Once in a while, all the necessary factors converge to produce a peculiar nationalized sexual fetish. In China, that fetish was foot binding and over a millennia three billion Chinese women's feet were brutally disfigured for men's pleasure.
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Hey, everybody wanna, to talk to you about our old friends from square space. You need site, everyone, it's like the few And if you don't have your own website, then what are you doing in square space is the best do it it's the all in one platform to build a beautiful online presence and run your butt. And right now we when they have a new feature, email campaigns say were and sell more with square space. Email campaigns is really great. Again the one platform that makes it easy to unify. Or brand and voice from your page to your emails de great everyone and right now check out square space, dot com, slash short stuff for a free trial when you ready launches the offer code short stuff to save ten percent of your first purchase of a website or domain. Hey everybody. It's me Josh, and for this week's s, why has case selects I've chosen how foot binding worked? I it's about an unusual practice that was tradition for about a third
News in China and it's just absolutely fascinating, where we a little judge year than usual. In this episode, I would say that's a fair assessment, but hopefully you won't judge us too harshly and instead just enjoy this episode, because it's a pretty good one take care. Welcome to stop. You should know how stuff works doc hanging welcome to the podcast, I'm Josh Clark, there's Charles W Chuck Bryant Jerry's over there and it's time for supper. You should know everybody just settle down buckle in get ready congratulations to Kristen Bell stuff, you should know Van Kristen Bell in her husband s shepherd had their baby. Oh, hey can go
so I said they congratulations to you and enough these agreements. Are you going to congratulate her on a text on the Veronica marginally? Well, congratulations on that. My wife is very much looking forward to the yes and your way, Looking for meeting the baby is on her way right now. Personnel oh my God, had started out as small fascination with show tragedy is dangerous and they have for tv movie obsession anyway. Just one say: congratulations, yet it's nice of each year. I hadn't congratulations over here, get interesting that I tied that this pod cast on like female torture. Essentially,
Do you think there's something to that girl? We live in a world now where we don't have to worry about, although I think that had a son were any little babies feet being minded Argus, not babies, but for a five year old or bound bound minded bound. They think because the feet were bound. Yes, yes, yes do you think we should explain everybody. What we're talking about foot binding yeah, I'm glad you think you congratulated Kristen Bell, because I didn't really how much of an inch for their effective aid, because just so fast I I feel it wishes- can die right. It yeah fascinating in horrible, unlike oddly impact fallen areas, areas never would have considered yeah. So we should say that over the core- about a thousand years from roughly nine seventy till about nineteen fifties like almost on a a thousand years,
about three billion women in China bound their feet to basically train them to become small. Pointing in a really bizarre custom, it is kind of came out of nowhere and stuck around blonde thousand years voluntarily to forming their feet, but at the very least their mothers and grandmothers voluntarily deformed their feet for them. Yes, very good point actually, but at some point they had to take over and I guess then it became voluntary well chair while will get all that ok spoilers abound. So basically, this was purposeful. Defamation of the human foot, the human female foot
in order to attract men here there was a standard of beauty about foot and what I would describe it in a minute, but the idea the whole thing can I came from what they think about, like I said nine, seventy eighty, in the course of an emperor named Lee. You in you had a favorite girlfriend, ballerina girl, yeah and early saw dancing once on a golden Lotus pedestal, because everything is made of gold back then in China, She had her feet kind wrapped up. I guess like a ballerina or sometime you and he apparently got very, very excited at this. It excited much so that the other ladys of the court noticed this. They did, you say, visibly excited visibly exciting. Yes, if you know what I mean really, I would imagine hooker
