Foot Binding

(redirected from Footbinding)
A custom practised on young girls and women for about 1,000 years in China, ending in the early 20th century, which resulted in lifelong disabilities for most of its victims
References in periodicals archive ?
Using the Chinese practice of footbinding as a metaphor for the subjugation of women, Yung argues that the first generation of Chinese American women, the immigrant generation, experienced a greater degree of racial and sexual oppression than did later generations, who benefited from some New Deal policies in the 1930s and the expansion of employment opportunities during the Second World War.
Like the previous work, this one is organized around footbinding as the symbol of women's subjugation and subordination.
The discussion of footbinding is a key element of Ko's analysis here.
Aborigines were appalled by such Chinese customs as female infanticide, footbinding and night-soil fertilizing, but as the prestige of Chinese culture affected aborigine villages, the men quickly adapted to Chinese dress and introduced various consumer items (beds in one village were an article of display, their owners continuing to sleep amid deerskins on the floor).
Maoism retained the statist slant in the standard term funu, understood as a woman emancipated from traditional marital practices and footbinding, and participating in class-based politics.
As the grandmother in the second anecdote knew well, the ingredients of happiness for women boiled down to longevity, if only so that they could in their old age reap the reward for a lifetime's toil and pain, from footbinding and childbirth to the daily drudgery of domestic work.
Mackie G, Ending footbinding and infibulation: a convention account, American Sociological Review, 1996, 61(6):999-1017.
For example, Gerry Mackie traces the evolution of footbinding in China and female genital mutilation (FGM) in many African countries, and finds that these practices originated not to serve the interests of most members of the group but to ensure that imperial female slaves would remain faithful to their masters.
Psychiatrist Richard Schwartzman, a follower of Wilhelm Reich, concluded the day by presenting a fascinating and unique study of emotional factors responsible for cruel and unnecessary practices such as male circumcision, female genital cutting, and footbinding.
See Ko, Cinderella's Sisters: A Revisionist History of Footbinding (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007), 56-57.
The issue of footbinding was the greatest source of tension, as the Chinese women themselves were required to unbind their feet in order to enroll at Jissen Academy and were regularly identified in Japan by their "objectification" as "useless playthings" within their homeland (Judge 193).
By exploring the unexpectedly swift eclipse of three practices that had been accepted and endorsed for centuries (in one case for a millennium)--dueling among English gentlemen, footbinding of women in China, and the institution of Atlantic slavery--Appiah hopes we can learn to harness the relevant winds of change to end rapidly the long-standing tradition of "honor killing" of females for bringing shame on their families through inappropriate (primarily sexual) conduct.