The Thought, officially titled “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism With Chinese Characteristics for a New Era,” has officially been entered into the preamble of China’s Constitution. And Xi and his party hope it will make China politically influential, on top of being the world’s second-largest economy.
This “new era” means a lot of things, such as the abolishment of presidential term limits (allowing Xi to serve indefinitely), but it also means a more “traditional” role for women in the country.
The Communist Party wants women to be educated, but because of China’s shrinking population, it wants to teach women that their most important role is as a wife and mother, while men are encouraged to go outside the home to provide for the family.
According to the Washington Post, female students enrolled at Zhenjiang College and the All-China Women’s Federation’s New Era Women’s School heed Xi’s call for education in traditional Chinese culture and study to become “wise,” “sunny,” and “perfect” women.
But what’s on the syllabus for becoming a perfect woman? The classes, which are open only to women, teach Chinese history and culture, oil painting and etiquette, and how to apply the ideal amount of makeup. There is also a lesson on how to sit just right.
Duan Fengyan, a 21-year-old accounting student, told the Washington Post: “You must sit on the front two-thirds of the chair — you cannot occupy the whole chair. Now, hold in your belly, relax your shoulders, legs together, shoulders up.”
The Communist Party fears that educated women will not choose to marry and have children, and so these classes are to help encourage women to take a domestic role.
Sheng Jie, the program’s director, said, “The country is emphasizing traditional culture, so we are providing courses. This is a new era. History is moving in a better direction.”
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