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What are gender roles in Confucianism?


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December 08, 2010 9:07PM

"Women weave, men plow" (nangeng nüzhi) Women were mens property and stayed within the house. Men did the farm work and generally was the bread winner. Culturally, without her husband women had no social standing or power, which made it difficult for widows. Men had certain rights such as selling their wives if she was 'defective' (i.e. did not dear him a son, talked too much, was lazy...). The one exception to this was the tea-picking women in central China who were allowed to work alongside men picking tea in the mountains. Because of this slack definition of gender roles, tea-picking women were sometimes labelled 'prostitutes' because they work and sang songs alongside men. But a certain mysticism and fantasy surrounded them as well, for they were seen as the beautiful virgins who lived in the misty mountains and such. Hope that helped.