Saturday, January 31, 2015

I Still Got A Thing For That Fan Bing Bing - The Empress Of China

When I see these images of Empress Wu, I'm reminded of Queen Elizabeth I of England and Catherine The Great of Russia. In Chinese history books, Empress Wu was always portrayed with a negative image. But nowadays, with women rising in many fields including politics, business, science, and more, I have often wondered if ancient historians deliberately exaggerated the negative aspects of her rule. She was, after all, an educated woman who had smarts and guts, and who emerged as a leader in a traditionally male-dominated society. In other words, she couldn't help but rise up because she was smarter than the men around her. After she died, she was entombed with her husband, Emperor Gaozong, and her tombstone was deliberately left blank. Never would there be another female emperor in China again. And never would Chinese women enjoy the same level of rights, education, and influence, until modern China was established in the early 20th century.