Chinese Women, Asian Women, Online Dating & Things Chinese and Asian
Sandy is a professional teacher of English. She has a consistant curiosity in all things that are worthwhile, and she has a very frank nature to her personality, which plays two sides in her life. Studying and teaching English for so many years makes her feel close to and appreciate mainstream western culture. Her spiritual beliefs in this world are closest to being a Buddhist, so she tends to just let things go forward naturally. Among other things she will blog about Chinese women, traditional and not so traditional.
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Traditional Chinese Women 中国传统女性 (1) – Naive and Spontaneous Before Confucianism 儒家思想确立前天性质朴的女性    

By Sandy
6450 Views | 29 Comments | 3/25/2014 4:05:14 PM

Before Confucius traditional Chinese women were thought to be sweet, pure and demure.

In this CLM, I find some guys are curious or sarcastic about what are “Traditional Chinese Women”. I would like to take a try (or challenge) on an introduction of some typical images of “Traditional Chinese Women” in several different periods in our history. Hope it could be helpful to know how “Traditional Chinese Women” have been changing with the passage of time. You would see, deep down even in this modern and westernized world and no matter how open-minded we might be, what is left in our core value, and maybe it could be viewed by Jung as collective unconsciousness. I am not sure how many parts the series might be, and mostly I would let it go naturally.

Where should I start? I picked an image in Shi Jing, the first poetry collection in China from Zhou Dyansty to Chun qiu Dynasty (BC.1100-BC.600). I hope it could help us understand what is the typical Chinese woman image in these period, here the poem goes:

Ode (Kwan ts’eu)      

---Tr. Legge  

Kwan kwan go the ospreys.       

                                                                    For our prince a good mate she.  

On the islet in the river,              

                                                          Here long, there short, is the duckweed, 

The modest, retiring, virtuous, young lady:  

                                            To the left, to the right, borne about by the current.

Waking and sleeping, he sought her.       

                                         On his side, on his back, he turned ,and back again.

He sought her and found her not,           

                                                         Here long, there short, is the duckweed;

And waking and sleeping he thought about her. 

                                                               On the left, on the right, we gather it,

Long he thought; oh! Long and anxiously;   

                                                       The modest , retiring, virtuous, young lady:

With lutes, small and large, let us give her friendly welcome.

Here long, there short, is the duckweed;

On the left, on the right, we cook and present it.

The modest , retiring, virtuous, young lady:

With bells and drums let us show our delight in her.

The love in this period is naive and spontanious, what other words I could use to describe: pastoral? Sweet? A beauty in a distance? A fantasy? Sensitive? Pure? Unworldly? I think it could be compared by Theokritos’s poetry in ancient Greek:…

The Damoitas kissed Dphins

After had sung, and give him

A pipe, and the other gave him

A lovely flute and Damoitas

Began to flute and Daphnes

The cowherd, to pipe and song

The calves were skipping in the soft grass

Neither won the victory

For they both were unbeatable.

I think the crave for love is almost the same, but ours have much less body touching description: like kisses or cuddles,etc. I would like to call them naive and spontaneous ones in the Garden of Eden, kind of paradise. And then come the ones after Confucianism, an ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius, and it is assumed as a set of doctrine expecting people to follow, to feminist it is patriarchy. Since then paradise is lost, in next blog I would like to explore another image under the impact of Confucianism. Hope it could be helpful to understand the concept of Traditional Chinese Women.


在我们这个CLM论坛上,有人提出到底什么是中国传统女性,还有人对此质疑和讽刺,我想这还是很值得研究一下。在此,我想尝试一下通过介绍不同时代的典型中国女性形象来对这个概念及这个概念的变迁进行描述。希望通过这个方式能帮助我们了解在我们这个比较开放和西化的社会,在我们的核心文化中对中国传统女性形象的集体认同,这可能也就是荣格所说的“集体无意识”吧。从那开始哪?我们先来看看《诗经》中《关雎》这一篇吧。《关雎》 出自《诗经•国风•周南》,是《诗经》的首篇,它反映了一个青年对一位容貌美丽姑娘的爱慕和追求,写他求而不得的痛苦和想象求而得之的喜悦。

诗经 关雎

















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#2014-03-25 16:16:00 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

First let's welcome Sandy to our blogs. Many of you will recognize Sandy as sandy339, an active and interesting contributor to our forum and our blog comments.

