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China college course teaches women to practice traditional roles in President Xi's 'New Era

A college course in China teaches women how to sit properly, how to dress, pour tea, and another lesson is how to become the "perfect woman." (Image source: Video screenshot)

A university in southern China recently began offering a course that teaches women to become "wise," "sunny," and "perfect" in the name of President Xi Jinping's "New Era," The Washington Post reported.

Zhen­jiang College and the All-China Women’s Federation launched the females-only etiquette course in March, shortly after China abolished presidential term limits. The course lessons include teaching women how to dress, pour tea, and sit properly.

"You must sit on the front two-thirds of the chair — you cannot occupy the whole chair," Duan Fengyan, 21, explained to the newspaper while demonstrating. "Now, hold in your belly, relax your shoulders, legs together, shoulders up."

Xi became the leader of the nation's Communist party in 2012.

Is there a movement to traditional culture?

The nation's economic growth has slowed, and its population is shrinking, which may be among the reasons for reestablishing a culture where men are the breadwinners and women are wives and mothers, above all else.

The New Era Women’s School teaches traditional Chinese culture and prepares the women for domestic roles while they're earning an education.

“Women’s family role is more important now,” Sheng Jie, who leads the program, told The Post.

The Communist party wants women to be educated, but fears that they may choose to remain single and not have children, which would further exacerbate the shortage of women to men ratio, 106 to 100.

"The direction of the future is that women are supposed to play the role of wife and mother in the home," said Leta Hong Fincher, author of "Betraying Big Brother: The Feminist Awakening in China."

China implemented a one-child policy 40 years ago, which has led to a surplus of men. The country has 30 million more men than women, Bloomberg reported.

In 2016, couples became allowed to request permission to have two children.

Now, it's considering abandoning the practice altogether, possibly as soon as 2019, according to Bloomberg.

 What else?

Many have embraced the return to traditional culture.

"According to traditional culture, women should be modest and tender, and men's role is working outside and providing for the family," Duan said. "I want to be a model for my children."

But not all.

"Our traditional culture is filled with restrictions on — and the oppression of — women," Lu Ping, a feminist whose website was recently censored, told The Post.

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