Our Bizarre World

Monica Mohamed, Staff Writer

     Foot binding, an unfamiliar practice that was once spread across the big nation China. Foot binding is the tradition of binding one’s feet with a piece of cloth. The feet are bound with the toes facing down towards the sole. Golden Lotus Feet represents the result of foot binding which includes abnormally small and mangled feet. Even though this may sound terrible and painful, foot binding was still practiced all over China in the past and was only fully abolished in 1949. 


      For many years, people believed that the sole reason women wanted to bind their feet was because of marriage. The girls themselves believed that it would sway a rich man to marry him. However, this can be all wrong.  In 2017, a CNN writer, Katle Hunt, released an article showing a different side to this tradition. In this article, the writer tells the readers that the real reason why women would bind their feet would be because of work, not for some rich man with some foot fetish. It was to ensure that the women would stay at home and work on sewing and making clothes for money. 


     In the beginning of foot binding it played a role in showing status between the masses. Originally, only the rich could afford to have their woman be immobile as it would lower the amount of money coming in from working people. But, as time went on poor people from China also gambled with the foot binding, they believed that even if the woman couldn’t work or walk all of the money they gambled with would be compensated. It would be compensated by a rich man that would be interested in them  and pay a large dowry. Since this sounded a bit weird Katle Hunts did some research and thought about another reason for this, work. 


     Fortunately, this millennium old practice was banned officially in 1912. Even so, this tradition was still being practiced by people in remote villages in China. The amount of people that partook in this practice of foot binding dwindled down when clothes making and sewing was taken over by machines. Many historians believe these women to be pitiful as they were brainwashed and worked hard at seven for a fake dream. Yang Yang was a young woman who also had her foot binded when she was young by her mother, but even after her mother died she kept on with the binding by breaking her toes even more. She worked hard as a laborer for the day her husband would come, but when he did come she found out something heartbreaking. Her husband was an opium addict. This is just one case of the causes and negative impacts of foot binding.


          In 1999, the last lotus shoe making factory was shut down. This long-lasting tradition is now said to be done and forgotten. In the past, women were beaten for not binding feet but now women in China have the freedom to run around freely with unbound feet, something foot binding survivors are envious of. Now what do you readers think? Like the Kayan women should this tradition have been banned or been practiced freely and respected as a chinese tradition?