English 1301, Saturday 9 am- 12 pm
The Gender Role of Women in Vietnamese Society
The life of every individual has always started first from the scope and root of families. Family‘s environment plays a very important role in educating, shaping and preparing a child’s integration into the society. If the family is considered to be the cell of society, women should be regarded as the nucleus of the cell. However, such belief is never appreciated in the Vietnamese society, where traditional folkways, male dominance and sex discrimination are considered to be the norms, the basic practices of society.
Vietnam has a long history of being under the domination of Chinese’s dynasties, which explains the practice of Confucianism. Confucius believed that women were capable of loyalty, courage, devotion, yet jealousy, intrigue and selfishness. According to Confucius, women throughout their lives had to fulfill, seriously respect the regulation of “tam tòng, tứ đức,” which means “three obediences, four virtues” ("Confucianism"). It was a duty of women to accord with the wish and needs of their men with “three obediences” of “father when young,” “husband when married,” and “son when widowed” accompanied with “four virtues” of “morality, proper speech, modest manner/appearance, and diligent work”("Confucianism"). Men have the right to education; women could not go to school. The worst unfilial conduct was the failure to have descendants. Throughout history, even though Monarchism and Confucianism have been eradicated, but their influences still remain in one’s thought and unconscious actions in Vietnamese society.
Nevertheless, women in Vietnamese society are always faced with sex discrimination and unfairness. Firstly, the conception of son preference is still widespread. There is a saw among people “Nhất nam viết hữu, thập nữ viết vô,” which means “One son is an exist child, ten daughters are non-existence.” The regulation of a family...