ASN3106: (FC) Women and Gender in East Asia 3

Description: There is a common perception that Asian cultures traditionally were and still are wholly patriarchal, societies where “men are venerated and women are denigrated” (as a Chinese saying goes). It turns out that such a simple paradigm is inadequate to capture the complexity of gender dynamics in either traditional or modern Asia. In traditional times, women sometimes broke free of the domestic, inner sphere and became warriors, nuns, or poets—several even ascended to the pinnacle of political power and became rulers. We explore several themes: normative gender roles, challenges to and defiance of these normative roles, the homosexual tradition, and changes in gender roles and expectations in modern and contemporary Asia.