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AfriGeneas World Research Forum

Women and Confucius' family tree

JINAN, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Confucius, who looked down upon women, probably never expected that his female descendants would eventually be included in his family tree, which for generations has ignored the second sex.

Having women in Confucius' genealogy is the first for China's greatest teacher, but also a rarity in the whole history of genealogy in China where a centuries-old mentality has traditionally valued men and belittled women.

The thoughts of Confucius (551-479 BC), a philosopher, educator and founder of Confucianism in the late Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC), are still very influential in Chinese society.

"The new practice in compiling genealogies is a revolution in China, which has a tradition of undervaluing women. The fact that it is Confucius' family, with its reverence for tradition, is a significant symbol," said Prof. Liu Shifan, vice president of the International Association of Confucianism.

According to Kong Dehong, in the past women descendants were always excluded from the Confucius Genealogy. The spouses of male descendants, marked in small characters behind the names of their husbands, were almost hidden.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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