Clone wiki

qocsuing / Was the Tang dynasty the golden era of women's rights in China?

Was the Tang dynasty the golden era of women's rights in China?

If there is a time machine, which dynasty do you want to travel back to? Most Chinese women would say the Tang dynasty because it was women-friendly: the free social atmosphere then and the reign of China’s only female emperor, Wu Zetian, has created such a fantasy of woman power in that era.To get more news about women in ancient china, you can visit shine news official website.

The famous Tang dynasty female poet Yu Xuanji also inspired many women to be independent in relationships; her famous line “You’ll find a man as excellent as Song Yu, so there is no need to resent Wang Chang”encouraged women to always move on. (NB: Song Yu was a writer at the court of Chu during China’s Warring States period and was known as one of the most handsome men in Chinese ancient history. Wang Chang of the Wei-Jin dynasties was also known for his good looks.) Greater freedoms for women in the Tang dynasty Women in the Tang dynasty might have had the happiest time compared to women of other eras in male-superior feudal China. As illustrated in the Old Book of the Tang Dynasty, women were not required to wear long dresses to cover their bodies and faces, and they could dress in men’s clothes as well. The lax requirements on clothing gave women more opportunities to participate in public activities. Their active participation in the agriculture, handicraft, textile manufacture and service industries contributed to taxes paid to the central court.

Moreover, Tang women did not have to follow the strict requirements on staying chaste after their husbands passed away. In order to echo the call for reproduction, Tang women were encouraged to remarry and give birth. Divorced women were blessed rather than stigmatised, as seen in divorce agreement relics unearthed in Dunhuang which said to the effect that the man wished that the woman would have a bright new life and excellent husband after divorce. The man asked the woman not to hate him and sincerely wished that they would both have a better life after the divorce. The Tang dynasty is also famous for numerous love affairs. Emperor Xuanzong of Tang, Li Longji, married his daughter-in-law Yang Yuhuan (also known as Yang Guifei). As for the women, Princess Gao Yang and Princess Tai Ping had many lovers. Emperor Wu Zetian had many handsome male companions. In a sense, Tang women of feudal nobles had the right to sexual freedom.

Noblewomen still played second fiddle to men However, these privileges were enjoyed by noblewomen. In feudal China, class overrode gender: no matter how many rights women had during the Tang dynasty, they were still the second sex compared to men in the same class. Women’s contributions in public and domestic spheres were largely underestimated, and they had to rely on their fathers, husbands or sons.

There are three basic rights that are measures for gender equality: the right to inheritance, the right to work, and the right to receive an education. Obviously, Tang women did not possess these rights as men did. If there is a time machine, please think twice before you travel back to the Tang dynasty.

Feudal thinking lives on in modern times Modern China seems to be a utopia for Tang women as gender equality is written in the constitution. Unfortunately, it is not written in the minds of some Chinese people with a feudal and patriarchal mindset. Though men and women have the same right of inheritance in law, they are not treated fairly in reality. In rural China, rural women do not have the right to inherit the land, so they have to rely on their fathers, husbands or sons in order to get the means of production, which is similar to the tricky position that ancient Chinese women held.

For urban women, if she is the only child, she is lucky enough to inherit her parents’ possessions. If not, parents prefer to invest in sons rather than daughters as it is a parental obligation to prepare and provide the house and bride price for their sons. Though the law has endowed men and women with equal rights, the feudal son-preference has not perished.