Disasters Were Not Brought By Women

Traditional ideas assume disasters are brought by women. So the ends of many dynasties are always regarded as women’s fault. The end of Xia Dynasty was because of Moxi, the wife of Jie who was the last king of Xia; the end of Shang Dynasty was because of Da Ji, the wife of Zhou who was the last king of Shang; the end of the Western Zhou Dynasty was because of Bao Si, the wife of Zhou You-King; and so on. A poem in the Classic of Odes has such lines, “Zong-Zhou was so great, but Bao Si destroyed it.”

Could a woman end a dynasty? The Records of History, a famous historical works which was written by Sima Qian in the Western Han Dynasty, records that Moxi glamoured Xia Jie and corrupted Xia Kingdom. So Moxi was the first bad woman. But according to the Annals on Bamboo Slips, a historical works of the Warring-States Period, which was found in the tomb of Wei Xiang-King in AD 281, the records are different. In this book, Xia Jie loved two daughters of a tribe and forsook his wife, Moxi. Xia Jie was sorry for her, and built a beautiful palace for her. But Moxi still had resentment. When Tang who was the chief of Shang tribe rebelled against the tyranny of Xia Jie, Moxi loved Yi Yin who was a famous minister of Shang Tang and supported Shang tribe. So in fact, the end of Xia Dynasty was not the fault of Moxi, though she supported Shang tribe. If Xia Jie didn’t do tyrannies, his kingdom wouldn’t end. A woman always is not able to change the ideas of a man, and always become the victim of political conflicts.

Bao Si was a young woman of Bao State. Zhou You-King lusted for women and paid no attention to national affairs. The monarch of Bao State indignantly remonstrated with You-King that the behaviors of the king would destroy the nation. You-King was very angry, and put him into prison. In order to rescue own father, the son of the monarch of Bao bought a beautiful woman in the countryside. He regarded her as a member of own family, so the woman was called Bao Si, because Bao State was ruled by Si Family. He presented her to You-King. You-King was very glad, and set the monarch of Bao free. Since Bao Si entered the Palace, she had never smiled. In order to make her smile, You-King deposed his queen Shen Jiang and the crown prince Yijiu, and let Bao Si be the queen and her son Bofu be the crown prince. But Bao Si still didn’t smile. A minister Guo Shifu suggested You-King to take Bao Si to visit the beacon towers of Li Mountain. Then You-King and Bao Si went to Li Mountain. Guo Shifu commanded warriors to ignite beacon fire. The warriors of other beacon towers saw the beacon fire and thought enemies came, so they ignited beacon fires, too. The beacon fire spread quickly to the east states. Many states sent armies to support Haojing which was the capital of the Western Zhou. But when these armies arrived below Li Mountain, they didn’t see enemies, and they didn’t know what happened. Bao Si saw there were very noiseful below the mountain, and asked You-King why. You-King said the beacon fire made these troops so panic-stricken. Bao Si stood on the top of a beacon tower, and watched the armies. Suddenly, she smiled, though the time was short. You-King was very excited, and gave Guo Shifu handsome rewards. You-King let Guo Shifu tell the armies of states that there are not enemies, and tell them the king and the queen play the beacon fire. All troops were very angrily and returned their states. The father of the former queen Shen Jiang was the monarch of Shen State. He wanted to give You-King a lesson. He commanded his army to attack Haojing with Quan-Rong which was a northwest nationality. Zhou You-King ordered to ignite beacon fire. Though the beacon fire spread quickly to all states, all states thought maybe the king and the queen played the beacon fire again. All states didn’t sent armies to support Haojing. After fierce fights, Haojing fell into Quan-Rong’s hands. The monarch of Shen State only wanted to give You-King a lesson, but he wasn’t able to control Quan-Rong. Quan-Rong plundered the wealth of Haojing and burned this city. Zhou You-King and his son Bofu were killed. Bao Si was plundered to Quan-Rong. The Western Zhou Dynasty was destroyed. Because Haojing was called “Zong-Zhou” which meant the suzerain of Zhou States, the end of the Western Zhou was the end of Zong-Zhou.

Though Bao Si was regarded as a woman who brought disasters and caused Zong-Zhou to end, she was really innocent. Maybe she had her lover in the countryside, but in order to rescue a sincere minister, she contributed her youth. She didn’t lust for a luxurious life, and she wanted to be free and live with her real lover, so she had never smiled since she entered the Palace. Though Zhou You-King paid no attention to national affairs because of her beauty, if You-King didn’t get her, You-King also paid no attention to national affairs for other women. Bao Si didn’t slander any minister, and she seldom talked. Maybe many people blamed her not to give kind advices to You-King. But maybe Bao Si disliked politics, so she didn’t talk about these things. She was a victim and unfortunate woman, but she was not a bad woman. Why did she smile in a short time on the top of the beacon tower? This is a mystery forever.

Disasters are not brought by women, but women always are cursed with disasters. They were victims, and please do not injure them again. The history is past, and I wish nowadays kind women to have happy lives!

Yike Jiang avatar