Presentation on theme: "Momadic Influences on China Mongolorization of China Institutional Racism Ignoring infrastructure for agriculture Change of marriage system Change."— Presentation transcript:
Momadic Influences on China Mongolorization of China Institutional Racism Ignoring infrastructure for agriculture Change of marriage system Change of control of woman’s property Widow suicide Manchu impact on China Banning of prostitution The Role of Women under the Manchu Manchu women Manchu Marriage Patterns Control of Imperial Consorts
Mongolorization of China Earlier nomadic rulers of northern China had not forced their practices on the Han population but the Mongols were a minority in Yuan China. Mongols: 1 million Western and Central Asians: 1 million Northern Chinese: 10 million Southern Chinese: 60 million To protect Mongol superiority traditions and lifestyles, they implemented: Institutional Racism Change of Chinese practices to Mongol practices resulting in widow suicides. Marriage system from polygamy to levirate Change of control of woman’s property
Mongolorization of China: Institutional Racism and Ignoring infrastructure for Agriculture Institutional Racism Hring of foreign officials (preferably non-Han). Easier exams for the non-Hans for civil service. Banning the marriage of Manchu and Han families who were not part of the banner system. Han women can be taken in as concubines but Manchu must avoid taking women from Chinese elite families – to prevent the Chinese families from using marriage to access social prestige and power. Ignoring infrastructure for agriculture: Flood control and irrigation These two resulted eventually in rebellions (together with numerous succession problems)
Mongolorization of China: Change of marriage system All widows who remarried had to do so according to the levirate system: Difficult for Chinese wives: Considered incest – remarriage to husband’s family members; intergenerational marriages. Principal wives who were widowed cannot become concubines – cannot remarry the person of he was man married as Chinese can only have one principal wife. To make it easier for Chinese, Mongols amended laws requiring widows to only remarry unmarried brothers of deceased husband. Widows need not remarry if her husband has taken her family name – to carry on her family line. If she and her family members can form a tax unit;
Mongolorization of China: Change of control of women ’ s property Dowry was made part of the husband’s family property. Widow is without resources to return to family or to remarry. To protect women: They cannot be divorced without cause. Widow may only remarry with her family’s consent. Ming and Qing dynasties kept the law on control of women’s property by the husband’s families (but not the laws on the remarriage of widow according to the levirate system). Desperate widows, without resources, throughout the following dynasties killed themselves. Widow suicide rationalized as “chastity” -- Widow chastity was emphasized as a virtue during the Ming.
Mongolorization of China: Widow suicide Original concept of widow suicide: Serving husband after death: When applied to rulers whereby wives, officials and loyal followers were buried with them, -- get rid of former powerful ruling elite. When applied to commoners – impoverished women who cannot survive for economic or family reasons. Widow suicide not emphasized in China until after Mongolorization.
Mongolorization of China: Widow Suicide Widow suicides were not written up as examples of female virtue in Biographies of Women in early Chinese history. The official histories from the Six Dynasties to the Tang dynasty included stories of women who endured hardship and committed suicide for righteous causes, such as resisting rape, but not widow suicides. The Biographies of Women in the official Song history only included two suicides of widows following the death of their husbands. The section in the Yuan history listed 48 with the suicides sometimes coerced by their superiors. 400 were listed in the Ming history -- selected from among more than 30,000 model women mentioned in the Ming shilu 实录 (Veritable Records) as well as in the local gazetteers of the time.
Mongolorization of China: Widow Suicide (2) During the Qing dynasty, it was felt that widow suicides was out of control and not due to “chastity” but to: Despair; Fear of being married off by her in-laws; Loss of security of her children as members of their father’s family; The prospect of an inferior marriage as she was a widow and her personal humiliation and moral failure; Fears of loneliness, of hardships, of unwillingness to face the burdens of caring for a dead husband’s aging parents, abusive in-laws; Hope that as a wandering ghost their spirit can return to take revenge on the living persons who had made their lives miserable.
