Chinese Women In The Mid-Zhou Dynasty

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In many ancient Chinese artworks, women are often depicted as weak, home-oriented and obedient individuals. As in several other ancient civilizations such as Egyptian and Mesopotamian, women in China remained submissive to man. Starting from the mid- Zhou dynasty in 1000 B.C.E. until the Sui dynasty in 600 C.E., Chinese civilization evolved under the heavy influence of the patriarchal view of pre- and neo-Confucianism. Due to physical disparity, occupation difference, and the gaining popularity of Confucian beliefs, Women in this time period were subjected to the hostility of men and suffered from the declining influence of their social status. During the post-Shang and early-Zhou era, women enjoyed considerable amounts of freedom. This is apparent especially in the elite and aristocracy classes where women were allowed to acquire ownership of land and were widely cherished due to their ability in carrying children. In case of political freedom, though women were not…show more content…
In many early Chinese portraits, women were often depicted as weak and fragile individuals. The physical weakness opened them to the hostility of men and slowly became a subject of family violence. In Zhou dynasty, when a husband struck his wife, no charge was pressed upon the man; whereas when a woman struck another man, she was to be punished and humiliated. In addition, because of their physical attractiveness and sexuality, women were thought as a form of evil that could potentially lure man into ruins. Many books draws on a historical context in which Daji, the concubine of the last king of Shang, lured the king into being obsessed with her and therefore, dilapidated country’s affairs. This was one of the important factors which had led Shang into ruins. As a result, due to their physical weakness and sexuality, women’s status led a steady decline since 1000
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