Reading Response

When reading Judy Yung’s “The Social Awakening of Chinese American Women” I enjoyed learning further about Chinese women’s experiences in America during the later 19th and early 20th centuries. When we left off in class Chinese women were banned from entering the United States because they were seen as prostitutes adding to the corruption of middle class white society. I was surprised to read that there was a Chinese newspaper in the United States that advocated for Chinese women’s rights such as getting rid of foot binding and the inborn ability women had to be educated. Not surprisingly though Chinese women did not feel a part of the American women’s suffrage movement but instead related more to the women’s emancipation in China. Women felt more of a connection with their Chinese roots than they did the country they were living in and looked to women in China as role models and figures of reform. It makes sense that in a country where these women were not exactly welcomed that they would look to their home country for examples and support. Especially when ideas of equal rights were being pursued and to a degree won in China. This article explained a different facet of womanhood that existed in the United States that I think often gets looked over.

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