Ban Zhao’s lessons and Chinese patriarchy

A question from Yahoo! Answers:

For those who know chinese history: scholars this one’s for you?

In what ways would Ban Zhao’s lessons support Chinese patriarchy?

In every way imaginable. Ban Zhao offered women seven lessons:

  1. Humility (the female is the weaker of the two genders and thus, the more humble)
  2. Husband and Wife (the sole role of a woman as a wife is to serve her husband)
  3. Respect and Caution (a wife is a yin to the husband’s yang)
  4. Womanly Qualifications (the ideal wife must behave, speak, look, and work as is expected of a married woman)
  5. Whole-hearted Devotion (a wife must be devoted to the husband, meaning, she is to tolerate concubines and is not to re-marry after the husband’s death)
  6. Implicit Obedience (a wife must be obedient towards the husband’s parents)
  7. Harmony Between Younger In-laws (a wife must contribute to maintaining the harmony in the husband’s siblings’ relationships, which in practice means that the wife is supposed to make sure that her sisters-in-law remain submissive to their husbands if they are married and to her husband and brothers-in-law if they are not)

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