The Liberation Of Women’s Bodies In Modern China

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Attitude towards foot binding varied in accordance with family status. While great families favored foot binding, lesser families often followed them in imitation (Hong 2013, p.48). The historical evidence shows that the foot binding as a custom flourished in between the 10th and the 20th centuries and many women practiced it even after it was outlawed in 1912 thinking that it would bring good suitors for their daughters. Mothers impressed upon their daughters that the mark of a woman’s attraction reside more in her character more revealed in the bind of her feet than in the face of physique with which nature had endowed her (Blake 683). A very significant thing to note that ‘Her selection in marriage was the task of her prospective mother-in-law, whose criterion for a good daughter-in-law was the discipline that the bound foot represented’ (Pruitt 22). This throws light on the fact the young women during this period were denied the right to think freely and independently and were under chains. Aesthetic appreciation of the small foot was the major driving force for the practice of foot binding in China. foot binding was also promoted to sustain male erotic interest and was regarded as an effective tool to maintain gender distinctions and to ethnically differentiate civilized Chinese from northern barbarians (Mackie 1996, p.1002). The proposed study is conducted on the grounds that foot binding was very common among the Chinese people for a long time and it was once regarded as a symbol of beauty. But it is evident that the foot binding caused for everlasting pain for the womenfolk and they were merely treated as a tool for sex, disregarding their individuality and potentiality as a working class.