Societal factors and the inescapability of Chinese female oppression
Wang, Carmen Onggo Jiawen
Date of Issue2011
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
This paper attempts to look at the problems that Chinese women from 1920s to 1950s China and Taiwan face in emancipating themselves because of the society that they live in. Ruled by Confucian ideals, they have to struggle with what they can have and what they actually desire. Unable to attain what they truly want, often marriage is then resorted to in order to survive. Marriage then becomes a form of survival rather than choice, and the women often end up in unhappy marriages because they put themselves in a lower position where they are vulnerable to male abuse. At the same time, female sexuality exhibited in marriage is still something seen to be dangerous and it becomes a tool for both women and men to oppress women. There is no sense of female camaraderie, because the only reality that women have been exposed to is from an artificial male construct and as such they too become perpetrators of patriarchal society. Also, women too do not feel a sense of camaraderie just because they are women, but rather because of class as well. They would rather align themselves with men from the same class than women from different classes, unwilling to give up the comfort that being from a higher class brings. It therefore remains questionable whether the problem of female emancipation can ever be solved even up till the present, as the issues that the authors from that time bring to light are still issues that affect the present day.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University