Women in china in 19th & 20th centuries



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WOMEN IN CHINA IN 19TH & 20TH CENTURIES
BACKGROUND TO WOMEN IN CHINA IN MODERN CENTURIES

GENERAL REMARKS

MUCH OF STUDIES DONE ON WOMEN DOVETAIL WITH FAMILY STUDIES

THESE AREAS HISTORICAL RESEARCH ONLY IN INFANCY

SCHOLARS DID THINK CHINESE EXPERIENCE UNIQUE COMPARED TO REST OF EUROPE

NOW SAY EUROPE IS EXCEPTION TO REST OF WORLD

DIFFERENCES

AFTER FALL OF ROME

EUROPE DEVELOPED FAMILY & MARRIAGE SYSTEM UNLIKE OTHERS

CATHOLIC CHURCH OUTLAWED ROMAN PRACTICES OF

CONCUBINAGE

ADOPTION OF HEIRS

MARRIAGE OF COUSINS

ALL TO CONTINUING FAMILY LINE

& PRESERVING ITS PROPERTY

AFTER SEVERAL CENTURIES OF STRUGGLE

CHURCH SUCCESSFUL IN FORGING NEW SYSTEM OF MARRIAGE & FAMILY CUSTOMS

LATER PROTESTANT REFORMATION, MODERN STATE & INDUSTRIALIZATION

HAD MAJOR CONSEQUENCES ON FAMILY

WHEREAS IN ASIA CONTINUITY OF CUSTOMS STATIC UNTIL RECENT TIMES

WOMEN IN EMPOWERING & DENIGRATING ROLES

FEMALE SHAMANS IMPORTANT PART OF EARLY SOCIETY

BUT FEMALE SHAMANS NOT AS IMPORTANT AS IN KOREA & JAPAN

FEMALE SHAMANS ALONE COULD PREDICT, PROPHESY & MEDIATE

BETWEEN THIS WORLD & OTHERS

BECAUSE OF CHINESE STRONG ANCESTOR WORSHIP SHAMANS PLAYED MAJOR ROLE IN ANCESTOR WORSHIP

FOLK TRADITION STIGMATIZED WOMEN FOR THEIR ASSOCIATION WITH VARIOUS POLLUTING ELEMENTS

MENSTRUAL BLOOD

POSTPARTUM DISCHARGE

SEXUAL ACTIVITY

ALL 3 SEEN AS EVIDENCE OF POWER OF WOMEN FOR GOOD OR EVIL

INFLUENCE OF CONFUCIUS

FEW INTELLECTUAL TRADITIONS IN WORLD HISTORY MORE INFLUENTIAL ON WOMEN THAN CONFUCIUISM

WOMEN LACKED RATIONALITY & INTELLECTUAL ABILITY

PROVERB IF YOUR OLD COAT WEARS OUT DON'T YOU GET A NEW ONE - ALLUSION TO NEEDING NEW WIFE

CONSTRUCT OF CONFUCIAN FAMILY SYSTEM GUARANTEED CONFLICT AMONG WOMEN AS CONSTANT

GAINS OF EACH WOMAN ALWAYS CAME AT EXPENSE OF ANOTHER

INFLUENCE OF BUDDHISM & TAOISM ON WOMEN

CHINESE TAOISM SAW WOMEN PLAY CENTRAL & HONORED ROLES

HSI HUANG MU = QUEEN MOTHER OF THE WEST

MEDIEVAL TAOISTS CONSIDERED QUEEN MOTHER EMBODIMENT OF ULTIMATE YIN

DARK FEMALE FORCE

TAOISTS BELIEVED THAT ALONG WITH HIGH DEITIES OF TAOISM SHE CREATED WORLD

CONTINUED TO MAINTAIN C OSMIC HARMONY

AS RULER QUEEN MOTHER OF WEST CONTROLLED

CREATION

TRANSCENDENCE

DIVINE PASSION

AS MOTHER SHE MOTHER, TEACHER & LOVER

QUEEN MOTHER'S FOLLOWERS PASS OVER HER ROLE IN CREATION

THEY SEE IT AS AUTOMATIC & INEVITABLE

SO THEY EMPHASIZE TRANSCENDENCE & DIVINE PASSION

DIVINE PASSION IS DESIRE OF DEITIES & HUMANS FOR MUTUAL UNION & COMMUNICATION

1 MEANS TO TRANSCENDENCE WAS MARRIAGE WITH DEITY OF OPPOSITE SEX

QUEEN MOTHER OF WEST'S NURTURING SIDE PROTECTS WOMEN

ESPECIALLY ONES WHO DO NOT FIT INTO TRADITIONAL FAMILY PATTERNS

DANCERS, PROSTITUTES, TAOIST NUNS

QUEEN MOTHER NOT ADVOCATE OF CONFUCIAN FAMILY ROLES FOR CHINESE WOMEN

