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Women s rights in China Word

Topics: China, Song Dynasty, Marriage, Tang Dynasty, Han Dynasty, Yuan Dynasty / Pages: 3 (952 words) / Published: Jul 5th, 2015
Morgan Gaynor
4th period
January 24, 2015

Women’s Rights in Post-Classical China

During the 600-1300 C.E., Chinese women’s rights were vast when the Tang ruled, but when the Song took over women's rights dissipated. The Tang ruled from 618-907 C.E. and women were allowed to vote, go to school, and live a similar life to men. The Song dynasty on the other hand, lasted from 960-1279 C.E. and women’s rights were very limited. Before the Tang dynasty, women’s rights were very constrained. They had to follow many rules or risk losing their family and sometimes their life. They had no voice to express their self, they were not allowed to go to school, and they had no true control over their future. In feudal times, women had no say in when or even who they marry. They were not allowed to leave their husband or get married again if the husband was to pass. The men, on the contrary, could leave their wives and remarry if the wife was guilty of the seven sins. Society was male centered and women were just a pawn piece for them. That all changed when the Tang gave women the rights they deserved. During the Tang dynasty, women were allowed to go to school, vote, have marriage choice, work, and own land. They could then do everything that only men could do before. After years of being below men, Tang women could drink, own a business, learn politics, and participate in battle. Divorce also changed during the Tang. A divorce used to be shunned but was no longer seen as a sin as long as it was peaceful and both sides were in agreement. Royal women were also granted more rights then they formally were. They were able to do everything the common man and women could do. That may not should like a lot to the 21st century women, but back then, women were even further below men then they were in the American early 1900s. During the 900s C.E., Women’s rights started to fade and women were once again below men. Men started to control society and women had to form to it. Around the fall of the Tang, foot binding started to arise. Such as plastic surgery today, that is used to make one look younger or have a better body, foot binding made a Chinese women more attractive. The smaller a women foot was to show that she was more beautiful, many scholars believe. While others believe men started this trend to gain more control over women. A women is not very powerful if she needs help walking and a powerless women is not a threat to the men’s power. A ‘kept’ women can only be behind a strong, powerful man. Another theory is that women did it to show their man’s wealth. If a women was not needed to work and earn money, the man was seen as wealthy and his status was high. Mother’s who put their daughter though a life time of pain, did it because they saw it as an opening to make their offspring more attractive and thus opened up more marriage prospects. Women may had a lot of rights when the Tang ruled, but when the Song took over, their rights vanished. During 960-1300 C.E., women were not allowed to attend school and do other things they were allowed to do when the Tang ruled. Once again, men took over and women’s rights were taken away. Compared to Tang times, women were less active in politics and less commonly seen on the streets. On the other hand, women’s rights to property were relatively secure in Song times. Older women were often very powerful within their families and girls left their families when they married. As long as they gave birth to sons, they would eventually gain a respected place in their family. Their life may not be very different from Tang women’s, but they still lost rights and some overall control. Present day China is still a struggle for women. They are refused jobs on the fact that they were not born a male. It is also reported that a women’s looks can impact if she gets the job or not. As well as Chinese women earn less then men. Once more, women are below men. Over time, things may change and women may be able to live their life fully like every man does. As of right now, women still live their life with a ball and chain that prevents them from reaching their true potential. There is no true truth to why the right’s of women started to fade, because no one knows the true story. One plausible answer could be that women started to become to powerful for men to be comfortable. Men started to worry about women taking over China and becoming more powerful. Men may have started to limit what women could and could not do to keep them under watch to insure they are still below them. Another answer could be that men just started to get more head strong as time progressed and they decided that they did not want a equal, they wanted someone below them to take care of their homes and raise their young. They no longer wanted someone to work next to them and bring home money as well. Women also competed with men for jobs and they may have seen that as a threat. To be moved out of a job by a women could push a man to hate the gender. Once again, no one can call any scenario fact or fiction. One can only agree or disagree.

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