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Since time immemorial women have been subdued and relegated to the background with enough rules and regulations for behavior and morality to fill up a voluminous book. Even today women are subjected to the background and emphasized with stereotypical behavior. A woman is not supposed to have an opinion or talk too much or express her feelings and emotions, she is just there to do the household chores and rear up children. The adage that a “girl should be seen not heard” is a common phrase that is used in society. In the same strain Chinese authorities thankfully shut down a “female morality class” that lectured woman to shut up, be a second fiddle in society and focus primarily on housework. The news was reported in media on Monday.
In a viral video that has been making the rounds in China, an instructor at the class tells students that “women should talk less, do more housework and shut their mouths”. The class was happening in the northeastern province of Liaoning. The supposed teacher also said that that “women should not strive to move upwards in society, but should always remain at the bottom level”. They did not stop here, another instructor said, “If you order food delivery instead of cooking by yourself, you are disobeying rules for women.”
Fushun Traditional Cultural Research Association started the classes in Fushun city in 2011 with the apparent approval of the city officials. It was aimed at reinforcing Confucian values of traditional teachings but their viral videos angered many. One user on China’s social media site Weibo wrote, “This is female slavery, not female morality.” The official Xinhua news agency reported that the education authorities in Fushun maintain that the class had been launched without authorization and will be stopped immediately.
Several Chinese schools offers “female morality classes” that teach traditional culture such as Confucian morals, calligraphy, martial arts and classical texts. Confucianism was denounced in China by the Communist Party that came to power in 1949 as a relic of feudalism. However, since President Xi Jinping assumed power the Confucian teachings have found a place back in the social culture of the country.