Q. 21 B5.0( 2 Votes )

Explain the role

Answer :

1. Women in Vietnam traditionally enjoyed greater equality than in China, but they had limited freedom to determine their future and had no role in public life. However, a new image of womanhood emerged as the status of women came to be questioned with the growth of the nationalist movement.

2. Writers and political thinkers began idealizing women who rebelled against social norms. For example – a famous novel by Nhat Linh in the 1930s caused a social scandal because it showed a woman leaving a forced marriage and marrying someone of her choice. Such depictions marked the arrival of new women in Vietnamese society.


3. Rebel women of the past also became celebrated figures. For example – the nationalist Phan Boi Chau wrote a play based on the lives of the Trung Sisters who fought against Chinese domination. Phan’s depictions were idealized and glorified in their depictions in plays and novels, representing the will and intense patriotism of the Vietnamese.


4. Women rebels of the past were also a part of the popular nationalist lore. For example – a venerated figure, Trieu Au, lived with her brother during childhood. However, she left her home and went to the jungle later on and organized her own army and fought against Chinese rule. She became a sacred figure, the images of whom were popularized by the nationalists to inspire people to action.


5. Women were shown as brave fighters in the 1960s portraying them as young, brave and dedicated. They were represented as warriors as well as workers who were shown with a rifle in one hand and a hammer in the other. Both young and old women were depicted as selflessly working and fighting to save the country. With an increase in the no. of causalities in the war (Vietnam War), women in large no. were called upon to join the resistance movement and help in different ways.


NOTE – The change in the status of women can primarily be attributed to the development of nationalist sentiments in Vietnam. Further, the image of women was strengthened during the war (Vietnam War) and thereafter wherein they were often depicted as workers working in agricultural cooperatives, factories and production units, rather than as fighters during the war time.


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