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The Women of the Qing Dynasty - Essay Example

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China expanded into Mongolia and Tibet during the Qing dynasty. During the late Qing dynasty, Chinese women were considered to be their birth families’ properties first, and the property of the families of their husbands after…
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The Women of the Qing Dynasty
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Download file to see previous pages Many women were abused verbally and physically by their in-laws and spouses. Women were expected to be obedient toward men in their birth and marriage families. Ethnic Han Chinese women belonging to the upper and middle classes would have their feet bound. This practice was implemented as a way of ensuring that their mobility is limited and they remain close to home. Besides, bound feet were also considered as a symbol of beauty and femininity particularly among the elite class. This is the reason why poor families often felt tempted to bind the feet of their daughters. They thought that doing so, their daughters would be identified with rich families and the chances of her getting married into a rich family would be optimized. The practice of foot binding was very painful as the girls had to go through a series of painful developments. First, foot binding broke their arch bones. Their feet were tied into the lotus position with a long cloth strip. Bound feet deterred these women from working in the fields, so the families used this practice to symbolize that they were too rich to have their daughters work in the fields.
Many women painters and poets emerged during the early Qing dynasty. However, it was not until the 17th century that women were identified as professionals and their artwork’s sale was considered a respectful means of livelihood (Yuho, 1993). He Shuangqing was a famous poet of the Qing dynasty. Ropp (2002) describes her background, talents, and features in the book in these words, “He Shuangqing, style name Qiubi, came from Danyang (in the southwestern part of today’s Jiangsu Province) in the Qing dynasty. Born into a peasant family, she lived in the vicinity of Siping Shan. Very beautiful, multitalented, and a lover of literacy works, she was married in 1732 into a poor family of woodcutters surnamed Zhou” (Ropp, 2002, p. 219). Having a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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