Please find other with this

Monday, February 8, 2016

Can We Really Trust Eunuchs? Powerful Drag Queens of Ancient China

Every Chinese movie set in Imperial China all have one thing in common, Eunuchs (Cantonese - Thai Gaam). In most movies, Chinese eunuchs are usually depicted as pale, wily, evil and effeminate. They had high pitched voices and spoke with an air of femininity. Eunuchs, for those who don't know or have never heard, are castrated male Imperial palace servants primarily employed to guard the harems and service the female royalty. In order to make sure there was no hanky panky, Chinese eunuchs were emasculated (complete removal of the male genitalia). This loss of "manhood" gave eunuchs a false reputation for being docile, loyal and unwanting of power.
In Imperial China, there were eunuchs of all ages. They performed a variety of roles ranging from actors and servants to harem guards and Imperial advisers. Eunuchs experienced a wide spectrum of treatment but at one time they were able to reach power greater than that of the emperor. According to Hidden Power: The Palace Eunuchs of Imperial China by Mary M. Anderson, eunuchs gained power by winning favor with young princes and molding the "heir apparent to suit their own ambitions". They were basically the puppet master using the emperor as the powerless figurehead to wield their authority. It is interesting that in a society dominated by male leadership, that men without their "manhood" could come to "usurp enormous authority".

Although eunuchs were used in other cultures, they had the greatest historical record and significance in the history of the Chinese.

No comments:

Post a Comment