Wednesday, August 10, 2011


The Chinese woman has many grievances (says a recent writer). Her subjection is ■so complete that she has no . individual existence. When a Chinaman has only daughters he says he has no children, and girls are of so little value that they are often not named, and merely called first-born, secpnd-borU, etc. At no time of her existence is she considered an independent human being. As a daughter she is the chattel of her father, who can dispose of her as he pleases, and without consulting her wishes, as a wife she becomes the possession of the man who will pay the highest price for her. She then no longer belongs to her former family, but to that of her husband, and if she becomes a widow, they can resell her to whom they please, or else the control of her passes to her sons. Widows of high social position, however, are allowed more freedom. She can never inherit property, 1 but she is entitled to a small dowry on her marriage ; it may be only a few clothes or a humble chest of drawers wherein to put them, but if the bridegroom does not supply the dowry her father is obliged to do so. As io is considered the duty of every Chinese to marry, from both social and religious points of view, the number of unmarried women in the Celestial Empire is inconsiderable, and practically all are brought "under the yoke. The code of Manus contains very different laws for meu and women. The law for a widower states that . "after Having accomplished- with consecrated fires the funeral ceremony of a wife who has died, let him contract a new marriage" but the widow is informed that "a virtuous woman who desires, to obtain the same abode of felicity as her husband must do nothing which may diplease him.- either during life, or after death. After losing her husband let her not pronounce the name "pf any other man.'.' '"' "Now, however, the Chinese women are awakening to the brutality and injustice jof this state of things, and they are demanding education and legal rights. Colonist, Volume LI, Issue 12476, 1 March 1909, Page 4

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