SHE IS NEVER MENTIONED AS GRANTER OF CHILDREN

HSI WANG MU LEGITIMIZES ALTERATIVE PATHS

SHE EMBODIES MODEL OF WOMEN AS DYNAMIC & CREATIVE, INDEPENDENT FORCES

BODHISATTVA - KUAN YIN

PROBABLY MOST BELOVED GODDESS OF CHINA & JAPAN

COMPASSIONATE SAVIOURESS OF EAST

THROUGHOUT ORIENT ALTARS DEDICATED TO MOTHER OF MERCY

FOUND IN TEMPLES, HOMES, WAYSIDE GROTTOES

EVEN IN SHOPS, RESTAURANTS,

PRAYERS TO HER PRESENCE & HER FLAME INCESSANTLY ON LIPS OF DEVOTEES

AS THEY SEEK HER GUIDANCE & SUCCOR IN EVERY AREA OF LIFE

HER BEAUTY, GRACE & COMPASSION HAVE COME TO REPRESENT IDEAL OF WOMANHOOD IN EAST

TODAY SHE IS WORSHIPPED BY TAOISTS AS WELL AS MAHAYAN BUDDHISTS

ESPECIALLY IN

TAIWAN

JAPAN


KOREA

CHINA


BUDDHISM BROUGHT MIXED RESULTS TO WOMEN

PARTLY BECAUSE NO SINGLE BUDDHIST IDEOLOGY RELATES TO WOMEN

PARTLY BECAUSE BUDDHISM INFLUENCED & INFLUENCED BY NATIVE TRADITIONS

BUT IN MANY BUDDHIST TEXTS & TEACHINGS WOMEN CAME TO SYMBOLIZE ALL THAT MUT BE TRANSCENDED IN ODER TO ACHIEVE ENLIGHTENMENT

IT IS OFTEN NOT SIMPLY CASE OF TRAGEDY OF BEING BORN WOMAN

ALMOST ALWAYS RESULT OF BAD KARMA

IN JAPAN PURE LAND BUDDHISM HAS POWERFUL MEDIEVAL STUDY SHOWING THIS MISOGYNY

IN BOTH CONFUCIAN AND BUDDHIST IDEALOGIES CONTRIBUTED INSTRUMENTALLY TO EXCLUSION OF WOMEN FROM PUBLIC ROLES

FOR WOMEN TO ASSUME AFFAIRS OF STATE CONFUCIUS SAID LIKE A HEN CROWING

MARRIAGES REGARDING WOMEN THROUGHOUT PAST IN CHINA

TRADITIONALLY CHINESE MARRIED YOUNG

MARRIED COUPLE USUALLY STAYED IN HIS PARENTS' HOME

WIVES UNDER AUTHORITY OF MOTHER-IN-LAWS

SO HUSBAND'S FAMILY SIGNIFICANT

SENIOR GENERATION SET TONE IN

CHILD-REARING PRACTICES

RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES

ECONOMIC STRUCTURE

ALL THIS ESPECIALLY TRUE IN RURAL AREAS

WHERE MORE THAN 80% LIVE

VILLAGE EXOGAMY USUAL PRACTICE

IMPERIALISM, REFORM & REVOLUTIONARY PERIODS 1850-1911 IN CHINA, JAPAN, KOREA

INTRODUCTION

IMPERIALISM - SPECIAL CHALLENGES TO WOMEN

CHANGED NATURE OF PRODUCTIVE WORK WOMEN DID

OFTEN IMMEASURABLY WORSENED WORKING CONDITIONS

ASIAN WOMEN SINGLED OUT AS SYMBOLS OF ASIAN BACKWARDNESS & BARBARITY

BY WESTERN DIPLOMATS, TRADERS & MISSIONARIES

THEN LATER TRIED TO TAKE CREDIT FOR CREATION OF FEMINIST TRADITIONS IN THESE COUNTRIES

MISSION SCHOOLS OFFERED CHALLENGING CURRICULA TO SOME URBAN WOMEN

BUT DEMANDED LOYALTY TO BRAND X OF CHRISTIANITY AS PRICE OF ADMISSION

AS MUCH REFORM FOCUSED ON FAMILY

WOMEN CAUGHT IN MIDDLE BETWEEN ADVANCES FOR WOMEN AND WOMEN'S TRADITIONAL VIEWS OF WOMEN'S ROLES

SOME NATIONALISM, WOMEN'S LIBERATION (TERM USED MUCH IN SE ASIA) & REVOLUTION ALL CAME TOGETHER

SO JUST LIKE IN EUROPE 19TH AND EARLY 20TH C TIME FOR CHANGE FOR WOMEN ALSO TRUE OF SE ASIA

BUT WITH ADDED IMPEDIMENT OF IMPERIALISM

CHINA

ATTEMPTED CONFUCIAN REVIVAL IN LATE 19TH C.