Now Sandy has decided to join the blogs and try at first to explain to us what it has meant to be a "Traditional Chinese Woman" throughout the ages. She is starting here with Chinese women before the time of Confucius.

You're off to a good start here Sandy in enlightening us Western men as to what the ladies mean when they say they are traditional Chinese women. This has been really stumping us as evidenced by many blogs and forum threads trying to get to the bottom of the issue. Hopefully by the end of your series we'll be much wiser.

#2014-03-25 19:23:51 by chengcheng72 @chengcheng72

The western men can't understand what is Chinese culture for ever,so they cann't understand what is troditional Chinese women for ever.They only can know some Chinese history,but history doesn't equal to culture.Yes ,you are reaally right,in the different periods,China has different culture.In the Song dynasty,it was Han nation's culture,Han nation 's the other name is Huaxia(华夏),What's Huaxia (服章之美谓之华,礼仪之大谓之夏means people must wear beautiful and manificent clothes and dresses,people must be very polite )but our sentence translate into English ,The sentenc lost their poetry.What is Han nation people.(衣必精美,物必丰盈,人必礼学,君臣必称吾国吾民,此乃汉也. clothes and dresses must be clean and beautiful ,food must be abundant,people must like read books and very polite and friendly,emperor must call his people my people,ministers must call their country our country,this is Han nation's culture,and this Han people)
It is different with Manchu's culture,In the Qing dynasty,ministers called their emperor master(主子),the ministers called themselves slaves(奴才),so defferent culture ,defferent politics in diferent periods ,but all were in China .(有朋自远方来不亦乐乎! If a friend came from some place that is far away.why not happy? Means ,we welcome western friends come to China,we are not only Chinse women,we are also Chinese people ,Chinese are friendly ,and polite, and brave enough ,one hand hold books to read,the other hand hold a treasured sword to fight,and work hard,do business with any man in the world, and save money,and parents love children,and children respect the grandparents,these are all Chinese culture.

#2014-03-25 20:20:54 by panda2009 @panda2009

Express lovesickness, just say out, "Seek but fail to get, no matter waking and sleeping, think of you. Missing missing, tossing and turning." The way the author elicits emotions is candid.

#2014-03-26 01:13:16 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

Hi Sandy

Thanks for your blog and I agree with John that we all need to now what is meant by a 'Traditional Chinese Woman'

I myself have written about this because it is often seen on a CLM woman's profile that she describes herself as being 'traditional'

China has 5000 years of culture and many many 'traditions' so your forthcoming blogs should give us poor western men some kind of insight as to the true meaning of 'Traditional'

Welcome aboard and I look forward to reading more

#2014-03-26 13:29:45 by Barry1 @Barry1


Thanks for this interesting glimpse into aspects of what it's like to be a traditional Chinese lady in olden times, Sandy. I look forward to seeing how views on this alter and mature over time.

The Ode you recited to us from the Zhou to Chun Qiu Dynasties presented a rather delicate, innocent view on life. You used the words naive, sweet, pure or sensitive that aptly apply. The same goes with the poem by Theokritos.

My personal preference however goes to more earthy, direct type of poetry. Also known as sledgehammer type, something that hits you right between the eyes. The verses you recited here were perhaps a tad too guileless, simple and unsophisticated for my more onerous and critical tastes.

To illustrate what I mean, perhaps I can share with you a poem I penned on an article by @Panda2009 a while ago, describing a troubled time in the life of a Chinese lady during the period of the Lantern Festival.

Whether the lady in this poem can be viewed as traditional or not is up to the reader to discern. I suggest though, that she was indeed a lovely traditional Chinese soul who finally had given all that she could give - and then some. At last becoming exhausted both emotionally as well as spiritually, she then made the fateful decision that her overwhelming pain could be endured no longer.

