Unraveling a brutal custom

first_imgGasps echoed through the Radcliffe gymnasium on Wednesday as audience members reacted to the image of a woman’s foot, projected on a large screen at the front of the hall.It was a foot in name only. The misshapen mass looked more like a hoof bisected by a crack. The deformity was the result of foot binding, a common practice in much of China until the middle of the last century that involved wrapping the foot of a young girl or woman tightly with a cloth to stunt its growth, explained Laurel Bossen, the Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.That particular type of bound foot was called “the three-inch golden lotus,” said Bossen. “That’s the ideal. It gradually broke the girl’s arch … you can see that the arch is just a crevasse on that foot.”While at Harvard, Bossen and Melissa Brown, Radcliffe’s Frieda L. Miller Fellow, in collaboration with anthropologist Hill Gates, are writing a book on female labor and foot binding in early 20th century China. Their research is based in part on large-scale surveys in the 1990s done by Gates, and on their own interviews from the past few years with thousands of elderly women from 11 provinces in rural China.Their findings dispel several “origin myths” and mistaken assumptions associated with the brutal custom.The scholars reject the prevailing theories that bound feet in China were considered more beautiful, a means of male control over women, a sign of class status, and a chance for women to marry well. They also reject the widespread notion that such women couldn’t work, and thus contributed little to their families and the larger economy, and the belief that campaigns against the practice were what ultimately put an end to it.Instead, their research suggests that the practice was directly linked to the use of young girls and women in the hand-labor force, and that its disappearance coincided with the arrival in China of the Industrial Revolution.When they asked women during interviews why they thought their feet were bound, many responded that they were expected to “marry up economically,” said Brown, a researcher at the Minnesota Population Center at the University of Minnesota who is interested in historical processes of transformative social and cultural change.But she questioned the notion that bound feet were considered more alluring to men and that they could lead to a better marriage, because men weren’t picking their own brides. Their mothers were.“Why in the world would a mother want to pick a sexy daughter-in-law?”While the women surveyed thought foot binding would lead to a good marriage, the numbers didn’t add up. After a detailed analysis, the researchers found no overall statistically significant data to support the theory that women with bound feet were in more prosperous households after marriage as compared with their birth households.“What we found, in fact, is that there is not a link,” said Brown, adding, “The majority show no marital mobility.”So why were the feet of 7-year-old girls bound so often if the end result had no impact on their ability to marry above their class?The answer involves a financial reality.“For me, the question about foot binding has always been ‘How could rural families afford to lose women’s labor’ ”? said Bossen, anthropology professor emerita at McGill University. “What work could they do when they had bound feet?”Bossen said the research points to a clear connection between foot binding and hand labor. Mothers needed their daughters’ help to produce both cloth for the family and extra cloth for sale. They needed to keep their “willful, playful” young daughters at their sides, she said, to have them learn how to spin, wind, twist, and weave fibers they could sell when the crops failed or fell short at harvest.“For girls who are doing handwork for income, the odds are 4.5 to 1 that they will be bound,” said Bossen of the studies they conducted in China’s Yunnan Province.“Foot binding can be seen as a way of tying them down, and training them in the handwork, supervising them, and keeping them close at hand. It’s not the only way, but I would argue it became part of the cultural repertory.”And as the value of women’s hand labor decreased, so did foot binding.The eventual arrival of the Industrial Revolution had a dramatic impact on women’s work, as cotton yarn began to be imported and factories eventually replaced the work women did by hand. Citing research that spanned the 1920s to the 1940s, the researchers found that the likelihood that a woman doing commercial handwork would also have bound feet dropped drastically.The link between commercial handwork and foot binding is “highly statistically significant,” said Bossen. The arrival of cheaper machines made textiles “undercut income from hand labor and caused foot binding rates to plummet.”last_img read more

