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Chinese Culture: Discussing the Unethical Practice of Footbinding - Research Paper Example

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The author examines the process of the practice of footbinding which represented an unethical and tortuous attempt to supplicate women within ancient Chinese society, restrain feminine freedoms, and relegate female value to a sexual object existing for the purpose of pleasing men…
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Chinese Culture: Discussing the Unethical Practice of Footbinding
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Download file to see previous pages Once such ethically questionable practices were born in ancient times is the traditional practice of ancient China’s Footbinding, which is then tightly wrapping of the feet of women to force them to remain small and shaped in a specific way. The process of footbinding is lifelong and results in a lifetime of discomfort, disability, and disfigurement. The practice of footbinding represented an unethical and tortuous attempt to supplicate women within ancient Chinese society, restrain feminine freedoms, and relegate female value to a sexual object existing for the purpose of pleasing men.

The historical origins of footbinding can be traced back to the Sung Dynasty who ruled ancient China between the years 960 and 1279. Why it developed still remains unclear to most scholars. However, there are two folk stories that are often credited with inspiring the practice of footbinding that would essentially cripple 1000s of women over generations. The first story speaks of a Shang Empress who had been born with severely clubbed feet. In tribute and to be like their Empress Chinese women began binding their feet to imitate the Empress’s condition. However, historians today discount this theory because the Shang Empress they were referring to was not even born until after several generations after the practice had begun. Another tale seems to be more agreeable and fits better historically. An Emperor, Li Yu, was fascinated by concubines who wrapped their feet tightly in order to aid them in dancing on point, the tips of their toes. He found this to be incredibly desirable and beautiful; it became popular and desired thusly. Initially, the practice was reserved for nobility, but it soon became a mark of beauty and propriety for elitists and commoners alike for more than 1000 years (Gillet 1). ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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