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Gender roles and family structure in China

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angela younger

on 11 October 2012

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Transcript of Gender roles and family structure in China

How has recent Chinese culture changed women and their families? Gender Roles and Family Structure in China Since early times, men have been seen as the head of the family. Ancestors were linked exclusively through men. Women were only in the records if they caused trouble. Their loyalty was often questioned. Confucianism and its impacts on women Women had to respond to the wishes and needs of their closely related men.
Confucian teachings created a patriarchal society in which women had to obey their husbands and grown sons.
Many women did not have names
Concubinage meant that women were married to a man but were not his legal wives, and they were inferior to his legal wife in status and treatment, this was considered okay because it was a sin not to have male heirs to end the family line
Women had no legal rights
The most obedient women were illiterate Women's roles according to Confucius http://asiasociety.org/countries/traditions/women-traditional-china
www.iun.edu/~hisdcl/g387/Women in China.htm
http://www.tuvy.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/asian-baby-laughing.jpg Bibliography Women were to occupy a position lower than men, no matter their level
Women being lesser than men was considered to be natural and proper.
They were educated on self-discipline, etiquette, relationships with in-laws, household management, humility, and chastity. Early Times " A woman's duty is not to control or take charge."

"Woman's greatest duty is to produce a son."

"A husband can marry twice, but his wife must never remarry."

"Disorder is not sent down by Heaven, it is produced by women."

"Those who cannot be taught, cannot be instructed. These are women and eunuchs."

"There are three unfilial acts: the greatest of these is the failure to produce sons."

"Women are to be led and to follow others."

"A woman should look on her husband as if he were Heaven itself, and never weary of thinking how she may yield to him." Quotes from the Early times Modern Women Many women living in ancient china led oppressed lives Daily Life of Women in Ancient China Nushu This practice caused severe disability for millions of Chinese women. "Communism seemed to usher in a new society for China, and, in many ways, it actually did." Communism and its influences Leftover Ladies Men have always been preferred to women, because men took care of their parents while the women were married off and the parents would have to care for themselves. China's One Child Policy We think this sums it all up. And now, a Video Women have more opportunities for education
Countryside women are beginning to work in the cities
Women who stay home have to take on more responsibilities because their husbands are working in the cities "Cultural diversity and social gender are closely related."
"Chinese women are playing more important roles, but at the same time they have to work harder than before." Quotes In modern china, the general status of women is rising. Foot Binding Began in the Sung dynasty (960-976 BC)
Was designed to imitate an imperial concubine who was required to dance with her feet bound
By the 12th century, the practice had become more severe, girls could not dance and had difficulty even walking.
When a girl turned three, her toes were broken
Her feet were then bound with strips if cloth to prevent the feet from growing longer than about 3.9 inches
Foot binding ended in the 20th century, due to the influence of western culture Background "When I was seven my mother….washed and placed alum on my feet and cut my toenails. She then bent my toes toward the plantar with a binding cloth ten feet long and two inches wide doing the right foot first and then the left. She...ordered me to walk but when I did the pain proved unbearable, that night...my feet felt on fire and I couldn't sleep;mother struck me for crying. On the following days I tried to hide but was forced to walk on my feet...after several months all toes but the big one were pressed against the inner surface..,mother would remove the bindings and wipe the blood and puss which dripped from my feet. She told me that only with removal of the flesh could my feet become slender...every two weeks I changed to new shoes. Each new pair was one to two tenths of an inch smaller than the previous one....In summer my feet smelled offensively because of puss and blood;in winter my feet felt cold because of lack of circulation...four of the toes were curled in like so many dead caterpillars...it took two years to achieve the three inch model...my shanks were thin, my feet became humped, ugly and odoriferous. " From a woman who had her feet bound... It was a luxury only the rich could practice. Poorer girls needed their feet so they could help work.
It soon became a prerequisite for marriage
Poor mothers bound their daughter's feet in hope that their daughters could "marry up" in society
The first anti-foot binding society was formed in 1895 Why was this practiced? communism establishes gender equality
promotes free love and marriage Changes that communism caused Problems with communism Led to a de-emphasis of family
Love and marriage is secondary to revolution
Many educated women looked down on household duties and caring for children Why can't outnumbered women find a match? Any unmarried woman over the age of 25 or 27 is labeled in China as a "leftover"
With far more men than women in China, this could prove to be a problem
Women are getting more picky about who they want to marry, which is lessening the choices for men. Facts 90% of men think that women should be married before the age of 27 to avoid being "forever undesirable"
118 boys are born in China for every 100 girls
By 2020, it is expected for 24 million men to be unmarried
In the 2020's, it is estimated that 15 to 20 percent of Chinese men will not have access to brides. The Numbers Behind it "Those who can bear the shortcomings and sufferings of men will get married, those not, single"
"If you want to stand a snowball's chance in hell of ever getting married in this country, don't demand too much from your man."
"'Leftover ladies' is really a bit of a misnomer--it's women's own standards that are changing so quickly." Quotes "It officially restricts married, urban couples to having only one child, while allowing exemptions for several cases, including twins, rural couples, ethnic minorities. and parents without any siblings themselves." The One Child Policy Helps prevent social, economic, and environmental problems through out China
76% of the Chinese population supports the policy.
Estimates say that hundreds of millions of births may have been prevented The Positive Effects There has been an increase in the number of abortions
Some parents do not report the births of their children.
Many citizens continue to have more than one child
Parents who don't follow the policy can lose their jobs The Negative Effects Ways around it Wealthier families can pay fines
Some people choose to travel over seas and have a second child with a foreign passport
Rural areas need more children to help work in the fields
One can pay a broker to bribe officials for documentation for their extra children
Though illegal one can get an ultra sound and abort the child if it is not the desired gender
Some families wait until they have two children and then register them as twins The wife moved in with her husbands family. The elder generations were respected greatly
A woman would only become important if she outlived her husband and became the oldest in the household
A woman should not have a life outside the home
A woman's role was to look after her husband and family
Confucious taught that a woman's greatest role was to have a son Family Life The children's parents would consult an astrologer
A woman's thoughts and opinions were not important; a father had the final word on his daughters marriage
Arranged marriage was common but outlawed in 1949
the wife would move in with her husbands family and often became the servant of her mother-in-law
If families were very poor they would sell their daughters as servants
If a wife did not have a son, many chinese men would re-marry Marriage It was not considered important to educate girls
Women were not allowed to take exams and therefore could not be in government services
Most girls did not go to school
Female scholars were very rare Education Centered on the home
Tasks involved preparing food, cleaning, and looking after children
women were expected to have many children, preferably sons
Some poor women worked in the fields with their husbands Work The secret language of the Chinese women Developed in the Jiangyong county in southern China
It began around 300 A.D
It was a secret written language developed by women who were not allowed to be educated
Men could not understand it
It was passed down by women and was never to be shared with men Information http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q89_yg9iquA Marriage Weddings are a prominent part of Chinese society. The entire family takes full part in the wedding
They chose things such as the wedding day during a formal meeting between the elders of the family The woman's family prepares a list of the dowry
One aim of the dowry is to help the new couple start their new life with ease Dowry The house is decorated with vibrant banners
Red is used in the decorations because red symbolized happiness
They put up poems and other arts and crafts
After the wedding, there is a ceremony with tea The Wedding Day
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