population. China had an emerging artisan class. Japan, Korea, and Vietnam all paid China in money, food, materials, and even workers rather than have to go to war with the superpower! The social structure of China has been extremely stable since the Han Dynasty.

This is because it is very hierarchical. A hierarchy is a system in which people or groups are ranked according to their status. Part of this hierarchy is the fact that China is a patriarchal society where men dominate most systems of power. Though women were charged with raising the children, they rarely were given political or economic roles. This is exemplified in the process of foot binding. Much like modern-day cosmetics, foot binding was done to make women more desirable for men as well as a sign of wealth. A core society impacts the societies in its periphery. Much like how the US impacts nations around it and New York City impacts communities around it, China has had a long-lasting impact on the development of Japan, Korea, and Vietnam:.

This archipelago series of islands region has unique elements to it like the religion of Shintoism, stories like The Tale of Genji, and a unique feudal hierarchy. The Emperor and Shogun military leader would rule over various Daimyo landowners who would all hire Samurai to protect their land. The Samurai would practice a unique brand of chivalry called the Bushido Code. Though feudal and largely decentralized, Japan was able to develop its own unique society. Though Buddhism did spread to Japan, the Japanese government did not embrace the civil service system nor did the society accept Confucianism.

Korea has been the most influenced by China, adopting Confucianism, Buddhism, and the civil service system. However, the aristocracy in Korea did not allow for social mobility or true unity of the Korean peninsula. Vietnam has tried very hard to maintain its own independence from China. They do not have as a hierarchical society; rather life is dominated by villages and smaller nuclear families. Though Confucianism and Buddhism spread there, the impact of Confucianism is limited. Was this guide helpful?

By contrast, the idea of Womens Roles In East Asia chastity was not new in Song Womens Roles In East Asia. As overseas domestic workers, they have also been increasingly important to Womens Roles In East Asia economies, remitting large amounts of money The Astounding Examples Of Moral Courage In The Holocaust their families. Confucian doctrine justified a Womens Roles In East Asia status for women. Not so in Womens Roles In East Asia United States.

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