Women’s rights have been a topic of American discussion for a long time now. Although America isn’t the only country that has problems revolving around equal rights for all people. 1920s china had many parallels and differences to America during that time around how women should play a role in everyday society. Right off the bat as talked about in The Roaring Twenties published by BBC News, “most women were still housewives and were not as free as their men,” is used to talk about the present difference in societal roles for women at the time. This time was, however, a major turning point from a prior even more alienated women’s lifestyle. In the 1920s women of America gained their sovereignty, along with a twenty-five percent increase of women in the workforce. Most of these changes were attributed to the role women played during World War One.
China is an example of a country were traditional roots play a huge role in society, and in the past has led to a lot of oppression and discourse. Gail Tsukiyama further elaborates in her novel Women of the Silk on a young Chinese girl’s perspective of the life pre-made and decided for herself and her friends by tradition and law. It’s a world where she can never hope to be anything more than a possible wife candidate for the husband her parents choose for her, or live a life of a celibate and work in a women’s house and a factory for the rest of her life. However, like America, China was starting to change it’s stance on women’s rights too. In a movement called the May Fourth Movement, many people came together to protest the warlord government’s outdated and harmful policies around women’s rights involving foot binding, and a major lack of education for the vast majority of women.
An outside look can sometimes give you insight otherwise impossible to get. That is why it’s so important that we get exposed to other countries’ culture and lifestyle. As of late, the overall consensus appears to be that women in china are now on a mostly equal footing as their male counterparts, but some effects from the past still hold them back. As stated in The Role of Women in China by Kira O’Sullivan of the Fair Observer, “Although there are, in theory, endless possibilities, only some women can access them.” We see a lot of people who share really similar views on women in American society the same way as well. Nowadays there is not really any specific societal role for women in today’s American society. Women are free to choose whatever kind of life they want to live, free of legislation to tie them down.
O’Sullivan, Kira, et al. “The Role of Women in China.” Fair Observer, 17 May 2014, www.fairobserver.com/region/central_south_asia/role-women-china/.
“The Roaring Twenties – Revision 2 – GCSE History – BBC Bitesize.” BBC News, BBC, 2019, www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zt8ftyc/revision/2.
Tsukiyama, Gail. Women of the Silk: a Novel. St. Martin’s, 2000.
“Women in Traditional China.” Asia Society, asiasociety.org/education/women-traditional-china.“Women ’s Movement and Change of Women ’ s Status in China.” Journal of International Women’s Studies, Jan. 2000, vc.bridgew.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1626&context=jiws.