Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Let's Hear It For The Ladies!

It seems like such a little thing, really. The idea of including women on a family tree. After all, we know they had to be there helping to create the family in the first place, contributed their share of DNA... couldn't make a family without them. So who would create a family tree without women?

Evidently the Chinese would. I guess women are pretty insignificant in their scheme of things, at least in Confucius' family tree they are:

People's Daily Online -- Female descendants included in Confucius family tree for the first time:
"In China, where men have traditionally been regarded as superior to women, and in a family in which tradition is strictly observed, it is of great significance that female descendants of Confucius will now be included in the family tree," said Liu Shifan, Vice President of the International Confucius Association.
I'm certainly no expert on Confucius. All I really know about him was that he was a significant Chinese philosopher. Over the years I've heard "Confucius say..." a hundred times in a hundred different situations (some of them humorous) and I thought that this must have been one wise dude. I'm rethinking my assessment after reading this article.
Confucius was a great philosopher and teacher. He founded Confucianism in ancient China, and the thoughts and doctrine of Confucius have had an enormous influence on China's people and history for many generations. Confucius advocated an optimistic attitude, attention to moral code and historic experiences, but he also believed in speaking out and he considered men to be superior to women.
Notice that it doesn't say that he thought women had no place in a man's world. They're currently compiling his genealogy for the 5th time... and taking years to do it I might add. The last time it was compiled was in 1937. So I guess ole Confucius and his superior male descendents have been condescending to spend some t
ime with lowly women over the years.

Since Confucius believed in speaking out, he'd no doubt appreciate my choosing to make a public statement on the matter. Then again he might discount it because I'm a woman. But what the heck, I'm gonna say my piece anyway. That's my tradition! I say it's about time his genealogy compilers broke with tradition and quit doing something just because its always been done that way. Now if we could just get the Catholic Church to reconsider some of it's traditions regarding women... and the Good Old Boys network down south... and definitely the Taliban in Afghanistan... and then there's... well, you get my drift.

I applaud Confucius' genealogy compilers! Let's see those women's names on the family tree!!!

State Street Art Fair, Ann Arbor, MI