By Beverly Jo Bossler
Till the Eighties, a typical narrative approximately girls in China were one among victimization: girls had dutifully persisted a patriarchal civilization for millions of years, residing cloistered, uneducated lives break free the bigger social and cultural international, till they have been liberated by means of political upheavals within the 20th century. wealthy scholarship on gender in China has considering complex the image of ladies in chinese language society, revealing the jobs girls have performed as energetic brokers of their households, companies, and inventive groups. The essays during this assortment cross extra via assessing the ways that the examine of gender has replaced our figuring out of chinese language heritage and displaying how the examine of gender in China demanding situations our assumptions approximately China, the earlier, and gender itself.
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Additional info for Gender and Chinese History: Transformative Encounters
33 “Little daughters-in-law” were young girls, or even infants, who were adopted into their future husbands’ families to be reared by their future in-laws. This custom spared the family the expense of obtaining a grown woman as a bride. 34 Mann, “Grooming a Daughter for Marriage” is the key text here. ” 35 Cited in Mann, “Grooming a Daughter for Marriage,” 205. The source is a reprint of Huangchao jingshi wenbian, 68, no. 4 (Taipei: Guofeng, 1963). ” 37 De Pee, The Writing of Weddings in Middle-Period China, 168.
In both cases, this transfer of property was more likely to involve moveable property than land, though it was not unheard of to provide daughters with land as dowry. There are, of course, crucial differences between marriage in China and France in the eighteenth century; there was no Chinese equivalent to the European Catholic Church, which exerted claims to authority over marriage that were sometimes seen as competing with those of the family or state. In the Catholic Church, marriage was a sacrament, and to be valid a sacrament must be willingly entered into: if a young woman or man told a priest that she or he was not entering into the marriage willingly, the priest was obliged to refuse to marry the couple.
We then see servants carrying dowry goods such as mats and bedding, which in fact would have been standard goods in Qing dowries. Just in front of the bridal palanquin itself are two women on horseback holding pennants. ”27 The bridal palanquin serves much the same role. Although we do not see the bride herself in the center of this procession, her sedan chair plays a central role in the visual representation of the procession. We know she is at the center of the story, even if the story of her marriage is in some ways not Les Noces chinoises 29 entirely about her: it is about the joining of two families and the continuation of the patriline.