A Story of Two Women The Mongol and The Chinese
Once upon a time in a faraway land... There lived a Mongol woman named Kutulan. She lived with her husband, a great warrior, in Mongol-controlled China. She was very happy with her life.
Kuluan lived in the society of the Mongols, a fierce nomadic group of people. The Mongols constantly traveled in order to conquer more land. They took their homes with them when they traveled.
Kutulan was an important part of her society. She had individual rights and was respected by others. Some of her friends even went into battle with the men! Life was going good for Kutulan.
In the Mongol households women took most of the control, and some women even owned their own house. Compared to other societies the Mongol women had the most freedom, similar to other nomadic cultures.
Nearby in another society... There lived a Chinese woman named Chi Guo. She lived with her husband’s family and her first son.
Chi Guo lived in the Chinese society, even though it was controlled by the Mongols. After taking over China the Mongols allowed the Chinese to keep their traditions. So Chi Guo followed her ancestor’s Confucian practices.
Tradition encouraged complete male authority over women. Each household was male-orientated, although women did have small social gatherings. Women also practiced foot binding, a complicated process of deforming their feet for “beauty.”
After seeing the Mongol women’s freedom, Chi Guo was not happy with how she was treated. She decided to talk to a Mongol about what makes their society so free.
One day, soon after her decision to confront a Mongol, Chi Guo found Kutulan in an open market and decided to speak with her. Kutulan agreed to talk with Chi Guo and help.
They each explained their culture and their background story. It turns out that they are not so different after all! Both women could – if they really wanted to – divorce their husbands or get them in trouble for mistreatment. They also enjoy all kinds of art in their society, and actively follow traditions.
Chi Guo and Kutulan became close friends, even though their cultures were very different. They respected each other’s culture and were able to discuss the injustices of both. Each encouraged the other to be optimists about life. ...And they lived happily ever after.