Thu, Mar 08, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Discriminatory customs should be dropped: legislator

TABOO:A KMT lawmaker urged people to abandon marriage customs that are discriminatory toward women, such as banning ‘female tigers’ in weddings

By Jonathan Chin  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Marriage customs that are discriminatory toward women should be laid to rest, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Ko Chih-en (柯志恩) said yesterday.

“I am not saying that all traditions are superstitious, but society has changed in fundamental ways,” she told a news conference on the eve of International Women’s Day.

“I call on the public to be aware of social taboos that are no longer appropriate and let them fade away,” she said.

Traditionally, girls who were born in the year of the tiger cannot be flower girls at weddings, because “female tiger” is a derogatory term for an overbearing woman, she said.

Married women are also discouraged from visiting their parents’ homes during the Lunar New Year holiday, she added.

“In celebration of International Women’s Day, we should try to rid ourselves of customs and practices that are discriminatory toward women and create a more friendly social space,” she said.

The traditional marriage customs people feel most strongly about include making brides kneel and throw fans in farewell to their parents, Zhengyang Cultural Foundation chairwoman Yang Ya-ping (楊雅評) said, citing a study conducted by the foundation.

“The obligation to perform those traditional rituals fall on women and are suggestive of a feudal ideology,” Yang said.

Culture is the product of human interaction within a given environment and is composed of social norms, Taiwan Association for Sex Education president Kao Song-ching (高松景) said.

Far from idle indulgences, traditional customs are essential components of culture and symbolically reproduce their norms, rules and system of values, Kao said.

“The binding force of customs exceed laws in the level of control it imposes over everyday life,” Kao added.

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