Confucianism, Taoism and Shinto

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Yuan Shen
Survey of World Religion
Essay Question-Test 4
Describe the views of women distinctive to Confucianism, Taoism and Shinto. In Confucianism, the women need to follow the “three subordinations”: be subordinate to her father before marriage, to her husband after marriage, and to her son after her husband died, then Confucians would think she is a virtuous woman. Men could have more than one concubine, but women couldn’t remarry even their husband die. Chaste widows were revered as heroes in Confucianism. As the results, the women need to follow the men in Confucianism. In Taoism, women have always been respected. In Yin-Yang, the theory of Taoism, the males and females are equally important, they are equal partners. Women in Taoism enjoyed a great deal of autonomy, and they can become the Taoist priestesses or nuns. There are several Goddesses in Taoism, such as Xiwangmu, the wife of Jade Emperor, and the Mazu, the god of fisher. The “Balance” and “Yin-Yang” are the center ideas of Taoism, so that is why they think the males and females are equally important. There are two traditional Japanese societies, public and private. In private, in their family role, women quite often dominate the male members of the household, because the women usually dedicated to their families. But in public, due to the two old philosophies, Confucianism, and Samurai, both of them were discriminatory towards women, and thought women need to obey men, so women were the low level in traditional Japanese society. Women could not have own property, could not read political and business transactions or great literary works. But in Shinto, women generally have the same rights as men do, women can become priestess, and people cannot much discrimination in Shinto even their society discrimination women. There is nothing in Shinto that limits women's rights, and women and men are the equally important in Shinto.
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