‘The agony of living with bound feet: Chinese woman, 84, reveals how her feet were broken and bound when she was just six years old’ – DailyMail

Photo: BBC/Silver River

Photo: BBC/Silver River

By Lucy Waterlow

A Chinese woman has revealed how she endured having her feet bound when she was only six years old, even though the painful procedure had been outlawed.

Wang Huiyuan, now 84, who lives in the rural Tonghai County, Yunnan, had the ‘beauty treatment’ in the 1930s, decades after it had been officially banned in 1902.

‘Then it was fashionable to bind feet. Everyone did it. If not, you’d be laughed at, “look at her big, flat feet”. Once I was laughed at, I bound my feet,’ she explained to Dr Amanda Foreman on BBC documentary The Ascent Of Woman.

The octogenarian recalled how the process of binding her feet to make them smaller – an ancient practice that can be dated back to the 13th century – was unbearably painful.

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‘The historical heroines you’ve never heard of: From the Sumerian priestess poet to the English queen who revolutionised literature, the women who deserve to be remembered’ – The Daily Mail

By Ruth Styles

From Boadicea of the Iceni to Queen Victoria, there is no shortage of women who have made their mark on history.

But for every Eleanor of Aquitaine or Elizabeth I, there have been many more whose efforts have gone unrecognised, largely because of their sex.

Now a new BBC series, the Ascent of Women, aims to change all that and shed light on the forgotten heroines of the past.

From the start, says presenter and historian Amanda Foreman, men have ‘conspired’ to control speech while women, lacking the educational opportunities of their male peers, have failed to realise that ‘speech is power’.

But not everyone has been content to remain silent. From the Celtic warrior queen who kept the Romans from her door to the Sumerian priestess who invented literature, meet the women who deserve to be remembered.

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