Essay about Women's Roles In China

915 Words4 Pages
Women in China at the beginning of the twentieth century China was suffering a great loss at the beginning of the twentieth century since half of its citizens were not able to contribute much to the country. The Chinese society at that time was male dominated, so though women comprised almost half of the total population, they had actually very little part to play in uplifting the country economically, socially and intellectually. Nevertheless, Chinese women should not be blamed for that. They had their own reasons for being so unproductive, which they later tried to overcome successfully. Firstly, they were "physically confined." This takes us back to the practice of foot binding in China, which was started early in the…show more content…
Even peasent women had to have their feet bound, so this meant while they were working in the fields, they basically had to crawl. Foot binding was not only for the sake of beauty, but it also served the purpose for the Chinese young girls to be restricted from going out of their houses. This practice lasted for about a thousand years. Thus this unhealthy practice prevented Chinese women from going beyond their homes and thus limited their freedom to gain knowledge from the outside world. Secondly, Chinese women were socially restricted. "Chastity for women was more valuable than life itself. The definition of chastity became ridiculously broad--to the extent that a girl was considered unclean if she happened to see a man’s sex organ when he urinated in the public place." Unless she married him she had to commit suicide to protect her reputation (Yao 106). "Moreover, women who were disowned by their husbands due to unfaithfulness and disobedience were deprived of employment, bearing remorse and disgrace for life" (Yao 79). Since these women had no other source of living as they were completely dependent on their men, suicide was the only alternative (Yao 79). More often the family made those decisions of suicide because that saved its name. So, there was a lot of pressure from the society which suppressed Chinese women’s hopes and desires to be equal to men
Open Document