Classical India and China

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Writing Assignment #2

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Read question and readings listed.

2. Complete outline before coming to class.

3. You will write your essay in class.

Q: Judging by the cultural standards of classical periods in China and India, were women better off in classical India or classical China?

Background information:
See attached reading and p. 50-57 in Stearns reader.

OUTLINE

I. Introduction
A. Thesis
B. Overview of position

II. Position: Hint: India better off, China better off, neither
A. Reason 1
1. Proof #1 – cite from a reading
2. Proof #2 – cite from a reading
B. Reason 2
1. Proof #1 – cite from a reading
2. Proof #2 – cite from a reading
C. Reason 3
1. Proof #1 – cite from a reading
2. Proof #2 – cite from a reading

III. Conclusion
A. Restate the thesis
B. Summarize reasons for your position

.

Sarah Shaver Hughes and Brady Hughes:

Women in the Classical Era

India

Women’s rights deteriorated after the Vedic period (1600-800 BCE). No one has been able to prove why this happened. Scholarly interest has focused on women’s exclusion from performing Hindu rituals, which was in effect by 500 BCE…Julia Leslie thinks that women’s exclusion resulted from intentional mistranslation of the Vedas by male scholars, as the rituals became more complicated and as the requirement for property ownership was more rigorously enforced at a time when women could not own property.

The falling age of marriage for Indian women is another illustration of their loss of rights. In 400 BCE about sixteen years was a normal age for a bride at marriage; between 400 BCE and 100 CE it fell to pre-puberty; and after 100 CE pre-puberty was favored. These child marriages also affected women’s religious roles. Because girls married before they could finish their education, they were not qualified to perform ritual sacrifices. Furthermore, wives’ legal rights eroded. As...
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