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True to Her WordThe Faithful Maiden Cult in Late Imperial China$
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Weijing Lu

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804758086

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804758086.001.0001

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Young Life, a Long Journey

Young Life, a Long Journey

Living as a Faithful Maiden

Chapter:
(p.167) Chapter 6 Young Life, a Long Journey
Source:
True to Her Word
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804758086.003.0007

This chapter is concerned with the account of the life stories of the faithful maidens who lived on. The life journey of a faithful maiden who lived on was primarily defined by her unconventional status. Faithful maidens were highly conscious of their special status. It is noted that moral reputation could be an enormously vital source of social capital for a faithful maiden bride to have at her disposal, and that some young women used it well. Sex is a taboo subject in faithful maiden biographies. A young woman's sexual desire was the manifestation of heavenly principle and yin-yang harmony. Furthermore, it is observed that faithful maidens were more vulnerable than other young widows due to their weaker ties to their marital families, and their virginity made them a more desirable target for forced remarriage.

Keywords:   faithful maidens, moral reputation, social capital, sexual desire, young widows, virginity, forced remarriage

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