- A.TLv 51 decade agoFavorite Answer
Footbinding was a custom practiced on young girls or females for approximately one thousand years in China, beginning in the 10th century and ending in the early 20th century. It originated in the courts among dancers, and spread to the elite and eventually among commoners. In Chinese foot binding, young girls' feet, usually at age 6 but often earlier, were wrapped in tight bandages so that they could not grow and develop normally; they would, instead, break and become highly deformed, not growing past 4-6 inches (10-15 cm).
As the girl reached adulthood, her feet would remain small and dysfunctional, prone to infection, paralysis, and muscular atrophy. This was initially a common practice only in the wealthiest parts of China, particularly in areas around northern China. However, by the late Qing Dynasty, foot binding had become popular among people of all social classes except among the poorest, who needed able-bodied women to work the fields, as well as Hakka women. As of the 1990s and 2000s it was cause of disability among some elderly Chinese women
Bound feet were considered intensely erotic. Qing Dynasty sex manuals listed 48 different ways of playing with women's bound feet. Some men preferred never to see a woman's bound feet, as they were always concealed within tiny "lotus shoes". Feng Xun is recorded as stating, "If you remove the shoes and bindings, the aesthetic feeling will be destroyed forever." For them, the erotic effect was a function of the lotus gait, the tiny steps and swaying walk of a woman whose feet had been bound makes the men think that the women are sexy. The very fact that the bound foot was concealed from men's eyes was, in and of itself, sexually suggestive. Foot-binding became a symbol of wealth and power, as a woman with bound feet could not work.Source(s): wiki