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Essays On China & Chinese Issues
Essay 6 of 559
The Idea of Womanhood in Traditional Chinese Society
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Since as early as the 7th century B.C., women in China have been permitted to hold positions of power and even lead in prominent positions as national figureheads. Unfortunately, no level of leadership, education or social prominence for women could change the patriarchal nature of traditional Chinese society. From the early Han Dynasty to the last of the Chinese dynasties, the Ch'ing Dynasty (17th-early 20th centuries) women have played significant and defining roles in the political structure of China, though these roles have been defined by the death of their husbands and their circumstances rather than by the social acceptability of female leaders in Chinese society. This 5 page paper reflects the lives of a number of prominent women in Chinese history, including Ban Zhao of the Han dynasty, Song Ruoxin of the Tang, Empress Wu Zeitan of the Zhou Dynasty, and Tzu-Hsi, dowager Empress of the Ch'ing Dynasty and defines the impact of the patriarchal definitions in determining their impact on history. Bibliography lists 6 sources.
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