SAW CHINESE MALE REFORMERS LIKE K'ANG YU-WEI WANT FOR WOMEN

END TO FOOTBINDING

REVIVED CONFUCIANISM TO EDUCATE WOMEN LARGELY BECAUSE WOULD BE MOTHERS OF FUTURE GENERATIONS

SHADES OF REPUBLICAN WOMANHOOD

BUT EDUCATED CHINESE WOMEN

FROM UNPOPULAR MISSIONS SCHOOLS

OR NEWLY FOUNDED GENTRY & STATE SCHOOLS

EMERGED AS OPPONENTS OF CONFUCIAN REFORMISM

EDUCATED WOMEN CHANGED THEIR ANGER AT FAMILY SYSTEM

& DESIRE FOR VISIBLE FUTURE ROLES IN ANTI-MANCHU MOVEMENT

WOMEN'S SCHOOLS BECOMING CENTERS OF REPUBLICAN REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT

FEMINISM & NATIONALISM IN CHINA

CONNECTION BETWEEN FEMINISM & NATIONALISM DEVELOPED NATURALLY

PERHAPS BECAUSE IMPOSSIBLE TO THINK ABOUT NEW SOCIETY

IN WHICH WOMEN COULD PLAY EXPANDED ROLES

W/O FIRST RESCUING NATION FROM IMPERIALISM & FUTILITY OF MANCHU RULE

WOMEN OF TAIPING REBELLION 1859-64

YOUR TEXT HUGHES COVERS

DISCUSS TAPING REBELLION

WOMEN FIGHTING AS SOLDIERS IN BATTLE

WOMEN WORKED IN FIELDS AS TOO POOR SO MEN WORKED IN CITIES

SO COULD NOT BIND FEET AS COULD NOT AFFORD DOWRY

SO MARRIED FOR LOVE

TALKS OF PSEUDO CHRISTIAN & TRADITIONAL CHINESE RELIGIOUS

EMPHASIZED EQUALITY OF MEN & WOMEN

WHOLE FAMILIES SOLD THEIR FARMS PUT MONEY INTO REBELLION'S COMMON TREASURY

LATER WOMEN IN REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT

WILLING TO GIVE THEIR LIVES TO SAVE CHINA

AT SAME TIME SAVING THEMSELVES & OTHER WOMEN FROM OLD FATE

ONE OF BEST EXAMPLES OF THIS TENDENCY CH'IU CHIN (1875-1907)

CH'IU CHIN

BROUGHT UP IN GENTRY FAMILY BY MOTHER

WHO ALLOWED HER TO BECOME STRONG & INDEPENDENT ENOUGH TO DEFY CONVENTION

CH'IU DID NOT MARRY UNTIL RELATIVELY LATE

ULTIMATELY LEFT HER HUSBAND & 2 CHILDREN

TO JOIN CHINESE STUDENTS IN JAPAN IN 1904

WITH CONTINUING SUPPORT MONETARILY & EMOTIONALLY OF HER MOTHER

SHE CONTINUED ON AN IDEOLOGICAL ODYSSEY

THAT LED BACK TO CHINA & REPUBLICAN MOVEMENT

SHE ARRESTED AS PART OF ARMED ANTI-MANCHU STRUGGLE IN 1907

TORTURED BUT REFUSED TO TALK

EXECUTED BY REGIONAL AUTHORITIES 1907

MODEL OF SELF-SACRIFICING HERO SHE SO MUCH ADMIRED IN CHINESE HISTORY

MYTHIC CHARACTER OF HER LIFE HAS MUCH TO DO WITH HER UNUSUAL BEHAVIOR

AFTER RETURNING FROM JAPAN

CHIU RECRUITED STUDENTS TO ANTI-MANCHU CAUSE

SHE BEHAVED WITH DELIBERATE ICONOCLASM

A ONE-TIME STUDENT AT SCHOOL REMEMBERS SHE OFTEN WORE MAN'S LONG GOWN & BLACK LEATHER SHOES

SHE COMBED HER HAIR BACK INTO QUEUE

EVEN MORE SCANDALOUS SHE RODE HORSEBACK ASTRIDE

SHE ORDERED GIRLS TO PRACTICE MILITARY DRILLS

WHEN ASKED WHY SHE DRESSED LIKE A MAN SHE REPLIED

MY AIM IS TO DRESS LIKE A MAN. AS YOUR HUSBAND WELL KNOWS, IN CHINA MEN ARE STRONG, AND WOMEN ARE OPPRESSED BECAUSE THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE WEAK

