Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Lost Daughters of China

I've just finished reading The Lost Daughters of China. It was an insightful read. My perceptions on some things has been altered.

It seems that some of the issues relating to the status of women in China can be traced back to Confucius. He laid down a family system strongly built on male lineage, where women weren't even included in family trees. I always thought Confucius said some really wise things... now I realise that when it comes to women he also said some pretty dumb things too.

What surprised me more was that the person who made attempts to turn this around was Chairman Mao (although now that I think about it, it probably makes sense in terms of Communist beliefs). The Communists encouraged women to 'join the ranks of human beings'. Mao is quoted as saying, "Women hold up half the sky". Things like prostitution, child marriage, the taking of concubines and the selling of brides were outlawed. Peasant girls were allowed to go to school and wives had newfound rights. Mao promoted that men and women were equal.

Unfortunately, those reforms were somewhat shortlived.

I know that this is a book that much of the Chinese adoption community has read and promotes, and I can understand why. It explores the portrayal of Chinese women throughout history and how this has been represented, for example, in poetry (some of which I can't even bring myself to repeat because it revolts and disturbs me so).

I'm glad with all my heart that things are on the up and that the perception of girls and women in China is becoming more positive.

1 comment:

~*~Sandie~*~ said...

I also recommend this book to anyone on the Chinese adoption journey. It's enlightening in so many ways. It will make you cry, make you laugh, and give you hope.