Roles Of Women In Confucian Society

837 Words 4 Pages
Confucianism has always been a very patriarchal system. Men have always held the more dominant roles, which allowed them to reign supreme over their wives and children. Confucianism has always looked down upon women. They were seen at the very bottom of Confucian hierarchy, and were expected to play a submissive role in society. Through Ban Zhao and Lady Hyegyong’s books, we can see that women played a more submissive role. The expected roles of women in a Confucian Society were to serve through obedience, birth male children and to follow the four qualifications, and lastly to command her daughter in-law.
Women were expected to demonstrate obedience before all other virtues during their lives. As children, girls were required to obey their
…show more content…
Male children have always been seen as better than female children in Confucianism because the male can carry on the family legacy, as well as take care of his parents. One such reason why males are so much more in desire is because of the fundamental idea of ancestor worship. It is necessary to have a son in order to worship the family’s tradition and their ancestors because girls cannot perform this ritual. Not having a son would leave you at a disadvantage, since this is a key Confucian idea. The second most important role of women in Confucian society was to follow the four qualifications of women. Through Ban Zhao’s reading, the four qualifications are “womanly virtue, womanly words, womanly bearing, and womanly work.” These four “qualifications” just sum up the life of a woman in Confucian society. They are supposed take care of the home, children, follow her in-laws, and treat her husband as heavenly as possible. With the Husband and wife relationship, Yin and Yang can be seen. Yin is the wife and represents her submissiveness, while Yang is the husband’s dominant role over his wife. The two opposing forces support one another and exert perfect …show more content…
Women were expected to serve through obedience. As they aged, their obedience shifted from father to husband, and from husband to son once their husband died. Also, one they were married, a women’s filial devotion was to her in-laws and no longer her own parents. Women were also given the tasks of birthing male children and following the four qualifications, which were womanly virtue, womanly words, womanly bearing, and womanly work. The reasons sons were so important was because of how they carried the family name and performed specific tasks such as ancestor worship, something a daughter could not do. The four qualifications just describe the female role of taking care of the house and children while serving her husband and in-laws. The last role of a women in Confucian society was to take care of the house, son, grandchildren, and most importantly the daughter-in-law so that she would learn her place and duties to fulfill her

Related Documents

Related Topics