Confucius's Influence On Chinese Society

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During most Chinese dynasties, women had comparatively lower social status compared to men and did not enjoy the same rights. In fact, this situation might be a result of honoring and following the doctrines of traditional Chinese philosophical schools, which originally flourished in the Pre-Qin era. Although some schools of thoughts recognized the necessity of equality between men and women, most refused to acknowledge any such thing. The three important philosophical schools, Confucianism, Daoism and Legalism influenced Chinese society for thousands of years.
Those three schools of thought promoted different methods of governance and everyday behavior; accordingly, the ideal position and role of women according to the three philosophies were
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Drawing them close, they are immodest, and keeping them at a distance, they complain” . The term “Petty persons” here for Confucius is derogatory and opposite to the idea of “gentlemen”. By stating that women and the “petty persons” were the same, Confucius showed his unreasonable feelings toward women and forms the foundations for the opinions of women in Confucianism. Even though Confucius highlighted women’s roles in the family, equality was never on his …show more content…
For example, in Book I of Analects, Zixia, one of the prominent students of Confucius said: “As for persons who care for character much more than beauty, who in serving their parents are able to exert themselves utterly, I would insist that they are well educated indeed” . Zixia and Confucius believed that beautiful appearance was opposed to ritual or good behavior, and for them, the beauty of women represented bad virtue and could be very harmful. Sima Qian wrote a story about how Confucius disdained the beautiful women in chapter “The House of Confucius” in the Shiji. When Confucius went to the State of Wei, Duke Ling of Wei sent a messenger, telling Confucius that Ling’s wife Nanzi was eager to meet with him. Confucius tried to refuse but he eventually went to meet Nanzi. Nanzi behaved in rituals and bowed twice; however, the jade pendants she wore collided and made noise. This situation made Zilu, another student of Confucius, very unsatisfied. The second day, they went to the market with Duke Ling, where Confucius noticed that Nanzi and Duke Ling were riding in the first carriage while Confucius and his students rode in the second one. Confucius then said: “I have never seen him (Duke Ling) appreciating ritual and behavior as he appreciates the beauty of women!” (吾未見好德如好色者也) . Believing that Duke Ling would not become a

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