A major emphasis of Asian women scholars has been the examination of Confucian ideology on their history and current status.
Written by Jeffrey Richey Women were at the bottom of the Confucian hierarchy. Exemplary behavior and uncomplaining obedience was expected of them.
By custom, aristocratic men and women lived separately. Men had multiple wives and concubines, but women were not allowed to see men other than their close relatives, husbands, or masters, or the palace eunuchs.
Homosexuality was discouraged, but not specifically condemned as "sinful. For Confucians, spiritual development begins at homeand the home traditionally has been seen by Confucians as the paradigmatic arena of social relations.
Social relations, of course, are rarely exchanges between equals, in the Confucian view, but instead tend to be interactions between superiors and inferiors.
The ideal Confucian state, with its "natural" hierarchy of ruler and subject, mirrored the home, with its "natural" hierarchy of husband and wife, and older and younger children. Moreover, in the ideal Confucian home -- a microcosm of the state -- women were expected to demonstrate obedience before all other virtues, and at every stage of life.
As children, girls were required to obey their fathers; as wives, women were required to obey their husbands; and as widows, women were required to obey their grown-up sons. At no point in her life was a woman, according to the traditional Confucian view, expected to function as an autonomous being free of male control.
It was because of social values such as this that 20th century social reformers in China and elsewhere condemned Confucianism so vigorously. Although Confucianism arose in a patriarchal culture and always has embraced patriarchal values, to some extent, this portrait of women in Confucian society does not necessarily reflect the historical reality of women in China, much less Vietnam, Korea, or Japan, from the very beginning of the Confucian tradition up to the present day.
Prior to that, women enjoyed a relatively greater degree of freedom in Confucian societies, and some women actually played prominent roles as Confucian thinkers, although this was unusual, partly because of the subservient position of women presented in various idealizations of society proposed by Confucian thinkers.
Kongzi himself had little to say about women, apart from his observation that few men were as fond of virtue as they were of female beauty Lunyu 9: Dong reduces what are, at best, suggestive cosmological associations to gender essentialism: Themale acts; the female follows.
Try our 3 most popular, or select from our huge collection of unique and thought-provoking newsletters. You can opt out of these offers at any time.Confucius is a Latinized name of the Chinese title K'ung-Fu-tzu, and was given by later Western scholars to the teacher and wandering philosopher, who was born around B.C.E.
Confucius. Specialist in Far East Asia Grade: A Date: Fall Institution: Universitat Oberta de Catalunya Analects in Feminine: a Feminist Critique of Confucius' Text by Veronica Walker Vadillo As a starting point, a researcher has to acknowledge the limitations of his or her work when access to an original text is .
Confucius is a Latinized name of the Chinese title K'ung-Fu-tzu, and was given by later Western scholars to the teacher and wandering philosopher, who was born around B.C.E. Confucius.
Sep 13, · Indeed, early Confucian views of marriage are more favorable to wives than later ones. Early texts recommend that women marry when they are in their early twenties—a contrast to the childhood marriage practices of later China and much of the world—and maintain that women should receive a proper education prior to marriage.
Although this is a relatively rare instance of a female Confucian voice, Ban Zhao almost entirely accepts the prevailing views concerning women’s proper roles; they should be silent, hard-working, and compliant. If we analyze women's position in Confucianism, even when a woman is not her husband's equal, he owes her respect, generosity, tolerance, and kindness, attributions that greatly differ from the current social injustices that .