Unbound Feet Critique

706 Words3 Pages
Unbound Feet The immigration of Chinese women was one of the most overlooked and understudied significant event in women’s history, until now. Their rise from being considered slaves, to gaining respect and credibility, is one of the most influential for women’s equality across America. In Unbound Feet, Judy Yung examines the hardships and rise of Chinese women as they immigrate to America to fulfill their dreams, yet are bound by discrimination and bind together to rise above racism and sexism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Yung examines the immigration and rise of the culture in five decades. Yung asks herself “What sociohistorical forces were at play that can explain social change for Chinese American women in the first half of the twentieth century?” (Yung, 5) The book tells of their oppression in America through prostitution, gender roles, anti-Chinese immigration laws, and class discrimination. Also, she examines the rise of Christianity, the YWCA, The New Life Association, Chinese women’s role in the war, and support within Chinese communities in America. Yung states “the groundwork laid by our foremothers for a better life at home, in the workplace and in the larger society has not been lost on today’s generation of Chinese American women (Yung, 292). The title “Unbound Feet” is a perfect representation of Yung’s research on immigration and settling in The States. It represents the bound feet that Chinese women of high class had when arriving in America, to “ensure that women did not ‘wander’ too far outside the household gate” (Yung, 19). Though this ideal was proposed and enacted by Chinese men and upheld for so long because of ideal women’s submissiveness, as independence rose in America, the women became “unbound”, free to wander without agony of oppression. Yung proves the popular stereotypes of Asian women as voiceless, passive and
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