GOtv Boxing Night 17  Scorpion Vows to Retire Nurudeen

first_img“He is a former national champion. His time is gone, but he does not want to admit it. I have taken it upon myself to send him into a fitting retirement by defeating him. He will lose interest in boxing by the time I finish with him. He will see hell,” he said.GOtv Boxing Night 17, the biggest ever edition of the show, will stage the World Boxing Federation Intercontinental super featherweight title fight between Nigeria’s Seun Wahab and Tanzania’s Issa Nampepeche. The show will also see US-based Nigerian, Oluwafemi Oyeleye take on Meshack “Smart Boy” Mwankemwa of Tanzania in an international light middleweight challenge clash.Similarly scheduled to be in action is a clutch of big names on the domestic scene, led by Olaide Fijabi, who will take on Yusuf Mufutau in a national light welterweight challenge. In the same category is reigning African Boxing Union (ABU) lightweight champion, Oto “Joe Boy” Joseph, who fights Hammed Hammed Ganiyu; national lightweight champion, Rilwan Oladosu who takes on Mubarak Hamzat.The show will equally see some of the brightest young talents take to the ring. Ebubechukwu Eze, a graduate of GOtv Boxing NextGen Search 1, will take on Femi Akintayo in a middleweight clash, while the bantamweight division will see Opeyemi Adeyemi, best boxer at GOtv Boxing Night 4, up against Jamiu Dada.The best boxer at the event which will be aired live on SuperSport to viewers in 47 African countries, will go home with a cash prize of N1.5 million attached to the Mojisola Ogunsanya Memorial Trophy.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Ridwan “Scorpion” Oyekola, best boxer at GOtv Boxing Night 15 has declared that he will send Nurudeen “Prince” Fatai, former national lightweight champion into retirement. The two boxers are billed to clash in a national lightweight challenge bout at GOtv Boxing Night 17 holding on December 28, at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos.The eight-fight show tagged ‘Boxing Jams Music’, will feature live music performances by Burna Boy, Wande Coal, Teni Da Entertainer and Daddy Showkey.In an interview yesterday, Scorpion, a product of GOtv Boxing NextGen Search, said his opponent was past his prime and is due for retirement, a duty he has imposed on himself to carry out.last_img read more

2019 Okpekpe 10km Road Race Gets Obaseki Boost

first_imgThe seventh edition of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Silver label Okpekpe international 10km road race which holds on May 25 received a boost from the host state governor,Obaseki during the recent National Council of Sports meeting in Benin,capital of Edo state.At the meeting,Governor Obaseki told the gathering which had the Sports Minister,Barrister Solomon Dalung in attendance as well as the directors of Sports from the 36 states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory that this year’s race will serve to benchmark subsequent editions.Obaseki,who has been a strong supporter of the first road race in Nigeria and West Africa to get an IAAF label rating since its inception in 2013 also used the opportunity to invite the Sports Minister to this year’s race which holds on Saturday May 25 in Okpekpe,a rusty town in Etsako East local government of Edo state. ‘I am using this opportunity to invite the Honourable Sports Minister as well as the whole world to world class road race holding on May 25 in Okpekpe town here in Edo state,’said Obaseki while extolling Barrister Dalung for reviving the National Sports Festival.“For whatever you did or did not do, history will be fair to you for rescuing the National Sports Festival.Today you have spoken about retirement and the imminent dissolution of the National Executive Council, but before you go, permit me to invite you to come and race with me at the Okpekpe Road Race.’In his response,the Sports Minister promised to be present at the only IAAF Silver label road race that will be run in West Africa this year.”I will always be part of the Okpekpe Road Race whether I am in office or not.It is a well organized event that has helped to elevate and dignify the organizational prowess of Nigeria,”said Dalung.The Okpekpe international 10km road race is one of the races across the globe the IAAF has designated as one of the “leading road races around the world.”The classification was first introduced for the 2008 running season, upon the suggestion of the IAAF Road Running Commission.The Okpekpe race was accorded a bronze label status in 2015 and last year,after meeting the stringent criteria listed for a would-be silver label race which also included the required number of the international elite field,the race was elevated to a silver label status which is also the first in Nigeria nay West Africa.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more