Women's Role In Ancient China Essay

805 Words 4 Pages
Women’s role of ancient China was once significant. They could rise to power holding high positions, controlling armies and even possibly becoming empresses. However, as time changed so did the view of the women’s role. Men began to take control and began teaching a new attitude towards women such as the admonishment from the ‘Book of Odes” (Shijing) writing:
Clever men build cities; Clever women topple them
Beautiful the clever women may be; But they are owls and kites
Women have long tongues; That lead to ruin
Disorder does not come from heaven; It is produced by women
Those from whom come no lessons, no instructions; Are women and eunuchs.
It is believed that Confucius wrote the ‘Book of Odes” and during the Han Dynasty
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Sons were taught to take care of their widowed mothers and mother in laws. In these cases, the women could manipulate the sons or son in laws to do whatever they wanted (Chinasage, 2016). Elderly woman was also respected and sought after for their knowledge and tales of the old times. They were considered wise and capable of passing down teachings. In some cases, men of wealth would obtain concubines because their wives could not produce a son for the family name. Concubines, although considered lower than the wives but treated no differently, would have a wing of the house to themselves (Chinasage, …show more content…
These lessons were also meant to be somewhat of a go-to guide for women on how to behave properly in different situations. Ban was a great supporter in the fact that women should be obedient and serve the men in their lives, but that they should also be educated and respected at the same time. Ban served as an example to many women during this time. Ban rose to her high stature by completing the Han shu, a comprehensive history of the Han dynasty, which took her nineteen years, and became China’s first female historian. (Groff,

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