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China's time of the 3 kingdoms: Why were some women allowed to fight in the armies?

You know, China is one of these countries famous for having a very traditional view on men and women. Especially during the ancients, chinese women were, from what I know, servants only and never soldiers. But having heard something from the time of the 3 kingdoms (Wei, Shu and Wu) I'm really confused. It seems, that not all women were like that during that time, but I wonder why it was like that.

Let me give you a few names from chinese women which were, from what I know, allowed to take place in battle, right at the frontline:

Wei: Zhen Ji
Shu: Yue Ying (wife of the tactical genius Zhuge Liang)
Wu: Sun Shang Xiang (daughter of the king Sun Jian)
Others which I know: Diao Chan, Zhu Rong (wife of the Nanman king)

There are even others, but I do not remember the names now. My question is just, why they were allowed to serve in the armies and even took place at battle right at the frontline, because this is in contradiction with the traditional chinese behaviour about women.


For learning: Chinese (Mandarin)
Base language: English
Category: Culture



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    it's true that women seldom paticipate in warfare in ancient china.
    but maybe I can tell you something about some women you mentioned.most of them are took part in war by seducing enemies instead of go to the frontline.
    sunshangxiang is sunquan's sister ,you know.when shu &wu are strving for a place called "jingzhou",a person called zhouyu gave sunquan a strategy,let liubei marry fact he want to get jingzhou through this way.
    diaochan is used to cast a bone between a person called dongzuo and another called lvbu.
    all in all ,most women is used as a conpiracy rather than fight with enenmies directly.
    but still some women go to the frontline,everything has a exception,despite the tradition.

    It seems that these were isolated cases, as you say it was not normal for women to serve as soldiers during those periods of time.

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