Dispensable.

Not worth the cost of the rice it takes to feed her.

Chinese women have traditionally been considered dispensable. Before communism came to power, women were viewed as servants. According to Chinese history, the birth of a son brought great fortune to the family, while the birth of a daughter was seen as a terrible burden. An ancient Chinese proverb says, “It is more profitable to raise geese than daughters.” Families wept when a girl was born, because she was an unnecessary expense. In ancient China, the sale of wives and daughters was completely legal. It was common for a family to sell the daughters to support the family.

When communism took over China in 1949, they immediately outlawed the sale of daughters and gave women the freedom to work outside the home. The famous Communist leader, Mao Zedong, elevated the status of women, saying that females “hold up half the sky.” The women of China were ecstatic – communism had given them equality. Or rather, it tried.

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