Most studies on ﬁlial devotion (xiao) tend to focus either on the virtue as transgender moral excellence or on the relationship between the male child and his parents. This peculiar focus, of course, can be justiﬁed since the majority of our textual records on the subject portray ﬁlial devotion in transgender terms or illustrate the virtue in praxis, usually involving a male child either as a paragon or a travesty of it. It appears that only a male child can be called ﬁlial or unﬁlial. The female child seems to belong to a different moral category altogether. Indeed, the Xiaojing (Classic of Filial Devotion) has virtually nothing speciﬁc to say about female children as bearers of the highly acclaimed virtue.1 Similarly, Liu Xiang’s (77-6 bce) Lienü zhuan (Biographies of Women), a monumental work that would sanction womanly behavior in China for ages to come, classiﬁed various types of women according to their virtues or the lack thereof, and the category of ﬁlial devotion was curiously missing. Where were the girls and women when praises for ﬁlial devotion were administered? Historical evidence seems to compel us to conceptualize xiao in a broader matrix of cultural and political underpinnings.