CHINESE COUNTRY GIRLS AND WOMEN
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THE Chinese are as practical a people as ever had a national existence, and we know of no reason to suppose
that the Chinese ever had the least doubt that a substantial equality of the sexes in point of numbers is a condition of the continued propagation of the race. Certainly no race was ever more careful to keep itself propagated, or has ever met with greater success in the undertaking. Yet the Chinese are almost the only people boasting an ancient and developed civilization who despise their own daughters who are married into the families of others, and are by that process lost to their own because according to ancient custom they can offer no sacrifices for their parents when the latter are dead. It is for this reason that the popular saying declares that the most ideally excellent daughter (literally a daughter with the virtues of the eighteen Lo-hans) is not equal to a splay-footed son. This sentiment is endorsed by all Chinese consciously and unconsciously, in a manner to show that it is interwoven with the very fibres of their being. Its ultimate root is the same as that of so many other human opinions, pure selfishness.