The Impact of Concubine System On female Subordination in Chinese Society

Essay by futuraxzUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, May 2004

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In most western societies, especially in the American society, the awareness on female power is a prevalent issue that has already been promoted widely by feminists and womanists for decades. However in most eastern countries, particularly in China, issues regarding female power are almost still unheard and unthought-of. Yet, this does not indicate that problems such as female subordination are nonexistent in China; instead, it represents a much more serious problem underneath. For people in Chinese society, issues that are being considered as female subordination in western societies is on another hand being seemed as nothing but a regular and natural phenomenon that simply need no discussions. There is no awareness on the rising of female power because female status in Chinese society is being subordinated to the point that the idea of female subordination has been made into nonexistence. As a result, female subordination becomes a justified norm in Chinese society where even the women themselves swallow it unconsciously.

There are a variety of reasons that assisted in building the serious female subordination in Chinese society and one of the most major reasons is the traditional Chinese concubine system. Therefore on this essay, I am going to focus on discussing the roles of concubine system in subordinating females in Chinese society, and also on the impact it has on the images and status of Chinese females in western societies.

To understanding the roles of concubine system in subordinating females in Chinese society, one need to understand what is a concubine system first. In the Unite States, as cultural integration intensified, knowledge on other cultures also increased and therefore the term, concubine, is probably not new. From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it explains concubine as "a woman with whom a man cohabits without being married" or "one having a recognized social...