The empires of Rome and China were very great ones, they both had many similarities and differences in the way they ran their empires. One major difference was the way they treated their women. Both Chinese and Roman women were unequal in social status than the men of the empires were, but they were definitely treated different in both empires. Women of China were treated quite harshly and were expected to take orders at all times by their husbands, and were to serve them always.
This started to happen especially after Confucius died because he taught people to treat each other the same, “after his death women became less free and lost status,”(Arvind 10). Women of Rome were treated like goddesses; they were to stay at home as housewives and watch over the children, Roman men would go through great lengths to preserve their wives. The women of the Chinese and Roman empires were treated differently from the men.
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The main difference between the status of men to women in China is the fact that they would never be treated as equals, women’s jobs were to please their husbands and obey the authority of the men of the empire. Chinese women were expected to maintain the household while their husbands were out making a living for their families. In Rome, women were to be housewives as well; however, they were given more luxuries than the women of China.
Chinese women worked just as hard as their husbands; while their husbands were out working they would tidy the house and make sure the household was full of groceries by the time the husband got home. In Rome, the women were treated with more care; they were even allowed simple freedoms such as being able to compete in sporting events. Women did not play very significant roles in society in either of the empires. They would never be treated as equals at any time.
Chinese women of poor classes could be sold to higher class families as servants by their fathers. Women in Rome were also not given much say in anything, they were not even allowed to vote so that their voice could be heard. Chinese women were seen as inferior in most aspects of life. However, they were allowed to play a part in religion; although it was not a high role, being a monk in the Chinese culture was seen to be the highest level of authority that a woman could be given. There were some differences between the two empires in his area, women in Rome were given the opportunity to become very important in the religion of the Roman people; however they were never given too much power, they would never be allowed to hold a position in office. It’s not hard to see that women were treated far worse than men were; this is just because the men never thought of them as equal and that was just the way it would be. Women in China were definitely treated like slaves as compared to Roman women who were given a little freedom; Chinese women would have to obey their husbands and had to make sure that their chores like cooking and cleaning were done by the end of the day. In Rome women were treated inferior, but the men of the empire would always look after them; they would always have a male guardian with them most of the time,”(Ramirez et al 179). Chinese women were ordered around constantly and would never even think about disobeying their husbands. Roman women were treated more like precious gems; their husbands made sure that they avoided contact with men other than family members, they wanted to make sure their wives stayed pure and faithful to them at all times.
In comparison, Chinese women had it way worse than the women of Rome did. Although Roman women were never given any position in government or given much freedom, the lives of Chinese women was just to satisfy their husbands. Chinese women were treated like slaves, they rarely ever received an education or ever owned property; their lives were so rough that their fathers even saw them as inferior to their sons; there was an old Chinese proverb that said, “raising daughters is like raising children for another family,”(Ramirez et al 229).
The higher class women in both empires weren’t treated as harshly; however, the lower class women were even treated worse in China. Roman women were given jobs outside of the home such shopkeeper; lower class women in China could be sold to higher class families as servants by their fathers. Chinese women were definitely treated like slaves compared to the women of Rome who were their husbands precious gems.