The mother in the story knew that footbinding was painful, having experienced it herself, but she would subject her daughter to do it mainly because of acceptance. She knew that without footbinding, her daughter is most likely to be rejected, and might not even marry. Footbinding makes the feet look smaller, and to men, this dainty-like appearance is somewhat attractive. Footbinding also was also first practice by the upper class society, and in China, with it being a man's society, women needed to be kept at home, weak, and faithful to their husbands. It was like a mandatory tradition to footbind, and for centuries in China, it was once an important part of culture.
The beliefs about women that the tradition of footbinding illustrate is that it symbolized the lower status of women compared to men. Women were expected to remain at home because they weren't able to move, and this was one of the points of footbinding. They had to seem very terrified all the time, week, and they were not to be interested in the outside world. Women were often just inside the home, and the men would be guaranteed that their wives devoted to them. This discrimination between gender was seen during the footbinding era, and women were always expected to obey rules. The birth of a girl was normally a disappointment to their family, and daughters never carried on the family name.
One of the examples in the modern society today that is somewhat alike to footbinding is plastic surgery. People change their appearances today in order to be accepted in the society, in order to be satisfied with how they look, in order to appear more "attractive", and even though they know that there are consequences, though it may...