Foot Binding: Beauty And Torture Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 08:24:05
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Women have been deformed, bounded and altered their bodies to not only survive in the society but also because of the practice of the dominance of men over women. The Lotus Shoes were very popular back in the Qing Dynasty as foot binding were a practice that many Chinese women participated in and became bound to patriarchy.

This practice was implemented in the Chinese cultural values and traditions. Footbinding as a duality due to not only its beauty and charm, but also its deformity and foul odor (Ping, 2000).

The moral restriction not only affected women, but also the culture and society. The rise of footbinding, together with the rise of the practice of the exemplary woman, symbolizes the social, political, and cultural predicaments in the late imperial period (Ping, 2000)

Foot binding is a painful process that allowed women to be thought as beautiful and a good future wife. The cult of the exemplary woman in the Ming and Qing dynasties reach the most terrible self-mutilations and the most shocking methods of suicide
(Ping, 2000)

Throughout history and in many different cultures, people have different perspective and perception on what beauty is or means. However, foot binding is probably one of the most extreme practices of body modification for beauty. This practice goes beyond the superficial. Body alteration, however, is not something solely unique to China, across history we have observed many different cultures with their own practice and perspective of beauty as seen in figure 2 & 3.

As women with bounded foot couldnt move or do much, they would often lead the life of the wealthy and enjoy their day with fellow foot bounded women (Figure 4). The practice was a custom of the royalty and wealthy until the start of the 17th century, where women from all classes started binding their feet to imitate the upper classes. (Footwear History, 2013)

At the point when a young girl achieved the age of three, each toe was broken aside from the principal toe on each foot and what is left of the foot was bound with material and strips that were intended to keep the foot shorter, this likewise influenced the foot to twist at the underside. Ladies were compelled to experience torment and keeping in mind the end goal to feel delightful. (Cummings, 1998). One of the popular theories said that it began with Emperor Li Yu. Amid the 970 A.D., Emperor Li Yu saw his most loved partner moving on a brilliant lotus platform and was spellbound by her feet, which she had wrapped in portions of material much like those of a ballet performer moving on pointe so her moving seemed more delightful. Seeing the rulers pleasure, other court ladies comparatively wrapped their feet. Before long high society ladies received the mold, and inevitably it spread to all ladies, regardless of their economic wellbeing. Just a couple of areas opposed, similar to the Manchu and the individuals who hailed from Guangdong in southern China. (Holman, 2013) (Ross, 2013)

Surprisingly, as the custom became widely practiced, a transformation of the styles and techniques was a witness. Ladies needed ever-littler, more bent feet, thus the foot restricting procedure was made to accomplish very curved, 3-inch feet. (Figure 6) The training flourished for a long time until the point when it was prohibited in 1912 after the insurgency of Sun Yat-sen. (Evans, 2013) (Minnesota-China Connection)

Be that as it may, ladies kept on restricting their feet in parts of China until the late 1950s. After the Communists came to control in 1949, ladies were compelled to do hard physical work like burrowing repositories, and those with bound feet found the work horrifying. The ladies often gave up daily sustenance out of vanity as they simply could not work the fields or gather food. They regularly abandoned sustenance as they couldnt satisfy their day by day creation amount nor scrounge in the mountains for organic products like other ladies. (Lim, 2007)

When the practice became a tradition, it seemed impossible to discontinue it. Bounded feet were deemed normal and beautiful, while unbound feet were otherwise. The culture and practice have left parents feeling upset and caught in between. They wouldnt want to inflict pain on their daughters but at the same time, their daughter would be out cast by the society, and they would have a hard time getting a husband if their feet werent bounded. The size of the feet meant so much more than the social status of the female. However, foot binding has also left a positive impact on the society despite the negative influences. The practice was also a strong multi-generational bond for women. (Figure 7) (Figure 9) Women with bounded feet were proud of their feet size and would get together to sew their shoes regularly. The procedure was also performed by the women of the family. (Figure 8)

It was a strong tradition passed from mother to daughters, entangled with shoemaking, how to endure pain and how to attract men. In many ways, it underpinned womens culture, says Dorothy Ko, a history professor at Barnard College in New York and author of Cinderellas Sisters: A Revisionist History of Footbinding. (Gillet, 2012)

Beyond human relations, this practice has also influenced Chinas architecture. Due to the bounded feet, the maximum distance women could walk was only about 3 or 5 miles. This has led them to receive more care and support. The houses were the mostly single floor, double at the maximum as it was hard for the women to move around. (Figure 10) The walkways and lanes were very small so women could get support from the walls or even railing when they walk.

