Notes on Chinese Woman & the Body Movie

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Chinese women and the body- Documentary:
Jonathan Lewis, Director, Women of the Country, China From the Inside, Arlington, Virginia: PBS Home Video, 2006.

historically women have been oppressed and have also held some power (economic power, horse riding and social standing). "precious jade" - effeminate man - shows variants in traditional society, court life 1100AD on- became a fad to have small feet- started the trend of foot binding (emperor was impressed with foot binding). more fluidity in the Chinese past (that aren't tainted by communist ideas of the past- feudalism, oppressed women, patriarchal society, unhappy sex-objects). (Chinese boddisavabuddah thing changed from male to female "goddess of mercy, compassion, good luck and fertility") yin/yang- daoist need male and female aspect- complementary, can't exist without each other, in theory they are supposed to be equal. Can be seen in Chinese martial arts "yielding". late ching dynasty- advocate for women's rights, Chinese sovereignty. Assassin. two Chinese empresses (& dowagers!)

women dressing how they want, sexual power, choice, freedom- can feel sexy: unlike communist ideas of women dressing like men for equality "maosuit" baggy. Chinese republican era- campaign to get women into sports. strong mind and strong body- china was called the weak man of asia and needed to become more physically fit. socialist realist depictions of gender

Taiwan- no tradition of chinese communist- became "western" earlier. white dress (which traditionally meant death). Bound feet- criticized in late 1800's- bound feet make it hard to move around and do labor (seen as holding back as china). became outlawed in the 1950's. some people could let out there feet (partially bound for not so long time). But those who had heavily bound feet had a hard time because their feet began to rely on the binding. Sexually erotic for men, seen as very beautiful. also seen as a way to keep women in their place (literally...
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