Say it, don't spray it:

Smoog - 2006-01-25 19:02:29
It also came in really handy that foot-binding made the affected women utterly dependant on their husbands for survival, as they were essentially unable to walk in anything other than a pitter patter shuffle - the recognizable "Asian" walk you see depicted all the time in movies and on tv. It lasted as long as it did because Asian cultures are very different from West European-based ones, and individualism is considered a sign of poor breeding and extremely rude. When the individual is not central to a culture, individual rights tend not to get the same cultural focus. China, Japan, Korea, etc. presently have a cultural struggle on their hands today due to mass media exposing to the individuals in their respective cultures that kind of rights and freedoms that some people are allowed to have in other cultures. On the other hand, they also still frown upon the excess and lack of care for the family and community that you find in said western cultures. So they're caught in a tug-of-war with themselves.

Kungfukitten - 2006-01-25 20:31:10
An interesting side note on the pitter patter shuffle is that it is the preferred way to walk in a kimono. Geisha would wear very tall zoris (okobo) and walk in a pigeon toed shuffle step to give the illusion of flowing water - it enhanced the long flowing line of the garment. This type of movement would also keep the kimono in place as geisha would wear it pulled low on their back to show a hint of natural skin color at the nape of the neck. This, apparantly drove the men wild. I'm not sure how prevalent foot binding was in Japan, I haven't come across it in my own geisha studies.

But yes, it's a very good point that foot binding would indeed keep a wife from being able to leave her husband. It was a symbolic and physical sign that she was giving up her own family and giving herself to her husband's.

Halo Askew - 2006-01-25 21:45:06
If you think about it, what are the differences between foot bindings and women torturing themselves wearing high heels? (Alright, aside from the broken bones and gangrene). And what about corsets? Women in AMERICA had rib bones removed so their waists would be as small as possible! Our cultures are different, yet the same. Discuss amongst yourselves, while I eat a hot dog and loaded baked potato. (P.S. If you haven't read Iron & Silk by Mark Salzman, you MUST!)

sifu patty - 2006-01-26 13:34:40
Wild Swans, Three Duaghters of China, by Jung Chnag is a good read. It starts with the author's grandmother's life (her feet were bound) through the period of the 'cultural evolution'. I enjoyed reading/learning about this subject, and I'm NOT a history buff.

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