Qing Dynasty's Women: The Rise of Feminism | Read Chinese

Sat Apr 20 2024 at 05:00 pm to 07:00 pm

library@chinatown - Programme Zone | Singapore

GoLibrary | National Library Board, Singapore
Publisher/HostGoLibrary | National Library Board, Singapore
Qing Dynasty's Women: The Rise of Feminism | Read Chinese
We will be exploring the lives of Empress Dowager Cixi and Qiu Jin, a martyr for republicanism and feminism.
About this Event
Event Photos

Speaker: Heng Kang Wei (Committee member, Qing History Society)

This session is conducted in English. 

Benevolent Joy and Autumn Gem: Unveiling the Lives of Qing Dynasty's Women and the Rise of Feminism

The Qing Dynasty, with its opulent history, often comes to life through drama series depicting imperial consorts and palace ladies embroiled in a relentless quest for the emperor's affection. But how much of this narrative is rooted in historical truth, and how much is a product of literary embellishment?

In an era where gender equality has made significant strides, the realities of life for women in the Qing Dynasty's Forbidden City might seem alien. Could these women wield political influence, seek personal fulfillment, and what privileges did they truly enjoy? Delving into their lives not only separates historical fact from fictional drama but also illuminates the challenges they faced.

The Qing Dynasty was a crucible of change, wherein the seeds of feminism began to sprout amidst the clash of traditional and modern ideologies. This period, marked by profound societal shifts and the influx of revolutionary ideas, provides a unique lens through which to examine the interplay between age-old customs and emerging thoughts on women's rights. The evolution of feminism during this time is a testament to the relentless pursuit of equality, influenced by and influencing other contemporary movements.

We will be exploring the lives of Empress Dowager Cixi and Qiu Jin, a martyr for republicanism and feminism. Through their stories, we aim to:
-Shed light on the realities of imperial consorts' lives versus their portrayal in dramas.
-Uncover how a woman could rise to power in the Qing Dynasty despite traditions barring political involvement.
-Trace the roots of the women's liberation movement to its pioneers and evaluate its impact on the course of Chinese feminism.
-Examine the attempts to reconcile the empowerment of women and feminism with traditional Chinese values.

This discussion promises to not only revisit history but also to understand the complex dynamics of feminism's development in China, offering insights into the enduring struggle for gender equality.

Qing History Reading Club is one of NLB’s many LearnX Communities that connect like-minded people to create a modern kampong of communal learning. These communities cover a wide range of topics and can be found in libraries all over the island.  

Event Photos

Event Venue & Nearby Stays

library@chinatown - Programme Zone, 133 New Bridge Road Chinatown Point #04-12, Singapore, Singapore


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