Chinese Foot Binding
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08 December 2009
Words: 784 | Pages: 4
Chinese Foot Binding
Girls, you probably think you go through a lot to make yourselves look beautiful, right? And you might think that you do more than any girl to make yourselves look as good as possible, right? Wrong. In China, little girls were required to bind their feet for acceptance in society. The pain and suffering these young women had to go through just to achieve a good life was unbelievable.
In order for foot binding to occur, the daughterâ€™s feet had to be soaked in warm water or animal blood. Then a potion was rubbed onto the feet causing all of the dead skin to fall off. After this, she had her nails cut as short as they could possibly go, preventing them from growing too long and breaking the skin on the feet. A foot massage was then given to the girl, which loosened up the feet. Next, the four smallest toes on each foot were broken. Painful, right? I know. After the toes were broken, a bandage was wrapped around the smallest ones and pulled tightly around the heel. This pulled the feet as close together as possible. After every two days, the bandages would be removed, and then put back on even tighter, pulling on the foot even more. This process lasted about two years, making the new length of the foot approximately four to five inches long. And to ensure the foot stayed this way, the process would continue on this poor little girl for another ten years. But pain wasnâ€™t the only harmful thing that occurred because of this torturing ritual. Infections were the most common side effects. These were caused by either toe nails curving into the foot rotting the skin, or the ball of the foot actually touching the heel. After about three years of this continuance, the feet died. Now, besides all of the pain these girls had to go through, they carried a reeking smell with them every where. Diseases were caused by the infections, and some people even died because of this. This entire process made it very difficult to walk and even more difficult to keep your balance.
It would seem very difficult to find a good enough reason for this sick custom, but at the time, women didnâ€™t have a choice. Foot binding was started in around the tenth century during the Sung Dynasty. At that time, men wouldnâ€™t marry women who didnâ€™t have bound feet. Women who didnâ€™t have their feet bound were considered to have â€œclown feetâ€. Foot binding was mainly for sex. In China, women never really had a say in anything, so they basically always had to listen to the man and do what the men wanted. And the foot binding tightened the pelvic muscle, which pleased the men. They felt it was always like making love to a virgin. Women never really had much control of their lives. But luckily enough, the Nationalist Revolution was to get rid of foot binding for good. It slowed down, and then was finally stopped in 1911 .
I think that this procedure is completely wrong. It is disgusting that men would actually find women with feet like this attractive. And to think that a Chinese girlâ€™s mother would basically insist that her daughter becomes a follower of this indecency act is unbelievable and not right. The women of China are basically growing up to serve the men.
Today, there are many more less-painful techniques for changing how you look. Women have the option of having plastic surgery now. They can receive face-lifts, tummy-tucks, liposuction, nose jobs, manicures, pedicures, etc. They might cost a lot, but there are usually no side effects or sicknesses that come with the operation. And because of the high-paying jobs, people arenâ€™t concerned about money nearly as much as they should be. So they waste their money making themselves look better for sex. This relates to China because they bound their feet for sex, just because they knew thatâ€™s what the men wanted.
In conclusion, no matter what the consequences were, the Chinese decided to continue with foot binding any way. Their ignorance let them to suffering, sickness, and sometimes even death. Nothing is worth the price these little girls had to pay.
Hutchins, Candace. "Chinese Foot Binding." World Cultures Resources. 5 Jan. 2006 .
Kam, Nadine. "Golden Lilies." YMW. 5 Jan. 2006 .