BanZhao`s View of Marriage
Awoman is required to show humility as well as being industrious. Atthe same time, she should respect and make ancestral sacrifices. Toexhibit humility, it is women`s responsibility to put others first inservice. The needs of other people should obtain priority andattention for women is lowly in the society. However, when she doessomething good, she should not brag about it. On doing somethingwrong, she should acknowledge it and act in fear. She should alsosubmit to her husband. A woman should also respect others and complywith husband`s will. However, this is not the case in thecontemporary time across cultures. In most cultures, all people areequal and have a responsibility of respecting one another withoutfear and despite their gender.
BanZhao argues that there is reciprocity of service between a husbandand wife. It is the responsibility of a man to control the woman. Asa controller, they serve as the masters, and their command must berespected. On the other hand, women have the responsibility ofhelping their husbands. Serving means that they comply with thecontrol of their spouses and they serve in all ways in the householdwith fear. They are also expected to become industrious in the home.These women also need to express humility as they are consideredlowly. As humble people, they put other people`s need first, andtheir individual needs come last.
Accordingto Ban Zhao, girls should be educated so that they can learn how toserve their husbands upon marriage. To some extent, I agree as wellas disagree with the Ban Zhao`s opinion. I agree that during theauthor`s time it was important for girls to learn theirresponsibilities so that they do not become unworthy before theirhusbands. However, I disagree that girls should only be taught how tobecome servants only. It would be wiser if they were taught otherthings as it is right that all human beings are equal and what a mancan do a woman can do better. It is also widely known that educatinga woman would lead to an educated society as women spend longer timewith children.
BanZhao`s description of husband-wife relations and advocacy would bestrelate to the people of his day as well as some communities thatmaintain such cultures in the contemporary world. At Ban`s period,education was selectively for boys and girls who were lucky onlyobtained informal instructions. Therefore, in such times, it wasimportant to advocate for education for women. In some communities,reciprocity, as called by the author, exists. Therefore, eveneducated women require some knowledge on how to serve their husbands.That way, there would be harmony in such societies and theirhouseholds.
BanZhao`s teaching would be relevant to the entire Chinese society ofher time. It is up to recent times that Chinese women have acquiredpositions that were meant to be handled by men. Therefore, for long,boys and men required good education as some simple courses were setapart for women. Therefore, teaching women how to serve theirhusbands in the household would minimize incidences of havingunworthy women in the society. Educated women would understand theirresponsibilities and would serve satisfactorily. It would alsoimprove peace and understanding in most households and hence entirecommunity.