On September 29, the 2017 Confucius Academy Autumn Debate was held. WU Genyou, Dean of School of Philosophy, Wuhan University and Distinguished Professor of the Yangtze River Scholar Program with the Ministry of Education, XIAO Wei, Professor of Philosophy of Tsinghua University and Expert of Contemporary Feminism Philosophy, Chenyang Li, Dean of Department of Philosophy, Singapore Nanyang Technological University, Chairman of International Society for Chinese Philosophy unfolded their debate with the theme “Confucian Traditional Ideology and Modern Gender Equality”. Professor YAO Xinzhong, Dean of School of Philosophy, Renmin University of China hosted the debate.
WU Genyou pointed out that the values of gender equality may be supported by rich ideological resources in Chinese traditional cultures, for example, the balance between Yin and Yang and the harmony between Yin and Yang as well as other philosophical concepts in the Book of Changes, and the ideas “providing education for all people without discrimination”, “the benevolent loves others” of Confucius, etc.
XIAO Wei expressed that the feminism starts from the western world; we have to localize it in China after it is introduced to China. For culture is a process of two-way transmission, the process of localization is required after the idea was introduced. Therefore, we should also rethink the cultures of our own in such process profoundly, explore the part in traditional cultures good for the development of feminism, and criticize the part bad therein.
Chenyang Li confirms, on the viewpoint of philosophical foundation, Confucianism is not necessarily discriminatory against female. Certainly, as a very important cultural tradition, Confucianism may inevitably take on the historical imprints. Therefore, the modern society has to review the theories and viewpoints of Confucianism. Through reorientation, a suite of feministic ideology should be developed on the basis of philosophical thinking.