China Chiristian Daily

- November 25, 2017 -

Society

Because of Jesus, Women Once Bound Feet Now Wear High-heels

By CCD contributor: Li Daonan
on March 18, 2017 06:03 AM

women-a-representation
Women ( a representation): (credit: Pixabay)

Supposing that you have a time machine and you made it, coming to the ancient Greece admired by yourself as a girl. Your experience here not only realized your dream of crossing the time but also stirred up your hope of changing into a man in the new world. For you saw the tragic fate of women.

Abortion was common and girl babies were likely to be victims. Girls did not have the right to education. 

Women as property were ruled by men regardless of age. They have no right to divorce their husbands unless permitted by their husbands and father. They did not have the freedom to love someone they liked for their marriage had been arranged when they were young. If they were suspected to have love affairs, their husbands would force them to divorce by asking them to leave the family empty-handed. These cruel reality caused you to hope that you were a man. It was common to find corpses of baby girls in the sewer for women and girls were not respected.

Thinking that the world was too bloody and horrific, if you want to travel again in history, desiring to give women justice and came to China in 11th century. You found women whose feet wrapped tightly,bound by all kinds of laws teaching them to obey, without the right to education, and depending on men for they did not have any strength to work. When you crossed the time, you happened to be a girl and had the privilege to experience life as female.

Ever since you could remember, your parents gave all their attention and love to your brothers because you would leave the family forever when you were married; In the happiest time of your childhood, your mother began to wrap your small feet with cloths tightly and when you cried because of the unbearable pain, she told you that if you failed to wrap your feet you would not be considered a woman, and you would be despised and starve to death after being driven out by your brothers; You grew up in pain when you could not walk but stay at home. After your pain was relieved, you could no longer walk steadily but at a slow pace. You experienced the feeling of walking on your toes; You were not allowed to go out, and you had to obey your father in everything; When you turned 10 of age, the time for arranging your marriage, you could not see your future husband until the day when you had sexual union with him; After marriage, you had to obey your husband in everything; When your husband died, you had two choices, either to die with your husband which would be praised in your village or to remain alive, without the right to marry again, ruled by your sons and if you dared to remarry, you would be abandoned by all. 

You felt desperate to find justice for women so you kept traveling in history by century. Until you came to Qing Dynasty, you found the same or even worse destiny facing women.

Wondering whether women have ever experienced a good time in history, you want to travel again. Eventually, you came to the ancient Rome. You found a group of people who showed genuine love for women, giving them equal treatment as men. Though the status of women was lower than theirs in our time, it would be heaven for them compared to previous times when they were part of men's asset.

This group would take good care of every newborn baby, old fragile women and sick women. You wonder what is this group. They were 
Christians as a church. When you read their book, you found out that in the world taught by their savior Jesus, women and men were 
God's children equally loved by God. Without deep learning, these ordinary women who did not receive any education were trying hard to live out Jesus' teachings. In the book of Gospels, Jesus treated women with respect which was strange in his time. Jesus also treated children with respect when children were considered soly the heirs. When His disciples argued about who would be the greatest one in heaven, Jesus told them that they needed to become like children in order to go to heaven.

When men asked Jesus about divorce, he told them that they should not divorce their wives except for marital unfaithfulness. Women without any status could be divorced without any reason. Jesus gave women a right and protection for the first time in history for men could not divorce their wives simply because they wanted to marry another woman, which would be equal to committing adultery in Jesus's words. Jesus also gave the commandment for men to remain faithful to their women. 

If you still doubt Jesus' care and respect for women in his teachings, look at the event of resurrection. Without resurrection, 
Christianity would become empty. However, the first group of people who were privileged to witness his resurrection were not noblemen in society but women who were commanded to spread the news of his resurrection to His male apostles especially Peter. 

Among people used by God, there are both men and women. In Jesus' community, women were respected. For Christians, they just tried to follow Jesus' teachings, not showing off their greatness. Affected by the gospel, Europe kept changing. Women of the church enjoyed a higher status than other women in society. The culture of respecting women is gradually affecting the whole world.

When Hong Xiuquan created the Taiping Rebellion China, under the definite influence of Christianity, he decreed that women's feet should not be wrapped against nature so that women could go to battlefield with the men. Later in Chinese history, the initiator of the heavenly feet movement, English missionary John ordered that women members of his organization should not wrap their feet.

Afterward, another female missionary set up more branches of the organization in many cities, distributing tens of thousands of their leaflets preventing women's feet from being wrapped. Under their impact, the reformed people advocated the same idea. At the end of Qing Dynasty, the government took it heavily to free women's feet.

We can imagine the fate and status of women whose feet are small that they cannot walk steadily. We see today the church of Jesus in China has become the group of people caring for women again, which is strange in people's eyes. 

So today's women with the right to be educated, equal status in marriage wearing beautiful clothes and high-heels should not forget Jesus who advocated freedom for them in history. 

Translated by Alvin

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