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Author Cheng, Hsiao-wen, author
Title Divine, demonic, and disordered : women without men in Song Dynasty China / Hsiao-wen Cheng
Imprint Seattle : University of Washington Press, [2021]
book jacket
 Fu Ssu-Nien WTN LANG BK  HQ29 C518 2021    DUE 01-31-22    30530001377779
 人文社會聯圖  HQ29 .C43 2021    AVAILABLE    30610020650313
Descript x, 233 pages ; 24 cm
text txt rdacontent
unmediated n rdamedia
volume nc rdacarrier
Note Includes bibliographical references (pages 175-217) and index
"A variety of Chinese writings-medical texts, religious treatises, fiction, and anecdotes-from the Song period (960-1279) depict women who were considered peculiar because their sexual bodies did not belong to men. These were women who refused to marry, were considered unmarriageable, or were married but denied their husbands sexual access, thereby removing themselves from social constructs of female sexuality defined in relation to men. As elite male authors attempted to make sense of these incomprehensible women whose sexual bodies were unavailable to them, they were forced to contemplate the purpose of women's bodies and lives apart from wifehood and motherhood. This raised troubling new questions about normalcy, desire, sexuality, and identity. In Divine, Demonic, and Disordered Hsiao-wen Cheng considers accounts of "manless women," many of which depict women who suffered from "enchantment disorder" or who engaged in "intercourse with ghosts"-conditions with specific symptoms and behavioral patterns. Through her questioning of conventional binary gender analyses and heteronormative assumptions, she shifts attention away from women's reproductive bodies and familial roles and offers historians of China and readers interested in women, gender, sexuality, medicine, and religion a fresh look at the unstable meanings attached to women's behaviors and lives even in a time of codified patriarchy"-- Provided by publisher
Subject Women -- Sexual behavior -- China
China -- History -- Song dynasty, 960-1279 -- Anecdotes
Celibacy -- China
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