Chinese footbinding

Posted: July 28, 2011 in Culture

Just read Fairbank’s China: A New Hist. There’s a section on footbinding of women which was essentially the disfigurement of women’s feet (Han Chinese anyway) to satisfy a man’s foot fetish for ‘golden lillies. It was almost as grotesque or maybe just as grotesque as Islamic genital mutilation. It started in the tenth century and was still visible up to the 1930s. From about 5 to around 15 a girl’s feet were bound in such a way so that the front or side of the foot would bend toward the heel, looking at that point more like a kind of weird hoof (how they got ‘golden lilly’ out of that is beyond my fetish imagination). Women would never run again, or even be able to walk properly; I guess it was a surefire way of keeping your women at home Anyway here’s a picture from an exhibit on the subject in Taiwan.

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