scarcely dared thousand years, like all other slandering deformations, Ike the winter is like it was a rock in time of the southern Tang dynasty Lula. You never know. What's gonna happen, gay made Caligula look like watching. It is an adult yet boring, so This is really the only. You was very much entranced by this enough that Women in the court notice it and I started wrapping their feet as well yeah and it just kind of took off from there and it took a turn pretty early on what was the turn while the turn as originally apparently the first that the woman who started this whole thing just kind of wrapped her feet in bandages two too. I guess I'll catch you to meet that turn a literal term yeah. Well it it became establishing at first because wealthy women did it and then it sort of spread and in it also would end up prevent,
Women from doing like manual labour will not prevent, but it made it tougher, so sort of status thing that meant like. If you had a bad feeling about their work in the field, I don't even have to throw HO but then had spread throughout China, and oh a few places actually was more than this article at on its more research on that I saw like where fifty to sixty percent of the women into a binding their feet and China, and this is like a hundred percent except in these provinces. Well, I think they were saying about close to a hundred per cent of the higher classes. But yet there is, I guess that makes it so, maybe about half of the chinese population total, yes, M accent soccer, so the strange turn it took there was to go from simply wrapping their feet to actually the binding process, which mouth forming your feet at a young age like forty,
ten years old for life to wear when you're she was off, it looks like you're wearing out your foot looks like a high he'll geared disfigured yeah. You can't walk very well. You can't again, you can't work in the fields near and your beard foot has been brought to appoint, basically that, ideally three inches long three inches Look, that's it and its pointed the end. You do this by training your foot in your bones to do deform. Yet when I say it looks like a high he'll, like your foot, looks like a shoe. Like the heel is separate from the rest of the foot and a big block that looks like the heel of issue and the foot is permanently arched in pointy and the toes were curled under
and it's just if you got a picture so this its horrific looking yeah and it was so entrenched in the chinese culture that when it is outlawed through, I guess the first time in nineteen twelve. It continued on and it took the communists taking over to really get rid of it in football. And went away as disco by just practical necessity. Women had to work in the field and if you had bound feet you're in big trouble. Yet, while the end of it to talk about the analogy we do it later astute now, this mess with, structure the end of it. There were a lot of factors at play. One was western missionaries came over there for the first time and said yeah. You know this is really not what the rest of the world is doing. Does it make you look good by the way social D when I got on it in
like yeah. You know what we're not going to survive as a country because, like half of our population, is hobbled essentially psych. This is: can we really bad for business? one day, and so they mounted like a real campaign. Education campaign, which is really usual back. Then and they had three phases to at one- was that it you look bad and look strange to the rest of the world to be taught the advantages of having normal feet like one, without pain, and then they formed a natural foot societies where people would pledge not to do this to their daughters. Or allow their daughter to marry a sign or our allow their son to marry a girl who had bound feet, because I was one of the big deal. If you didn't about feet than guys, we just pass you over right. What that's what it took to? Finally like eradicate it: when was that,
That was was after the nineteen twelve outlaw the they well knows. No, it was leading up to that, and I think I was only those formerly outlawed, though gotcha they had government inspectors come around here and make sure that you weren't binding feed any longer right and they were like hide girls that they still want to do so they really oppressive and weird. Yet because that campaign that you described is basically point four point trained undue a thousand years of custom. You like, if you had unbound feet like natural feet, you are considered a freak. They were ugly there's something wrong with you and even more to the point. No man would marry you because bound feet were so idolized in chinese culture that if you were just totally p, or even horrendously ugly in every other way, but I really knock out bound feet like that was enough for you, you're, a butterfly you're gonna do pretty good it's hilarious!
b I mean it's hard to believe now, but when you see these photos in like the X rays and stuff, it's just like total. The deformation yeah New year's resolutions are very, very difficult to keep getting exercise, save more money. What about this? We have a resolution that you can really work with stop wasting time going to the post office that right, you stamps dot com instead because they bring all the services of the. U S: postal service, right to your computer, with your small business, sinning invoice.
