Chinese women are disfavoured at birth compared to boys (the country has one of the lowest female-to-male sex ratios at birth in the world) and stigmatised as “sexless” spinsters if they choose to earn a PhD.
Now, a viral video has surfaced on China’s Internet, of a class that teaches its students that “women should talk less, do more housework and shut their mouths”, according to AFP (via Channel News Asia).
The teacher in the class in the northeastern province of Liaoning, also told students that “women should not strive to move upwards in society, but should always remain at the bottom level”.
Another instructor said:
“If you order food delivery instead of cooking by yourself, you are disobeying rules for women.”
The class has reportedly been immediately halted by the authorities following the backlash from angry netizens watching the video. The class had apparently been launched without approval by education authorities in Fushun, according to Xinhua news agency.
AFP reports that such bizarre “female morality” classes, which teaches traditional culture such as Confucian morals, martial arts and classic literature are sometimes offered at Chinese schools.
One user on Weibo, a platform like Twitter in China, wrote: “This is female slavery, not female morality.”
China isn’t doing remarkably well in closing the gender gap. A World Economic Forum study launched earlier this year found that the Asian superpower falls below the global average for gender parity.
This isn’t the first time a class as such has angered many. A class launched at Eleanor Hall School in rural Canada February this year titled “Women Studies” – teaching dinner party etiquette, polite conversation, and nail care – came under fire for its stereotyping of women as ornamental objects.
The lesson plan includes recipe planning, table settings, nail care application and how to choose the most flattering hairstyles and clothing in a bid to teach girls to be “confident, strong and independent”, in this age of social media where “girls are being frequently compared to others and exposed to messages about how they aren’t good enough unless they dress and behave a certain way”, according to Michelle Savoie, a teacher at the school.
“It doesn’t really equip girls with anything to navigate the barriers they will be encountering as they grow up.”
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