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The ancient Chinese custom of footbinding has caused severe life-long suffering for the Chinese women involved The first documented reference to footbinding was from the Southern Tang Dynasty in Nanjing It was introduced in the 11th century and spread from the ranks of the wealthy to those of more modest means to peasantry A main reason women did this was for the pleasure of men Men preferred women with small feet and sexual urges werent present for un-bound feet Although the history of footbinding is very vague it lasted for at least one thousand years This painful process which folds all the toes except the big one under the sole to make the foot slender and pointed was created just for the enjoyment and looking pleasures of men Earlier text has said that the Han Dynasty was referred to as the people who preferred that the women have small feet It also stated that the first documented reference to footbinding was from the Tang Dynasty in Nanjing Before the Song Dynasty binding was only slightly constricting allowing some free movement The Yuan Dynasty introduced binding into the central and southern parts of China and footbinding was most popular in the Ming Dynasty A famous writer Zhu Xi helped spread footbinding by introducing it into the southern Fuijan in order to spread Chinese culture and teach proper relations between men and women Many legends exist to explain where the creation of footbinding came about such as that it began out of sympathy for Empress Taki who had extremely large feet Or where the emperor Li Yu ordered his favorite concubine and dancer Lady Yao to bind her feet and dance on a golden lotus platform decorated with pearls and gems Thus came the name golden lotus and women from both inside and outside the court began binding their feet thinking them as beautiful dainty and elegant A main reason for the practice of footbinding continuing
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