Gender and Chinese History: Transformative Encounters by Beverly Jo Bossler

By Beverly Jo Bossler

Until eventually the Nineteen Eighties, a standard narrative approximately girls in China have been one in all victimization: ladies had dutifully persevered a patriarchal civilization for millions of years, residing cloistered, uneducated lives break free the bigger social and cultural global, till they have been liberated by way of political upheavals within the 20th century. wealthy scholarship on gender in China has considering the fact that complex the image of girls in chinese language society, revealing the jobs ladies have performed as lively brokers of their households, companies, and creative groups. The essays during this assortment cross extra through assessing the ways that the examine of gender has replaced our realizing of chinese language historical past and displaying how the research of gender in China demanding situations our assumptions approximately China, the prior, and gender itself.

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31 For an exemplar, see Monkey Picking Herbs, c. 1780–90, reproduced in Clunas, Chinese Export Watercolors, 27. See also Arnoldus Montanus, Landscape with Pagoda 1671, which is a European representation of a Chinese scene and has distinctive craggy rocks. Reproduced in Odell, “Porcelain, Print Culture, and Mercantile Aesthetics,” 144. ” Mao, Qingdai jiazhuang yanjiu. 33 “Little daughters-in-law” were young girls, or even infants, who were adopted into their future husbands’ families to be reared by their future in-laws.

In both China and Europe in the eighteenth century, marriages were family affairs and were accompanied by property transfers. In both China and Europe, the dowry that accompanied a bride at her marriage was paraded through the streets: not only was property transferred but also the transfer of the property was public, and that public nature manifested the legitimacy of the marriage. In both cases, this transfer of property was more likely to involve moveable property than land, though it was not unheard of to provide daughters with land as dowry.

Fame” [ming] and “teaching” [jiao] are two words that women cherish as much as men do. Since I felt unsatisfied that there was no classic especially dedicated to women’s education, I compiled the six-chapter Women’s Learning, a collection excerpted from the classics and ancient instructions. I boldly dared to use it as a bridge to civilization [feng hua]. Now I learn that Madam Zheng benefited from the Book of Filial Piety, the Inner Principles [Neize], and the Biographies of Exemplary Women [Lienü zhuan].

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