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or go to the post office again to talk about the third, there is an actual process, the utterly straightforward, although extremely painful and dangerous. If you like, I think you said you were you grab like here, for you, He said it's time to prepare for a lifetime of pain and suffering right, starting now, right and you take her feet and do so them in hot water for a few hours. Yet an animal blood do oh yeah. What did that? The same thing softened at softening up? Ok so like there was a whole purposes of the soaking, was to soften the skin, making more pliable- and I imagine the muscles two yet and then after the soaking
would scrape away any dead skin and then, after that, their toenails were cleared. Super short, so they're still kids are like ok, hourly, like the tonneau clip in part, but the foot so more than makes up for it right. In boy. Do I really it turns out. I like animal blood, soaked my feet and then the the either there mom or maybe a learning woman in the village. Her would say: we're, going to start bending her foot yeah, who imagine these lady two if they were the village lady, they did it. They're probably didn't take much guff know. Probably not You know they brought him mess around. I imagine that came in there and assorted took care business like they ve heard it all before right, better furs. Is grizzly and grotesque. A procedure is actually a delicate procedure too because
if you can wrap your minor unless there's ways to do it wrong that Kenya led to problems, could point the actual risk factors. So the one other thing I left out was a sprinkle talking there to keep it from perspiring gives you wanted to be dry right and then they start bending things yet well, then, the cotton comes out the bandages about two inches wide about ten feet long and they would soak, though was in the hot water and blood and herbs as well, because they want those to shrink up tell about shrinking. They want those to shrink up after they are applied feet right and then the old lady comes up and she folds that little foretold. That we're just clipped, not the big, no under as far as she can and then starts to do little figure aids to keep them in place. You leave the big How expose you see this earlier? In other words the bandages? Yes, yes, and he led the big toe exposed
and the heel exposure and you just since those little fructose under they break the toes it breaks. The foot bones sounds horrific because it is right and it brings the heel closer towards the ball of the Vienna. So the point of your fee is now your big toe the slightly wider part behind it is the ball of your foot and then behind. That is your heal. A underneath. It all are your for poor poor, little toads yep in that time. Of your foot. Is it this really unreasonable? Odd looking arch right and Cosette insecure and high heels, by making it arched in your allowing that distance. That was once between the ball of the foot and the heel to go up rather than between the two You're bringing them together and so a four year old here, you're polychrome pain and after you finish with the bandages
the old lady or the mom would probably so them, because, especially if you're doing for euros can to try to get these things off, and then they say I start work get a little shoe on there and that the first steps with these things and imagine many steps after order excruciatingly painful, yeah, Nina well yeah, here's secures the craziest part. If you ask me you do this every day four year, yet love a couple of days. Ok, everyday or every other day began to diminish it. Yet for a couple of years it takes a couple of a few years for these things to be fully deformed into what are called them Lotus petals but if they weren't clip properly soon forgotten in gangrene too tight all big threats to like losing their feet right, because if you wrap, if you rat them too tightly and dried out real good, because infection like the toes, would cut into the foot if they weren't clip properly soon
get an gangrene rose too tight, all big threats to like losing their feet right, because if you wrap, if you rat them tat they can become gangrenous because you get gangrene, which is a massive loss of dead tissue suited to poor circulation. So the foot could just fall off and like you're saying, if you dont could detect those chuck like you have to do that every day or every time you you on rapid and wrap your feet and then even worse than that, if you didn't wrap them pretty quickly after you them every day or other day, they could start to lose their shape, which early with its painful as in the initial for binding procedure, you like wants your foot his to take shape He wanted to say no, you know, I don't want to do this anymore. It is painful for the foot to undo itself because it's already malformed, but there is, like you, didn't think there. I think once he at once this
happen to you from your mom or whatever, and you drew a little older. You start to take over for yourself and you are bathing it wrapping your own and every other day you I've stood. Why you're doing this because for binding was so important that you could be a just completely poverty stricken and some rich do would still be like I, like you, see a lot of ice ghetto and a half inches yeah. I can't even breathe right now, because your feet or so deformed, there I want to marry yeah, so there, and beyond being wrong in gross and oppressive and all that stuff. It was too so. I d me that that was like a turn on yeah man, it was a turn on like foot binding as highly highly erotic. Guys like nice feet. Trust me. I get that right. These deformed just don't get
but this is pretty much a national foot fetish and it was. Nationalism was cultural, was extraordinarily widespread, like we set about three billion women over the course of a thousand years bound their feet yeah and it had a lot of effects side effects it went along with it yeah when three billion people do something here that hobbles them there are going to be some weird repercussions. You don't think about. One thing: it definitely was it fostered, it's over women because of the simple fact that if a woman Beaten should get run away, a woman travel very far period, so they're gonna hang around their village in their house, and so it just It's like hobbling somebody all of a sudden they can't get around as well so they're just dependent on you right and they really are travelling much. Now I was travelling going on your feet about also
