Have you ever wondered why ghosts in Chinese society are usually "women"? They are always wronged by their feelings and use their glamorous appearance to demagogue people. How was the image of the "female ghost" born? This article takes you to find out!
Are you a person who loves to watch ghost movies?
From Nie Xiaoqian in "Liaozhai", Xiao Wei played by Zhou Xun in "Painted Skin", to "Little Girl in Red" adapted from urban legends, whether it is the text of the novel or adapted into a movie, regardless of the era, bizarre and terrifying ghost stories always make people love and hate.
Looking closely, most of the ghost stories from the Chinese cultural system are based on "female ghosts". When they appear, they are often varied, enchanting, and even demagogic; Until the style of painting turns, Chu Chu's moving beauty instantly turns into a terrifying ghost, exuding resentment all over her body, perhaps lurking around you, and occasionally suddenly jumping out, making people sweat cold.
What is the reason that ghosts in Chinese society mostly appear as "women"?
Image|"Painted Skin" stills
Obsessed with "ghost" color? Men pursue fame and fill in the illusion of shortcomings
Compared with Western societies that focus on individual development, Eastern societies pay relatively much attention to the integrity of the "big self", while men in a patriarchal society who are burdened with the expectations of others often suppress their own desires and strive to climb up the social class, whether it is to fight abroad and strive for battle merits, or they may study hard and expect to win the imperial examination in one fell swoop.
However, there are very few people who can really reach the top of the pyramid and gain both fame and fortune. As a result, the single soldiers and frustrated scientific researchers who have been stationed in the field for many years, their desire to get married and start a family buried deep in their hearts gradually turned into fantasies about "non-existent women", and "female ghosts" began to leave traces in history.
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Accidentally encountered during a solitary journey, met while reading, between the eyes, the female ghosts not only become the companion of lonely souls, but some stories will even add the bridge of "mutual reward between people and ghosts", exchange with each other, fulfill each other's wishes, sacrifice part of themselves in exchange for invisible help, and also make up for the powerlessness of the abyss through supernatural power.
Although it is only an illusory imagination, it is not difficult to find that the moral shackles in society still exist. The common ending of the protagonist of the story is this: there may be an unexpected practitioner intervened to help him break through the obstacle, recognize reality, and return to the right track, and the protagonist may also continue to be addicted to the "ghost color", unable to extricate himself, and finally be sucked dry by the ghost and die - this is the price of self-drowning, and it is also a vigilance for others, warning men to stay away from women, and admonishing people to stay away from obsessions.
Image|"Qiannu Ghost" stills
In the face of an unwanted marriage, cheating or "ghost"?
From the perspective of traditional marriage values, female ghosts represent "force majeure" or "irregular" unexpected romances.
In ancient times, marriage was mostly a matchmaker, and the marriage of both men and women was often based on family interests as the main consideration, and the man's family looked forward to marrying the daughter-in-law who entered the door, gentle and smooth, diligent and thrifty, willing to have children, and be good at husband and son.
However, without the emotional nourishment of love, without the vivid interaction between lovers, without the natural flow of love, and even from the simplest place - the other party's appearance is really not their own dish - stuck in an unsatisfactory marriage and forced to succumb to social etiquette, how can men find an outlet for themselves?
Compared with the main wife who is being married by Ming Media, a romantic relationship that occurs outside is easier to obtain, so "encountering a female ghost" has become a rationalization of "improper sexual behavior". Even if it is just a self-deceptive lie, stepping on the gray area of the unknown of the false and the false, between the true and the false, men meet the imagination of having a relationship with the ideal woman, compared to bearing the realistic consequences of one-night stands and extramarital affairs, the "female ghost" is like a looming umbrella, helping them distinguish the safe range of external value and inner space.
"Ghost" reflects the unspeakable moral dilemma in the individual's heart, and from the large-scale perspective of society, in order to support the family norms of orthodox blood, female third parties have become demonized objects, which is unreasonable, illegitimate, and should not exist. People are afraid of ghosts, from their unpredictability; People are also disgusted because they are beyond common sense and difficult to understand things.
Photo | "Hotel Druna" stills
Who intends not to be "ghost"? Ghost stories reflect oppressed women
Finally, let's take a look at the ghosts that people fear the most, that is, the ghosts who have grievances in their hearts and die unjustly without revenge.
In the book "Taiwanese Female Ghosts: Female Ghost Imagery in Folklore", it is described that in the late Qing Dynasty, a group of single men who brought Taiwan from Fujian to reclaim the land were established with local women in order to establish a foundation in a place where they were not familiar with life, so as to obtain more resources and strength.
Many successful men eventually left Taiwan, and the women who were left behind, some heartbroken, some ashamed, painfully ended their lives and turned into fearful ghosts under the regret of losing both human and financial losses.
The birth of the "female ghost" reflects the situation of women persecuted under the patriarchal system. Like the well-known "Sister Lin Tou", this beautiful widow was deceived by scumbags, leaving her children starved and frozen, and finally hanged herself with hatred on Lin Tou trees; "Sow Ghost" describes a pregnant sow who steals crops from her field and is killed by a farmer for her stomach, but in fact it is a cryptic expression of the tragic song of a woman's death.
The perpetrators may also be women. "Chair Aunt" is a little girl incarnated, she lost her mother, she sent people under the fence, but was severely abused by her sister-in-law, was asked to sit on a bamboo chair and make a fire all day, not allowed to rest, rice and water did not enter, and over time she became emaciated, and finally sat on the bamboo chair and lost her breath.
Picture | "Sister Lin Tou" stills
The female ghost stays in the yang, based on the extreme difference in gender situations, growing up in the tragic story of "loss" and "deprivation", and the female ghost's idea of revenge has become another psychological compensation for women, hoping to regain their dignity before life through the action of "rehabilitation". The oppressors fear that women will gain strength in another place after death and turn to revenge, while the oppressed pin their hopes in Hades, hoping that one day their grievances will be cleared and belated justice will be done.
People and ghosts have different paths? It turns out that where there are people, there are ghosts
Understanding the deep meaning behind the "female ghost", do you have a new interpretation and idea of the birth of the ghost story?
The ghost is like a mirror, the embodiment of seven emotions and six desires, a self-compensation under the substitution, and a true portrayal of the social state. And the reason why ghost stories can be passed down is because they are essentially human stories - as long as human beings do not become extinct for a day and love and hatred continue to occur, ghost stories will always exist.
Growing up in modern times, perhaps many situations in traditional society no longer exist, but the problems brought by "female ghosts" have never disappeared, so next time you listen to their stories, please remember to observe your own life and see if there is a human version of ghost stories happening.
I hope that everyone can be themselves, spend every day well, practice every wish with their hearts, let their thoughts not need to be made up for by the obsession of incarnating ghosts, and hope that the day of gender equality can come as soon as possible.