Paired Texts > The Golden Lotus: A History of Foot Binding
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
This article is a production of National Public Radio (NPR), written by Susan Stamberg. During WWII, a shortage of male pilots in the United States led to the formation of a group called WASP — the Women Airforce Service Pilots. Stamberg reports on this relatively little-known group, and its struggle for national and military recognition.Pair this text on foot binding with “Female WW II Pilots.” When women stopped binding their feet, it made working easier for them. When women were allowed to become pilots, they were able to fly as well as men. What happens when barriers are taken away between women and men? Are there still barriers in society? Why might people want to keep them in place?
High school football is an intense sport. Does that mean that girls shouldn't be allowed to play? In this 2013 article by journalist Josh Bean, locals in the Alabama community weigh in on this debate.Pair these two texts in the theme “Men and Women.” Ask students whose point of view matters in each issue, foot binding and co-ed football teams.
This is a short biography of Ida B. Wells and the personal tragedy she experienced that pushed her to raise national awareness about violence and discrimination against African Americans.Pair this text on the history of foot binding with the history of Ida B. Wells. Ask students to compare the two stories of how people create change in society. Are they similar or different? What historical or social factors might explain these similarities or differences?
This first-century text written by China's first female historian shares some of the principles that women should follow to serve their husbands.Pair "On the Cultivation of Virtue, Woman's Work, and Politeness" with "The Golden Lotus" and have students compare Ban's philosophies with the Chinese practice of foot binding, which was popular among many Chinese women up until the past century. How do Ban's ideas coincide with the expectation that women change their physical bodies to conform to society's expectations of beauty? Are any of these ideas still present in our culture today?
China's first female historian Zhao Ban instructs women on proper behavior toward their husbands.Pair “On Reverencing the Husband” with “The Golden Lotus: A History of Foot Binding” and discuss with students the role of women (and men) in society historically in China.
"Women in Ancient Rome" is an informational text that describes daily life in ancient Rome for both wealthy and poor women.Pair “Women in Ancient Rome” and “The Golden Lotus: A History of Foot Binding” and ask students to discuss the expectations put on women in different cultures compared to the lives of women in America today.
In "Ribbons," a young girl struggles to connect with her grandmother who has recently arrived from China.Pair “The Golden Lotus: A History of Foot Binding” with “Ribbons” to provide students with additional information about the history of foot binding. Asks students to explain why young Chinese girls were forced or encouraged to bind their feet. How is the grandmother in “Ribbons” still affected by her past experience binding her feet? Ask students to discuss painful or uncomfortable beauty traditions that continue to be practiced in the U.S. today.