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bound%20feet - • Private woman’s work ritual in family...

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Footbinding: The Ultimate Symbol of Women’s Oppression & Old China’s Backwardness? Recommended Reading: Dorothy Ko, Every Step a Lotus
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Body Modification Examples Reasons
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Cultural Constructions of Gender Response to biological fact of male & female Relative to each culture Extremes: Gender as a performance vs. biologically determined
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Women in China Women valued but unequal Gender hierarchical like age & social class All 3 together determine an individual’s status Notions of Gender Yin/yang Earth/heaven Nei/wai = inside/outside Separate spheres -- domestic/public “Three follows”
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History of Footbinding First excavated shoes, 1200’s First text reference: Poem, Han Wo, 9th Chinese Cinderella story: Ye Shen, 9th 6th c. dancers 3” golden lotus Spread through regions & classes Recommended reading: Feng Jicai, Three Inch Golden Lotus
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How it’s done By mother or professional binder
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Unformatted text preview: • Private: woman’s work, ritual, in family • Around 6 • Technique – Wrap foot – Constrain growth – Displace mass – Stretch ligaments • Good technique & hygiene = good result – No broken bones or infection – Good surface to walk on • Crippling? (grannies on Mt. Tai) Why do it? • Usual answers: – oppression, – crippling, – keep women in their place (inside), – show off wealth • Marxist answer: false consciousness • Sources: – May 4th movement modernizers – Western Missionaries Why do it? (According to the Women) • Distinguish between men & women (Ebrey) • Live as woman in man’s world (Ko) • Show discipline, talent, & virtue • Erotic pleasure & intrigue • Show ability to provide for self & family: skills • Gifts & communication betw/ women • Marriage requirement • Upward class mobility...
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