LATER COMMENTATORS WANTED TO PLACE HER IN A NICHE

WAS SHE A NATIONALIST OR FEMINIST?

BUT PROBABLY SALIENT FACT OF HER LIFE SHE MAY HAVE BEEN UNLIKE OTHER WOMEN

SHE LIVED AT MOMENT IN TIME THAT ALLOWED HER TO COMBINE

ANTI-IMPERIALIST

ANTI-MANCHU

ANTI-CONFUCIAN

FEMINIST CONVICTIONS

OTHER CHINESE WOMEN REVOLUTIONARIES

MANY WOMEN TOOK ON DANGEROUS ASSIGNMENTS ON BEHALF OF REPUBLICAN REVOLUTION

SOPHIA CHANG

STUDENT IN JAPAN BORROWED NAME SOPHIA FROM CELEBRATED RUSSIAN REVOLUTIONARY SOPHIA PEROVSKAYA (WHO ASSASSINATED TSAR)

SOUMAY CHENG

MEMBER OF "DARE TO DIE" CORPS

WHO TRANSPORTED EXPLOSIVE DEVICES IN SUITCASE & LINING OF HER COAT

COUNTLESS OTHER WOMEN ORGANIZED THEMSELVES INTO BATTALIONS WITH NAMES SUCH AS

THE WOMEN'S SUICIDE BRIGADE

WOMEN'S NATIONAL ARMY

ZHEJIANG WOMEN'S ARMY

LAST OF MANCHUS RULING OF CHINA

BACKGROUND TO TZU HSI

IN 1860 200 YR OLD QING OR MANCHU DYNASTY IN CHINA

APPEARED ON VERGE OF COLLAPSE

EFFORTS TO REPEL FOREIGNERS HAD FAILED

REBELLION & CHAOS WHACKED COUNTRY

PARALLEL MOVEMENT TOWARD DOMESTIC REFORM & LIMITED COOPERATION WITH WEST

COLLAPSED UNDER BLOWS OF JAPANESE IMPERIALISM

SINO-JAPANESE WAR OF 1894-1895

SOME MODERNIZERS SAW SALVATION IN WESTERN INSTITUTIONS

IN 1898 GOVT LAUNCHED DESPERATE 100 DAYS OF REFORM

IN ATTEMPT TO MEET FOREIGN CHALLENGE

RADICAL REFORMERS SUCH AS SUN YAT-SEN

WHO CAME FROM PEASANTRY

EDUCATED IN HAWAII BY CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES

SOUGHT TO OVERTHROW QING DYNASTY ALTOGETHER & ESTABLISH REPUBLIC

ON OTHER SIDE SOME TRADITIONALISTS TURNED BACK TOWARD

ANCIENT PRACTICES

POLITICAL CONSERVATISM

FANATICAL HATRED OF FOREIGN DEVILS

EMPRESS TZU HSI OR TSH HSI (1835-1908)