the fact that you they have women with bound feet had trouble walking meant that the architecture of China kind of was created. To help this outlay area had to lean on windows or walls I mean so. Buildings were were built close together so that every woman could in a lean on a wall while she was walking yet, and there were a lot of six story- walk ups in an ancient China Manawyddan, cruel. Everything was one story, result, so it yet had a weird impact on the architecture and what else colonization Yellow is a really big winner, rising yeah. You know. Most people realise that China didn't do a lot of exploring while the rest of the world was it's kind of isolated itself and shut itself off. One of the reasons given for that is that the women were foot bound and couldn't travel like
women and other countries who could walk normally did so with the chinese women unable to travel, and I guess see the sights their men, didn't wanna. Leave em so they stayed at home and actually the areas they didn't practice. Foot binding are the ones that actually did go out and colonise other places like the Philippines right. They were sick animals, whether in China, the air, the over every great old Russia has like the one chinese emigrant family with the pony tail. The article points out like working hard on it, because it's easy to look at day at some antiquated practice is really cruel and unusual and weird, but at the time they in the women in a wanted their feet bound. There were great bonds between durations because it will such a cultural thing between the women area. They would so their shoes together, Ellison this one empire, fresh air, the interviewed summon some of these
chinese ideas that stop. You know some of the west, by having once a year and a couple of em said. You know, I really regret it now. It's been a pain, but most of them said no. We wanted to do it in. This was a very proud of the fact that we did. Yeah- and these are. These- are women who are confronted with the outside world and they still feel pride about their boundaries. Do you imagine how much pride but woman had in her bound feet. While it was the norm as it was based. Be the norm in China, and these women were going out anywhere else. So if you had really nice bound feet, there was a huge point of pride for you, so One of the other weird things we need to talk about is sexy time, because we talked about foot fetishism things, but it really like something happened in the water. At this
I'm where chinese man really really got into it, and they would take this you off in these odd deformed feet and they would like this weird things like a drink, the water that they bade their feet in put nuts between the toes and meet the nuts from their toes Anna feel. He I think I, So read that it became a another orfis. I guess, if you can imagine our really yeah. And even outside of that. Just one of the more normal thing to do is to bury your face in the center of the bottom of the foot and really get like a good with no smell it and then check. We should point out that, if you're doing that, if your burying your face in the deformed foot of a football woman
one of the things that happens pretty commonly when your feet or bone is that they develop pustules, that break in stink and So there is a. I read one guy a contemporary report from several centuries ago, saying like there is no other smell like it in the world. Nothing is actually has a deformed foot with leaking stinky pustules. Exactly yes, said. The other is a definite fetish that grew up around. There is at least one sex manual really with, I think forty eight different things to do with a valuable around for a while and then the shoes we can talk about the shoes
they play a role in that eroticism as well about the strengthening of the muscles thirty yards, a big part, yeah yeah. Apparently, the there was a theory, at least that, because they had to walk so funny and oddly that their vaginal muscles were extra strong and thus more pleasurable, The man right so and then so they average one with foot bound shoe with without fear, I'm sorry everybody she had at least four pairs of shoes you had to or elsewhere. There is no browser in in having bound feet. You D have one free season. Deal you had at least four pair persistence of sixteen. Some women have hundreds of these I'm and they were designed a really like show off like a look at my bound feet, ready enough. That's what they were. Therefore, but there is one speech the coin there were always read: there were your wedding shoes and inside there was
erotic embroidery, which the the husband husband and then the new wife would look at and like try, together is kind of an instruction manual for the bride by her mother or the women of the town like to do this. Here's a picture of what you're supposed to do tonight yet and slippers period. I think we're just was almost like the lodge a ray of the time yeah, because they would the bedroom slippers were more like embroidered like more sexually as well. In just your average. Like you know, I gotta get the shop and pick up some rice Jews so that the Chinese communists came along now and his comrades and said: do you know what dear woman, we don't care to work digging bitches and oh you're bound feet Are you well? I guess you can starve, because we give food based on how much work you did you don't do the work. You're gonna start debt that led to the real conclusion of finding an apparent
today they say with great authority that no one does it any longer. Yet that that's good to know, I'm surprised that it completely died out because you. Think they're be like so many more timely here there, but behind the Strasbourg will welcome to the modern age, is what I say. I noticed a bizarre strange, chapter two thousand year chapter in one of the most populous nations on the planet, history, totes and very few people number will now alive more people, the tracking anything us now We can't like there's no place. We can direct people to voice their outrage because it didn't happen anymore. No, but I'm sure we're gonna get along suggestions for female genital mutilation, in which probably do that one female circumcision we haven't done it now. We d male circumcision. I don't think we talked about female. I think we'd, like mentioned it said, will do that later there
will do it again? Okay. So if you want to learn more about foot binding and see some pictures of some unshod bound feet, you can type foot binding in the search bar howstuffworks dot com, it'll, bring up this article and I said, search bar, which means it's time for a message break. Let me tell you about people who love talking and always wanted in the end a chill PETE flayed, since he was three and big his mom to let him stay on the ice. Why some nights he even slept in his happy skates PETE practiced in practice to one day when he was forty. Seven feet realized. He just wasn't that good, so he threw his gates in the trash.
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Transcript generated on 2020-01-05.