The gender politics in Chinese traditional culture is a good example to show the limit of female appearance from the masculine aesthetic standard. According to Ma, X (2006:82-87), in Chinese traditional culture, the gender order system is an important part of Chinese etiquette rules. In Chinese traditional society, male is dominant, female value is shown to serve male. In the traditional mainstream value, the standards of women’s values are just related to reproduction and beauty, and all the standards are decided by men. That means, the main relationship between male and female in traditional society is just sex, and the dominant status of men.
Women’s appearance is the most important element to attract men and it is also the main standard for women to be evaluated by public. And in Chinese traditional culture, men needed all the women to be good wives and kind mothers, so in the masculine aesthetic standard, beautiful women must be elegant and pure and full of feminine characteristics. Specifically, in Chinese traditional culture, men thought that female beauty must include long hair, plump breasts and slender waist. Men used these standards to decide which woman is beautiful and attractive and which one is ugly. And because of the patriarchy, these masculine aesthetic standards have become the mainstream aesthetic standards in a long time, not only male use these standards to evaluate women’s appearance, women also evaluated themselves by using these standards.
While after 1960s, feminism focused on gender politics and gender difference studies. Feminism walks into the deep way of the body’s existence, from clearing up the male powerful discourses to overturning the male physical domination. According to Gallop, J (1988:118), males are dominated in traditional, cultural and social power, and male’s body is also being dominated in the relationship between sexes. Hence if female body needs to be liberated, we should deconstruct male’s body firstly. Phallus, as the most essential reflection of male’s body, is also the symbol to tyrannize and dominate women. Feminism uses a physical and even a political ideology way to challenge male’s dominating physical advantage and ideological structure. So the gender politics in feminism is shown as the ‘physical politics’ at the first time. In China, the feminism is also being shown as the physical form.