Women in Communist China
An exploration of the status of women in China, from the traditional roles under filial piety to more contemporary roles in modernized Chinese society.
# 149450 | 3,437 words | 11 sources | MLA | 2011
Published on Dec 16, 2011 in Asian Studies (East Asian Cultures) , Women Studies (Women and Society)
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The paper discusses the traditional Chinese family, where, heavily reliant on the teachings of Confucius and his obligations of "xiao," or filial piety, women were continually dominated and repressed as walking objects, to be seen and not heard, obedient and not free. The paper then describes how with the advent of violent revolution and a modernized, communist China, women have been given the unprecedented opportunity to challenge their outdated roles and become active participants in their community. The paper acknowledges the many setbacks still faced by women but asserts that in the face of deeply-rooted traditional prejudice, the strides that have been made in women's societal standing in communist China is remarkable.
From the Paper:"Women in traditional China were never autonomous entities, and were rarely valued by their families. Female members of society were always defined in relation to others, initially as the property of her father, later as the property of her husband, and finally as an obedient entity to her grown sons. Upon birth, daughters were welcomed into the family unit with disappointment and aversion. Only sons carried on the family name and cared for the parents in old age and the afterlife, and daughters were either married off or sold as prostitutes. Marriage reflected the view of women as properties to be exchangeable in transactions. Regarded as a drain on household capital, the process of raising a daughter only to confer her to another family upon marriage was often compared to "fattening a hog for someone else's banquet," and so there was little incentive for natal families to provide more than basic necessities to their daughters (Hays). Money spent providing a daughter with the necessary means of survival was similarly referred to as "scattering seeds to the wind" (Hays). From these scornful comparisons it becomes clear that individuals not blessed with a second X-chromosome were valued not as people, but based on their ability to cook, provide sons, and "eat bitterness" (Hays)."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Chang, Leslie T. Factory Girls: from Village to City in a Changing China. New York: Spiegel &Grau, 2008. Print.
- "Chinese Women Gain More Respect in Modern times." Chinese Women Gain More Respect in Modern times. Ed. An Lu. China Daily, 31 July 2007. Web. 04 Dec. 2011. <http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-07/31/content_6454831.htm>.
- Edwards, Louise. "Women's Suffrage in China: Challenging Scholarly Conventions." Rpt. in Pacific Historical Review.4th ed. Vol. 69. University of California, Nov. 2000. 617-38. Woman Suffrage: The View from the Pacific. JSTOR.Web. 21 Nov. 2011. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/3641227>.
- Faison, Seth. "Divorce in Modern China." New York Times [New York City] 22 Aug. 1994. Print.
- Fulton, Jessica. "Holding up Half the Heavens: The Effect of Communist Rule on China's Women." Trans. Dr. Roy Schreiber. Rpt. in Department of History.Web. 24 Nov. 2011.
Cite this Term Paper:
Women in Communist China (2011, December 16) Retrieved January 25, 2022, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/women-in-communist-china-149450/
"Women in Communist China" 16 December 2011. Web. 25 January. 2022. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/women-in-communist-china-149450/>