CONSERVATIVE LEADER OF TRADITIONAL CHINA

1 OF MOST FORMIDABLE WOMEN IN MODERN HISTORY

FAMED FOR HER BEAUTY & CHARM

SHE EITHER GREAT FRIEND OR TERRIBLE ENEMY

ROSE FROM MIDDLE CLASS FAMILY TO DOWAGER EMPRESS

AFFECTING CHINESE LIFE FOREVER

ROSE FROM LOW-RANKING CONCUBINE OF EMPEROR HS'EN FENG AT AGE 17 TO HIGH STATUS WHEN SHE BORE HIS ONLY SON

GIVEN NAME TSU HSI

MEANS KINDLY & VIRTUOUS

HER COURT NAME

WHEN HE DIED HER SON SUCCEEDED

EVERY DECREE HAD TO BE APPROVED BY HER

SHE REALLY RULED CHINA

CALLED DOWAGER EMPRESS

COMBINED SHREWD INSIGHT WITH VIGOROUS ACTION TO REVITALIZE BUREAUCRACY

SHE EXERTED HERSELF INTO STATE AFFAIRS

SHE REFUSED TO GIVE UP HER REGENCY EVEN WHEN HER SON CAME OF AGE

SHE USED STATE FUNDS TO BUILD HERSELF PALACE

SOLD POSTS & PROMOTIONS

SUCH ACTS RESENTED BY SOME

PARTICULARLY AFTER CHINESE DEFEATED BY JAPANESE IN 1890'S

UNDER HER REIGN WESTERN POWERS FORCEFULLY INCREASED THEIR PRESENCE IN CHINA

AFTER SUPPRESSION OF ANTI-WEST BOXER REBELLION, SHE BEGAN POLICY OF APPEASEMENT

ALLOWING REFORMS & MODERNIZATION OF GOVERNMENT

EXAMPLE OF REFORMS

OUTLAWS SLICING

PRACTICE OF KILLING PEOPLE WITH THOUSANDS OF SMALL CUTS

SHE EVEN PROMISED CONSTITUTION & REPRESENTATIVE GOVT

BUT TOO LITTLE TOO LATE

REALLY LAST OF MANCHU RULERS AS BOY SHE PICKED NEVER GOT TO ACTUALLY RULE LIKE SHE DID

3 YEAR OLD NEPHEW PU YI

SOURCE OF HOLLYWOOD MOVIE THE LAST EMPEROR

WHEN SHE DIED AT AGE 72

SHE BURIED IN SPLENDOR COVERED IN DIAMONDS

MARRIAGE & FAMILY CUSTOMS AFFECTING WOMEN

PEASANTS VIEWS OF DAUGHTERS

EXCESS BAGGAGE

HISTORICALLY TRUE THEN & NOW

RECENT YEARS PATRILOCAL RESIDENCE

SINGLED OUT AS MAJOR REASON FOR WOMEN'S CONTINUING OPPRESSION

SINCE MAO (1949)

COMMUNISTS VOWED TO END MISTREATMENT OF WOMEN

BUT DEEPLY ROOTED CUSTOMS OF FOLLOWING LONG DURATION

FOOD BINDING

FEMALE INFANTICIDE

SELLING OF GIRLS FOR

SERVANTS

PROSTITUTION

THESE HAVE PROVED RESISTANT TO CHANGE

EVEN WHEN NEW LAWS STATE OTHERWISE

WOMEN NOW FREE TO ENTER LABOR FORCE

MANY TALENTED & COURAGEOUS WOMEN CONTRIBUTED TO SUCCESS OF COMMUNIST REVOLUTION

BUT MOST LEADERSHIP SLOTS STILL RESERVED FOR MEN

SON IS STILL GENERALLY MORE DESIRED THAN DAUGHTERS

PREFERENCE FOR SONS EXPRESSED MANY WAYS

BOYS BETTER EDUCATED THAN GIRLS

ESPECIALLY IN RURAL AREAS TODAY

AS DAUGHTER'S MARRIAGE WILL NOT CONTRIBUTE TO HER NATAL FAMILY

SONS OFTEN GIVEN

BETTER FOOD

CLOTHING

HEALTH CARE

CONTINUING PRACTICE OF FEMALE INFANTICIDE

& MARKETS IN WOMEN PROSTITUTES TESTIFYING TO EXPENDABILITY OF DAUGHTERS

MARRIED WOMAN COULD BE

TRICKED

PAWNED


KIDNAPPED

BY HER HUSBAND INTO PROSTITUTION

MARRIAGES

LEGISLATIVE ENACTMENTS HAVE FAILED TO STAMP OUT PRACTICES OF

WIFE BEATING

FORCED MARRIAGE

SALE OF BRIDES

MUCH HERALDED MARRIAGE LAW OF 1950

GAVE WIVES AS WELL AS HUSBANDS RIGHT TO DIVORCE

WITHIN YEAR NEARLY 1 MILLION WOMEN GOT DIVORCE

IMPRESSIVE EVIDENCE OF LACK OF DOMESTIC TRANQUILITY

TRADITIONALLY CHINESE MARRIED YOUNG

MARRIED COUPLE USUALLY STAYED IN HIS PARENTS' HOME

WIVES UNDER AUTHORITY OF MOTHER-IN-LAWS

SO HUSBAND'S FAMILY SIGNIFICANT

SENIOR GENERATION SET TONE IN

CHILD-REARING PRACTICES

RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES

ECONOMIC STRUCTURE

ALL THIS ESPECIALLY TRUE IN RURAL AREAS

WHERE MORE THAN 80% LIVE

VILLAGE EXOGAMY USUAL PRACTICE





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