Confucianism and Feminist Concerns: Overcoming the Confucian “Gender Complex”

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

Philosophy and Religious Studies

Publication Date



At recent conferences on Confucianism, questions were often raised about Confucian attitudes toward women, usually by female scholars. Answers given on these occasions have typically been unsatisfactory. The issue is a complex one. On the one hand, Confucianism has an infamous past of oppressing women, which today’s Confucians cannot feel proud of. On the other hand, it does not appear that contemporary Confucian scholars are making headway in dealing with this problem. Obviously, if Confucianism is to remain a world philosophy and religion, it has to deal with this problem. We cannot expect a philosophy and religion to have a future if it is prejudicial against half of the human race.


This article was originally published in Journal of Chinese Philosophy. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Journal of Chinese Philosophy


© 2000 Journal of Chinese Philosophy