Women in Chinese society - Essay Example

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Knowledge was literally power for Ban Zhao (of the late Han dynasty), the author of the work that was very influential in Later Imperial pedagogy1, when she complained about the absence of…
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Women in Chinese society
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Download file to see previous pages The influence of Chinese women of the Later Empire depended on their knowledge of collective ethos and their ability to appeal to the power of the communities.
The changes made by women often could have affected their individual lives or those of their close relatives only indirectly, through the mediation of the institutes of the society. The most significant example is widows who ended their lives for the societal ideals, so that the relatives of such women could have been rewarded3. Even without equality with men, Chinese women occupied a significant place in the ethical system of the country. They could have had influence when they accepted the existing laws. However, sometimes they dared to oppose laws or use them cunningly against more powerful members of the society. Thus, the firstsection of this paper deals with the consequences of acceptance of women’s place in the Chinese social system; the second section is dedicated to the means to empowerment in rare cases of women’s resistance to dominant ethical norms.
The title comes from the story of Widow Wu from the section “Women and the Problems They Create”4 about a woman rewarded for her chastity, hard work, and humble behavior. It is remarkable that this was the supreme spiritual authority that rewarded widow Wu, not the society. The widow was just supported, not given extra money for pleasure; her private life also did not change at all. Still, she had more significant achievement: namely, she reached the ethical ideal which was relevant for the representatives of all genders and social classes.
In Chinese society, neither women nor men were treated as independent subjects valuable for their individuality, like it would be in Western countries. It follows from “Family instructions” that young girls and boys were equally part of territorial and generational unity; they had to be loyal to family and performed irreplaceable ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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