The lanterns come, the lanterns go
But where is my love, I do not know
I cry out in vain, oh woe is me
I need dear love, please near to me

The heavens open, the rain does pour
Suddenly see her, my spirits soar
Dear dear love, at last is found
Sitting alone, sleeping so sound

But when I approach, sadness begins
Tears flow, and horror wins
For dear love, sitting beside her cart,
In fact is dead, with knife through heart

The lanterns come, the lanterns go
Why's life so painful, I do not know
I grab the knife, pushing away the cart
and plunge it deeply, into my heart

Without dear love, I cannot survive
I wish to be gone, no longer alive
The lanterns come, the lanterns go
Sad story of life, its ebb and flow

#2014-03-26 15:37:48 by ferlo @ferlo

@Sandy I drink (d) to that. That is a beautiful way to describe tradition, but we are living in a modern world. I don't see many of the girls in CLM to be as traditional as that. Here most of them are divorced and if not they already have child. Of course is traditional for a female to give birth but now is more like the Occidental way of many females are that decide to have a child and not marry. Tradition is when a girl goes out of her parents home in a wedding ceremony and stay married forever. This is the way I saw tradition since I was a child growing up in small Mexican town. And like many Chinese ladies that if the word sex is mention they soon ask to change the topic, in my home town the word sex never was spoken much less for a girl that was single.
I was surprise when first got in this site to find the Chinese girls much more westernized that the same western girls.
But tradition or not I have someone that I don't care is she is traditional girl or not, sometimes she is, and other times she is not. Fernando Lopez

#2014-03-26 16:18:49 by QinQL @QinQL

Sandy, 如果不是John提到您的个人资料名,我还真把您看成了panda,心想着CLM可以更换BLOG作者的相片吗? 宏大的布达拉宫把您衬托得小小的,您和panda都是那种圆圆的甜甜的脸蛋儿。呵呵。现在弄清楚了您就是sandy339,那位平时不会随便说话,一说话就一定是有问题提出或有自己见地的一位中国传统女性了。无论这个世界如何变幻,我依然喜欢中国传统女性,我欣赏敬佩她们,我以拥有一位中国传统女性的称号为荣。sandy,谢谢您和我们分享您的探索和智慧,我会跟随您的博客更好地认识自己。

#2014-03-27 01:00:33 by Grace172 @Grace172

Sandy, Good job.(clap)
For me, I am not interested in the ancient Chinese proses, because they are very difficult for me to understand. So I really admire your intelligence that you can translate this difficult ancient Chinese into English. (y)
Looking forward your next blog to tell us more detail about the appearances and features of the traditional Chinese Women vary from time to time.

我完全赞同你的看法! 中西方有太多的不同,生活方式不同, 文化背景不同, 宗教信仰不同, 思维方式不同, 观念不同, 教育和方式不同. 就像一个来自火星一个来自金星. 更何况汉语文字包含很深层的含义. 一个四字成语要翻译成英文就变成四行字都很难准确描述清楚. 就算能描述清楚. 按西方人的思维习惯他们也只能明白字面意思但未必定能完全理解里面的内涵. 所以谢谢Sandy的努力。他们能理解多少就多少吧。我们不要太过较劲。

#2014-03-27 07:47:01 by chengcheng72 @chengcheng72

地铁上他不停地逗每一个小小孩,我说如果你有个孙子你会特喜欢,他说不能有了,因为女儿的老公有CANCER,所以不能生了。地铁里有人年轻人发楼房的传单,我拿了一份儿,我告诉他我拿一份他们就能早发完早下班。一会儿年轻 人又返回发,他就调侃我,你要不要再来一份儿,我说如果他们愿意可以都给我。我们就笑。一路上我们互相取笑,我问他在找什么样的女人,他说有钱的,他问我要找什么样的男人,我突然间想到了J姐,就说找个有飞机的。我们就哈哈大笑。之后他说他只想找最适合自己的,不论是哪国人也不论是什么年龄。

#2014-03-27 14:21:45 by Grace172 @Grace172

我想你肯定会后悔在这个问题上没有跟我打赌的. 不然你一会赢我一大笔钱. 我真服了你,你看人怎么这么准啊。他是不会向路人打招呼的。不但不大招呼,还会数落人呢。路人不看他的话,他会说他们很不友好。看他的话说他们盯着他看不礼貌。我说那不怪别人,谁让你长出这幅怪兽模样。他们不看你是因为怕你。他们看你是因为觉得你的样子怪。哈哈。这是他的性格问题,不是年龄问题。唉一想到这里我总是感到很难过。我的前男友是个十足的绅士。 不提我啦。 我真的为你感到高兴。你们有个好的开始啦。年龄不是什么问题。最重要的是你心里感到快乐和安全就行。 请大胆继续往前走。希望早日能听到你们的好消息。 (f)

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