The Importance Of Women Study Philosophy In China

Good Essays
Rufus and Zhao bring to question why women can not study philosophy but are expected to behave in a chaste and virtuous way. Philosophy is described as the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence. Woman in these cultures were expected to be constantly aware of themselves and their roles in the household. These two women make compelling arguments for the future of all other women and the rights they should have. Gaius Musonius Rufus was from Rome and she wrote “That women too should study philosophy”, within this text Rufus argues “Women have received from the gods the same ability to reason that men have…. Likewise women have the same senses as men, sight, hearing, smell, and the rest….” The quote demonstrates …show more content…
She questions the fairness of teaching men and not teaching women. In her arguments never once does she suggest changing women role in China, but only speaks of how women should learn as well. Ban Zhao says, “Let a woman be composed in demeanor and upright in bearing in the service of her husband. Let her live in purity and quietness and keep watch over herself. Let her not love gossip and silly laughter. Let her cleanse, purify and arrange in order the wine and the food for the offering to the ancestors….” Within this passage Zhao demonstrates womanly duties in the chinese culture. All women of China are supposed to live a certain way, “In womanly behavior there are four things … womanly virtue, womanly speech, womanly appearance, and womanly work.” Each person knew the role they were to play in this time period, “They only know that wives must be controlled and that the husband’s authority must be maintained. They therefore teach their boys to read books and study histories…. Yet only to teach men and not to teach women - is this not ignoring the reciprocal relation between them?” Zhao is saying that if a women is expected to behave one way for men then why are they not allowed to learn along side …show more content…
Yet these two women come from different places and different times. Showing that roles of women didn’t change very much depending where they were on the map. Women were all expected to behave one way and to do as their men wished. Yet with all they were expected to do they weren’t allowed to learn as men do. Rufus wished for women to learn philosophy and Zhao wanted to be taught to read books and learn of China’s history. These women were to be responsible and modest, but how are they do behave this way if they are not taught. These two women were among the first of their kind to question why they couldn’t learn. They showed how similar the two sexes were, even asking men to point out the differences of which there were few. They explained in their works how they understood their places in society and didn’t want to change them. All they wanted was the right to

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