Which of the following is true of the practice of footbinding?
a. was a Yuan form of torture that was copied during the Ming and Qing dynasties.
b. represented the increasing subjugation of women during the Qing dynasty.
c. was imported from India.
d. expressed the growing freedom of women in Qing China to follow urban fashion trends.
e. prevented Chinese prisoners from escaping during huge government-sponsored work projects.
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The best of these answers is B. The practice of binding the feet is associated with a decline in the status of women in China.
The only other possible answer is D. One can argue that foot binding became more possible because women did not have to work and therefore could afford to follow fashion and have their feet bound. However, it is also true that the fashion for footbinding spread out of the wealthy elites until most Chinese women eventually had bound feet.
At the time that foot binding first appeared, there were other indicators that women's status was going down. For example, the practice of keeping concubines was increasing at the time. When taken along with foot binding (which limited women's mobility and emphasized the idea that they were sex objects), concubinage shows that women were becoming increasingly subjugated.
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