Willamette World News

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How Did Females ROCK In Families And Our Society

In Chinese traditional culture, the concept of family is the basic unit of society. Which is easy to explain if we have a near look at the word “country” in Chinese – “Guo-Jia”. This is not a cold harsh political term, however, it means the “collection of family units”. The reason why the concept of family has been raised to such a priory level is Chinese people consider the measure of a man’s success by looking at the standard of “building a family and achieving a career”. So the family have been of significant importance in Chinese culture.

The size and structure of families in China have been changed a lot since 1959 when the new government established. The traditional Chinese family used to have “four generations living under one roof”, which means father and mother, son and daughter-in-law (daughter and son-in-law), grandson and granddaughter-in-law and great-grandchildren live together in the same house. However, the modern family in China is of small-size, simple structure and of diversified patterns of family. The reasons which caused the Chinese family system to transform from an extended household to the contemporary nuclear unit is not just because the “one-child family planning policy” controlled the China’s rapid population growth, but also because the changes in women’s status in the family system are very evident.

In a traditional Chinese family, the different roles and rights for men and women are very clear-cut. The male have the responsibility to support and protect the family, and the decision-making power also belongs to the male. Whereas the female in this traditional family as a mother is required to stay in the house and take care of the family’s daily life; to cook, wash and knit for the family. Women in the conventional families have no right to go to school or have a career, their only destiny is to have children and serve their husbands, children and the elders. To measure the success for a female in a family is to see how many children (especially how many boys) she has. Thus, in this kind of patriarchal society as people look up to male and down on female, every family continues to have children until they have a boy. If the new-born is a girl, they’ll probably have another child. Therefore, girls are less desirable in these types of traditionally Chinese families.

However, when the “one-child-policy” appeared in Chinese modern society (and the enactment of law of equality between the genders) girls in Chinese families become much more desired, and are able to go to school and colleges to get education. Many female professionals started to emerge in enterprises and have more rights and power. Also because of this, young couples started their own small family units and do not live with their parents anymore although they still mentally and emotionally support each other, and both males and females can work to support the families and take care for their children. The United Nations Development Program’s Human Development Report (2010) gave China a “Gender Equality Ranking” of 38, just below the US (37).

In the fast-changing Chinese society, the family structures and gender relations are still changing rapidly, to some extend, thanks to the policies which gave power and rights to female, and that’s why and how females ROCK in Chinese society.

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