Gender Roles In Yuan Cai's The Problem Of Women?

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Yuan Cai’s, The Problems of Women, is a passage from a book written by Yuan Cai. The chinese elite and literate males are the sources’ audience. The book gives advice for other men that are like him and the head of a household. This passage is interesting to me because it pertains to gender and sex roles in the twelfth century. This passage tells me that the culture the author lived in had certain marital and sex standards for males and females.
This document is an excerpt from a book written by scholar and official, Yuan Cai, in the twelfth century. This book was written for leading household men and consists of advice to manage matters within the family. What I find interesting about this document is the way women were treated in this culture, at this time. The author regards women as almost a prize that is to be cherished with utmost care, while at the same time, giving the women absolutely no right to family matters or give them their own say in their life. I find the feeling toward women in this time quite contradicting. I believe that Yuan cherishes women while society tells him to dismiss them. A quote from this passage that supports my previous statement is, “If husbands and sons could only remember that their wives and mothers are helpless and suddenly repent, wouldn’t that be best?” (The Problem of Women, pg 215). Men have all
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In many ways they were burdens placed on the men or seen as trouble. It escalated to the extent Cai felt the need to write an advice book on how to handle the issues that having a woman in one’s life may present. It is difficult for a woman to manage a household after their husband has left them with young children. Cai continues by saying that men should realize that the legality of a purchase of a servant girl or concubine must be considered. Hired women should be sent back when their period of service is over (The Problems of

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