Gender and Relationship Roles in the Analects and the Mencius
In this paper I argue that the conception of gender as illustrated in the Analects and the Mencius is basically a functional one that assigns women a domestic role. I show how this conception might imply the exclusion of women from the moral ideal of chun-tzu, which would result in the further subordination of women as wives to men as husbands in the context of the Confucian role system. On the other hand, I show how the Confucian role system can have a positive influence on the status of women through its elements of reciprocity and respect. Finally, I argue that the conception itself is not justified.