Foot binding also affected the culture on a global scale. The Westerners were able to explore the world and colonized lands. As the Chinese women had their feet bounded, it made it hard for them to travel or commute. Their husband would often stay with them too. The Chinese that managed to settle new lands were from ethnic groups that didnt practice binding. (Ross, 2013)

Foot binding likewise cultivated the predominance of men over ladies. Since it was troublesome for a lady to stroll with bound feet the most distant she could walk was 3 or 4 miles (4.8 to 6.4 kilometers) Chinese ladies never strayed a long way from home, nor had much contact with others outside their towns. (Holman, 2013) Their lessened portability for all intents and purposes guaranteed they couldnt have extramarital illicit relationships, or flee to get away from a beating when their spouses were disappointed. As foot restricting ended up noticeably dug in amid the Song administration (960-1279), instruction for ladies was entirely diminished and autonomous property rights banned (Ross, 2013)

A law in Imperial China was that ladies did not pick their spouses as marriage was orchestrated by the men (Nosotro, 2000), which again focuses on the overwhelming talk of a male controlling country. The men chose the ladies by the measure of their feet, the wealthier men pick the lady with the littlest. A go-between would visit went with a single man, and he would sit and watch the ladies twisted feet. On the off chance that they were too substantial and did not fulfill him, he basically turned her down which was a ¦ extremely humiliating undertaking¦ cites Zhang Ru-lian.

The possibility of sustenance restricting was so well known as the showed that ladies could endure torment this exhibited the characteristic of the train which was alluring. To place this into the point of view foot restricting is practically similar to female circumcision, as it takes away some type of energy, and it influences the ladies to feel vulnerable.

Foot binding also cultured an erotic practice, it became an antiquated fetish for men. In the same way as other sexual interests, accommodation in Asian culture is one prevailing fixation. For official, its not constrained upon the female sex. Indeed, it is normally guardians that start this sort of training so their little girl would have a decent future prospect. This training is a sort of accommodation since it makes the females claimed by their spouses. The feet have been one of the fixations of mankind. The shape and form and in addition the way that it is shrouded, makes it all the more energizing as far as sexual fervor. Women in the past were objectified and used by men for their sexual needs and fetish. (Holman, 2013) Antiquated manuals taught men in how to exotically caress bound feet in incalculable ways, and utilize them to improve sexual experiences. Further, numerous ladies kept their feet bound all through sexual experiences, upgrading their persona while covering their deformity. Be that as it may, a few men got a kick out of the chance to see the unshod they would be in contact with it. Peculiar foot obsessions grew, for example, drinking the water a lady had used to wash her feet or setting nuts between her twisted toes, at that point eating them (Evans, 2013) The bound foot denied ladies of their opportunity to move their feet and their flexibility of soul. The fact that this practice isnt compulsory and they are done even by mothers, demonstrates that this training begins to be not an easygoing practice in nature but rather can transform into a type of accommodation later on. When a man marries a woman because of his sexual attraction towards her feet, then it can be perceived that the women submitted to the man because of her feet. Another way for seeing this is footbinding would not be a prevailing fashion and practice if men in China did not demonstrate any slant to young ladies with little feet.

The once well-known routine with regards to foot restricting, at last, reached an end toward the finish of the lines. Ladies in China have made considerable progress in the way they have been dealt with. Ladies have progressed significantly in Chinese society and the playing field has turned into somewhat more even yet ladies are still observed as lesser than men in the present society. Even till today, there is an interest for infant young men to be conceived. Chinese society inclines toward young men to young ladies since children can grow up to deal with their folks when they develop old though guardians cant move in with the lady as she grows up and moves out of the house when she gets hitched. There is presently a point of confinement set up expressing what number of children a couple can have. Families are permitted to have one tyke as long as that first youngster is a kid and a moment is permitted if the primary type is a young lady however after two children couples are not permitted to have any more kids or they would need to pay a $3,500 fine. In the 1980s, the legislature started implementing a strict one tyke for every couple run the show. Despite the fact that ladies have progressed significantly in Chinese society, ladies are as yet viewed as the second rate compared to men even today.

(Chang, 2008)

However, women today are not any longer pressured to have little feet just to guarantee men will like them. The stereotype of females being a sex object is gradually being supplanted by superior women who has influenced and made an impact in the Chinese society. The practice is part of Chinas ancient tradition. It fills in as a lesson that people can do outrageous things to their body just to please others. Footbinding is a piece of Chinas history that shows us how our reality today comprehends and acknowledges that men and ladies are made similarly and must be dealt with correspondingly.

(Jackson, 1998)

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