Confucian Transformation of Women Essay

This essay has a total of 399 words and 2 pages.


Confucian Transformation of Women




Korea adopted Confucianism as the guiding principle for reform with the founding of the
Chos˘n Dynasty in 1392. For women in Korean society, this meant virtual doom. The Chos˘n
period is considered to be the dark age for women's culture and women in general. The
philosophy of Confucianism considered the relationship between man and woman to be the
root of all human relations. The union between man and woman is regarded to be the
foundation of human morality. In Confucianism, there is a hierarchical order between man
and woman that is cosmologically sanctioned. This order must be maintained for the proper
functioning of the human order and society. To accomplish this, human passions had to be
kept in check. Thus, Confucianism drew a cl ear distinction between the woman's domestic
sphere and the man's public sphere. To Confucianist, the law of nature gave women an
inferior and subordinate position in all aspects of life.


During the Chos˘n period, women were bound to a low and inferior social standing. Social
status was governed by various means such as namjon yobi (superiority of man over woman),
samjong (three obediences), and ch'ilgo (seven g rounds for dismissal). The three
obediences of woman stated that before marriage, the woman was to obey her father; after
Continues for 1 more page >>