Women of China

Topics: China, Tang Dynasty, Family Pages: 5 (1932 words) Published: April 3, 2013
TASK: Read the two articles below about the lives of women in Ancient China. Identify four issues of interest to you; create a note chart to gather information for your essay. You may use a third source if desired. Write an essay titled “Women in Ancient China” on MyAccess.

Women in the Ancient Chinese Culture (#1)

The women in ancient Chinese culture led a tough life. They were humbled and humiliated before men. They were not allowed to attain literacy. They lived their life according to the Confucian principles. Read this article to know more about women in the ancient Chinese culture...

The women in ancient Chinese culture lived according to the rules set by Confucius in his analects. According to Confucius, women were not equal to men and were not worthy to have literary and education. For almost two thousand years, the life of the Chinese woman was unbearable. During the years of growing up, a Chinese woman had to listen to her father and other male members in the family. A woman in ancient China was not given a name; instead she was called "daughter no1", "daughter no2" and so on.

After marriage, an ancient Chinese woman would serve her husband like a slave and could not raise her voice. It is said that in ancient China, men were allowed to have more than one wife. If the husband of a young Chinese woman died, she was not allowed to remarry. Death penalty was given, if she remarried. The main job of a woman in ancient China was to bear sons. Here we look at a few famous women in the ancient Chinese culture.

Famous Women in the Ancient Chinese Culture

Empress Wu - Remember, the women in ancient Chinese culture had no right to express their thoughts and feelings. Empress Wu challenged the rules of Confucius when she became the Empress to rule China. During her reign, she elevated the position of women. The court scholars were asked to write biographies of famous women of China and rest of the world. She established matriarchal rule in ancient China. According to her, an ideal ruler is one who rules his empire like a mother who dotes on her children. 

Chinese Buddhism attained its glory under the reign of Empress Wu. She replaced Daoism with Buddhism. Many gifted scholars from around the world were invited to China. Many Buddhists temples and cave sculptures were built during her period of rule. She died at the age of eighty, due to natural causes. 

Xi Shi - This legendary beauty of ancient China was the daughter of a tea merchant in China. She became popular because she was responsible for the fall of the kingdom of Wu. Prince Fuchai of State of Wu humiliated the King of Yue, Goujian. The king was forced to serve the prince for couple of years, before he was released from the bondage. On returning, he asked his court to summon the most beautiful woman in his kingdom. The king approved the beauty of Xi Shi. She was taught royal etiquette and sent to entice the prince of Wu. The prince was enchanted by her beauty and spent most of his time with her, neglecting his responsibilities. In the meantime, King of Yue attacked the State of Wu and annexed it to his kingdom. Xi Shi disappeared from public life to lead a secluded life. She is one of the women of the ancient Chinese culture, who is remembered even today.

Women in ancient Chinese culture were humiliated. If a baby girl was born, there were some humiliating customs that were practiced. On the third day of her birth, she was place under the cot and given a piece of broken pottery to play with, and her birth was announced by giving an offering to her ancestors. Placing the baby child under the cot denoted that she is weak and she should humble herself before men. The broken pottery meant she must be laborious, while giving an offering to the ancestors denoted that one of her primary duties is to worship her elders.

DAILY LIFE OF WOMEN (in Ancient China) (#2)...
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