Chinese footbinding

Neither principle is considered subordinate to the other; each complements the other and is capable of expressing both female and male characteristics.

Chinese footbinding

Reform-minded Chinese intellectuals began to consider footbinding to be an aspect of their culture that needed to be eliminated. A less severe form in Sichuan, called "cucumber foot" huanggua jiao due to its slender shape, folded the four toes under but did not distort the heel and taper the ankle.

Manchu women, as well as Mongol and Chinese women in the Eight Bannersdid not Chinese footbinding their feet, and the most a Manchu woman might do was to wrap the feet tightly to give them a slender appearance.

Bound feet nevertheless became a significant differentiating marker between Han women Chinese footbinding Manchu or other banner women. Foot binding was practiced by the Hui Muslims in Gansu Province, [64] the Dungan Muslimsdescendants of Hui from northwestern China who fled to central Asia, were also seen practicing foot binding up to Binding usually started during the winter months since the feet were more likely to be numb, and therefore the pain would not be as extreme.

Then, the toenails were cut back as far as possible to prevent in-growth and subsequent infections, since the toes were to be pressed tightly into the sole of the foot. To enable the size of the feet to be reduced, the toes on each foot were curled under, then pressed with great force downwards and squeezed into the sole of the foot until the toes broke.

The broken toes were held tightly against Chinese footbinding sole of the foot while the foot was then drawn down straight with the leg and the arch of the foot was forcibly broken. The bandages were repeatedly wound in a figure-eight movement, starting at the inside of the foot at the instep, then carried over the toes, under the foot, and around the heel, the freshly broken toes being pressed tightly into the sole of the foot.

Chinese footbinding

At each pass around the foot, the binding cloth was tightened, pulling the ball of the foot and the heel together, causing the broken foot to fold at the arch, and pressing the toes underneath the sole.

The binding was pulled so tightly that the girl could not move her toes at all and the ends of the binding cloth were then sewn so that the girl could not loosen it.

An X-ray of two bound feet Schema of an x-ray comparison between an unbound and bound foot The girl's broken feet required a great deal of care and attention, and they would be unbound regularly. Each time the feet were unbound, they were washed, the toes carefully checked for injury, and the nails carefully and meticulously trimmed.

When unbound, the broken feet were also kneaded to soften them and the soles of the girl's feet were often beaten to make the joints and broken bones more flexible.

The feet were also soaked in a concoction that caused any necrotic flesh to fall off. The bindings were pulled even tighter each time the girl's feet were rebound. This unbinding and rebinding ritual was repeated as often as possible for the rich at least once daily, for poor peasants two or three times a weekwith fresh bindings.

It was generally an elder female member of the girl's family or a professional foot binder who carried out the initial breaking and ongoing binding of the feet. It was considered preferable to have someone other than the mother do it, as she might have been sympathetic to her daughter's pain and less willing to keep the bindings tight.

Essay on the gender difference in history: women in China and Japan. Why Footbinding Persisted in China for a Millennium Despite the pain, millions of Chinese women stood firm in their devotion to the tradition. Why Footbinding Persisted in China for a Millennium Despite the pain, millions of Chinese women stood firm in their devotion to the tradition.

However, once a foot had been crushed and bound, attempting to reverse the process by unbinding was painful, [68] and the shape could not be reversed without a woman undergoing the same pain all over again. Despite the amount of care taken in regularly trimming the toenails, they would often in-grow, becoming infected and causing injuries to the toes.

Sometimes, for this reason, the girl's toenails would be peeled back and removed altogether. The tightness of the binding meant that the circulation in the feet was faulty, and the circulation to the toes was almost cut off, so any injuries to the toes were unlikely to heal and were likely to gradually worsen and lead to infected toes and rotting flesh.

The necrosis of the flesh would also initially give off a foul odor, and later the smell may come from various microorganisms that colonized the folds.

Gender Difference in History: Women in China and Japan Essay (Women in World History Curriculum)

Girls whose toes were more fleshy would sometimes have shards of glass or pieces of broken tiles inserted within the binding next to her feet and between her toes to cause injury and introduce infection deliberately.

Disease inevitably followed infection, meaning that death from septic shock could result from foot-binding, and a surviving girl was more at risk for medical problems as she grew older.Chinese civil or military officials used a variety of codes to show their rank and position.

The most recognized is the Mandarin square or rank badge. Another way to show social standing and civil rank was the use of colorful hat knobs fixed on the top of their hats.

Chinese clothing - Wikipedia

A Chinese woman showing a "golden lotus" foot, image by Lai Afong, c. s. The Lotus Lovers: The Complete History of the Curious Erotic Custom of Footbinding in China (Chinese Erotic and Sexual Classics) [Howard S. Levy, Wolfram Eberhard, Arthur Waley] on monstermanfilm.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.

Looks at the origins of footbinding, the reasons why it was allowed to flourish, and its effects on the women who had to endure it. WARNING: Some may find the pictures I will have displayed throughout this blog disturbing.

Despite the pain, millions of Chinese women stood firm in their devotion to the tradition

I first became enamored with the Chinese culture when in high school our history teacher assigned us the book Spring Moon, by Bette Bao Lord.

Why Footbinding Persisted in China for a Millennium Despite the pain, millions of Chinese women stood firm in their devotion to the tradition.

May 26,  · Bettmann via Getty Images The feet of Chinese girls were broken and bound as early as the 10th century.

Chinese footbinding

It is widely believed that the deformed .

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