Woman ‘Foot Binding’ in Chinese Culture

Woman ‘Foot Binding’ in Chinese Culture

Woman ‘Foot Binding’ in Chinese Culture

Is Facebook trying to humiliate women with ‘lotus feet’?!

Every day I check my social media on my phone or on my laptop. A video came up on my Facebook feed shared by a friend. The video showed Chinese women with ‘lotus feet’.

At first, I had no idea why these women had feet like this, which made me curious. From my research, I saw that ‘foot binding was ‘the cruel practice of mutilating the feet of young girls. It was seen as a sign of wealth and marriage eligibility from the 10th to 20th centuries in Chinese society’ (Strochlic 2014). I was also curious as to how history has now made an appearance on social media. “Why is the social media now publicising how Chinese women went about traditional practices?” “Is the social media taking a genuine interest in Chinese history, or is it shaming Chinese women?”

Whilst researching about ‘foot binding’, I learnt that “an emperor had a dancer who built a stage in the shape of a lotus flower. When she bound her feet into a hoof-like shape and danced on the lotus, the practice became fashionable. Foot binding started with the royal court and then spread throughout China. In the 12th century, foot binding had become much more widespread, and every girl who wished to marry had her feet bound. The only people who didn’t bind their feet were the very poor, ethnic Hakka people. Women who worked in fishing needed to have ‘normal feet’ in order to balance themselves on boats” (Ajaka et al. 2013).

So, “why is the social media publicising ‘lotus feet’ now”? I don’t know the definite answer for that, but I know it can go both ways. I suppose that Facebook has a dedicated documentary page. Or, it could also be that Facebook is sharing content that they know would get visits on their page. Which leads to my next question, ‘is the social media publically humiliating women for the culture and tradition?’

I drew to the conclusion that the more people that visit the Facebook page, share, like, or comment, the more recognition they get for it. These women may feel like they are not part of the norm because of Facebook. Due to the unordinary, Facebook gets more money and more recognition for it’s ‘uniqueness’ and ‘interesting’ content.

Chinese women with lotus feet (foot binding)

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3 thoughts on “Woman ‘Foot Binding’ in Chinese Culture

  1. Very interesting topic, seen something similar about shaming in other cultures on my social media feeds. I suppose it is quite interesting to hear what traditions other culture have, even if different to ours!

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