Anything men can do, women can do better. No one in Chinese history could have represented this infamous quote better than Empress Wu. Wu Zetian became a significant figure in world history for many reasons, good and bad. Foremost, she is known to be the first and only female emperor in Chinese history, maintaining her rule over the country for nearly half a century. During that time period, women were not usually permitted to become emperor, let alone have any position in politics, yet Wu Zetian still managed to obtain the roll. Empress Wu, as not only a ruler but a leader, was extraordinary. She improved the lives of her people by providing China with a powerful and stable centralized government and advancing the political system with the addition of skillful bureaucrats. The power she was able to hold and the authority she exemplified changed Chinese history and is set as an inspiration for other aspiring women.
In this paper, the secondary sources chosen introduce the female ruler of China, Wu Zetian. These sources include 2 books and 3 scholarly articles on this significant historical figure. The first source is an article from the Journal of Asian Culture, called “Echo and Shadow: Images of Women in Traditional China,” written by Eugene Eoyang. It presents important women in Chinese history, dating back to circa 90 A.D. The article argues that behind the common facts about Chinese women being inferior to men, they have accomplished much more than it seems. One of the