matter to be left to young people themselves.
Historically, women did not go to school and a few lucky ones would learn how to read and write from their brothers or fathers. Confucius, who believed female obedience to men was one of the three cardinal principles of a society (the other two were obedience from minister to emperor, and son's obedience to father), decided the most obedient women were illiterate; hence, women were not educated in literacy. My own late grandmother, who was born in 1905, did not read a single word until after the Communist takeover in 1949, when the Communists started a popularizing literacy movement. She was ultimately able to write my mother in broken Chinese.
Also, starting in the 700s, it became fashionable to practice foot binding, what some historians determined was inspired by ancient Persian dances and first practiced on upper class Chinese women, especially concubines to the emperor. Women would have their feet bound with three to four feet cloth to arrest the development of the feet. The practice soon spread to lower class Chinese women. From then on, the chief criterion of women's beauty in China became how small a girl's feet were. Girls' feet were bound starting from when they were two or three years old, and every day for the rest of their lives their feet had to remain bound (except for letting the feet rest during the night) so that they would not grow. A traditional Chinese saying, "three inches of golden lotus," referred to both the size and the shape, and the value, of small female feet. Although my grandmother never had her feet bound, when I was growing up in China I remember seeing little old ladies with their triangular shaped bound feet hobbling in the streets. This practice was implemented in society and encouraged by Chinese rulers to keep women restricted to home.
14. The triumph of the Communists over the Nationalists in China.
The Chinese Communist Party was established in 1921. Between 1923 and 1927 it allied with the Nationalist Party and launched a joint attack against the warlords. The two parties split in April 1927, when Chiang Kai-shek, successor to Sun Yat-sen as head of the Nationalist Party, decided his party was strong enough to stand alone without the Communists. Even though the political party system was the product of modern democratic politics from the West, it was used as a tool to organize and rationalize a new regime. Chinese Communists turned underground and moved to and established a base in rural southeast China. Guerrilla warfare became the norm. The Nationalists became the government in 1928, after which they concentrated their force on exterminating the Chinese Communists, forcing the latter to launch a "Long March" away from their base in southeast China to northwestern China via the southwest, crossing marshes, snow-covered mountains, and the Tibetan plateau, from Oct.1934-Oct.1935, arriving finally in . The Communist force was decimated from around 30,000 after the initial battles in October 1934 to just mere thousands by October 1935. They walked an average of 17 miles per day, had constant combat with the Nationalist troops that chased after them, and were often faced with an insufficiency of food and clothing. Many people were wearing straw sandals when they scaled snow covered mountains in southwestern China, and when they came to the last bit of food, they even boiled leather belts and leather