Mongolorization of China: Widow suicide (3) Emperor Yongzheng (1728) of the Qing called for a stop to the use of death to avoid responsibilities. He said that a widow had two important responsibilities -- caring for her husband’s parents and rearing her children or adopted heir. After 1728, the pattern of suicide changed. The reported number of suicide dropped. Women committed suicide after she had fulfilled her responsibilities of caring for her parents-in-law and her children. The widows who lived to serve the deceased husband’s parents and raise the heir would slash their faces with knives or cut off their fingertips to show their loyalty and that they are resisting remarriage.
Manchu impact on China Forcing the wearing of Manchu style clothing and hair style. Revolutions against this enforcement were put down. Foot-binding: Manchu tried banning it but gave it up three years later: Difficult to enforce. Manchu found small feet attractive and Manchu women began wearing shoes that looked like they had bound feet. Footbinding was finally forbidden by law towards the end of the dynasty as the Chinese population no longer found it socially acceptable and asked for laws to forbid it. Widow suicide: Reduced the number and changed the pattern of widow suicide. Banning of Prostitution
Manchu Impact on China: Banning of Prostitution Banning of prostitution – both kinds State Managed: Women were provided for the military since early Chinese history – yuehu 乐户 music households. They were the wives or daughters of criminals who were forced to serve as part of the penalty of the crimes of their men. They were captive women. Their status was hereditary. Private: they were from poor families -- wives or daughters of poor men, divorced women, discarded concubines.
The Role of Women under the Manchu: Manchu Women Manchu women had greater freedom and authority. They were forbidden to bind their feet and walked in public places, rode horses, practiced archery and participated in hunts. Women were occasionally active on the battlefield: a few were even named banner lieutenant during the conquest. They held key roles in religious performances at court. Manchu and Mongol nobles of both sexes had the right to divorce. Princess Hexiao—youngest daughter of Qianlong — dressed in man’s clothing, practiced archery and accompanied her father on hunts – killing a deer on at least one occasion. The proud emperor was recorded as saying that if she had been a boy he would have made her heir.
The Role of Women under the Manchu: Manchu Marriage Patterns The Manchu practiced cross-generational marriages within the levirate system – the levirate system was later banned due to Chinese influence. For political purposes, the early Manchurian emperors took wives descended from the Mongol Great Khans, so that their descendants would also be seen as legitimate heirs of the Mongolian Yuan dynasty. The imperial family only married with banner families. All Manchus, not only the imperial family, were forbidden to marry Han Chinese who were not in the Eight Banners. Han Chinese, not from banner families can be taken in as concubines. Anyone who disobeyed would be punished and any offsprings expelled from the lineage.
The Role of Women under the Manchu: Manchu Marriage Patterns (2) The recruitment of women into the palace was done every three years through drafting of daughters of officials in the banners. With the exception of specific individuals, every eligible girl, 13 to 14 sui, from these families had to appear in Beijing for the recruitment before her marriage. After 1653 young girls between 13-14 had to be presented to the palace in Beijing before they could be betrothed. Some were immediately chosen to be wives or consorts for the princes or the emperor. Others served in the palace for a five-year term. Those who caught the emperor’s eye would be promoted into the harem. Palace maids, selected through a separate draft, might be promoted into the harem – 16% of imperial consorts were originally palace maids.
The Role of Women under the Manchu: Manchu Marriage Patterns: Control of Imperial Consorts Palace regulations made it almost impossible for an imperial consort to remain close to her natal kin. Visits home were rare and demanded that her parents and grandparents prostrate themselves before her. Imperial permission was needed for meetings with parents when a woman was pregnant or when her parents were elderly. Special permission was needed for them to send servants to their family homes. They were forbidden to give or receive anything from family members. Their families could not give gifts to other palace women. Motherhood usually brought promotion but the title of empress was usually conferred on her by the son after he becomes emperor.