重新审视老佛爷,慈禧是中国女性主义的先驱么 2018-07-13 编辑:penny (纽约时报)

双语

导读:堪比维多利亚女王的慈溪十分强硬,以至于一些修正主义的历史诠释视她为一名女性主义者,事实真的是这样么?

“重新审视老佛爷,慈禧是中国女性主义的先驱么_最新英语新闻

She entered the world of an ancient empire as a teenage concubine, chosen by the emperor to share his bed for her good looks, immaculate comportment and, above all, her ability to sing.

作为一名嫔妃,慈禧十几岁就踏入了古老帝国的皇宫。由于她有美丽的容貌,完美的举止,尤其是她美妙的歌喉,而得到了皇帝宠幸,并与他共眠龙榻。

The male-dominated court was a swirl of intrigue, forced suicides and poisonings. Eunuchs assigned to the emperor prepared her for sex with the ruler, undressing her and carrying her to his bed. After the Emperor Xianfeng’s death, she governed in the name of young male heirs — from behind a screen.

在这个男性主导的宫廷里,阴谋、强迫自杀和下毒层出不穷。伺候皇帝的太监们为她与统治者行房事做准备,脱掉她的衣服,把她抬上皇帝的龙床。咸丰皇帝死后,她垂帘听政,以年幼的男性继承人的名义治理帝国。

Perhaps as an escape from these oppressive restrictions, Empress Dowager Cixi (pronounced TSIH-shee), the de facto ruler of China in the final decades of the imperial dynasty, rebuilt a fantastic wonderland, the Summer Palace. It’s an extended estate of glittery lakes, luxurious gardens and elaborate wooden pavilions on the edge of the nation’s capital, attracting up to 100,000 visitors a day.

也许是为了摆脱这些不公的制约,清朝最后几十年的实际统治者慈禧太后重建了一个神奇的仙境:颐和园。颐和园由大片闪闪发光的湖泊、奢华的花园,以及精美的木亭组成,位于北京城的西北角,现在每天吸引的游客可达10万。

Most of them are curious Chinese from across the country who read in their Communist Party-authorized school books that Cixi was a harridan who stole the nation’s wealth and was responsible for China’s humiliating defeat by the Japanese in 1895.

游客中的大多数是来自中国各地的猎奇者,他们上学时曾在共产党认可的教科书中读到,慈禧太后是一个脾气暴躁的女人,把国家财富据为己有,对中国在1895年耻辱地败给了日本负有责任。

But was she? Cixi, a peer of Queen Victoria’s and apparently iron-willed, has invited revisionist interpretations that view her as a feminist, at least in the context of the late 19th century, when women in China were treated little better than spittoons.

真是这样吗?这位堪比维多利亚女王的人物显然十分强硬,以至于一些修正主义的历史诠释视她为一名女性主义者,至少放在19世纪末的语境下是这样,当时的中国女性受到的待遇不比痰盂好多少。

Strong women in China are often portrayed as power-hungry, and sometimes irrational, and are notably absent from the highest ranks of government. There is no Hillary Clinton figure in contemporary China (the real Mrs. Clinton is vilified by the government for talking about human rights in the country), or an Angela Merkel, who has stood up to China on trade.

在中国,强势女性常常被描绘为迷恋权力的人,有时还不理性,在政府高层中显然极少能见到她们。当代中国没有希拉里.克林顿(Hillary Clinton)式的人物(希拉里本人因为在中国谈论人权而受到中国政府的诋毁),也没有安格拉.默克尔(Angela Merkel)那样的人,默克尔敢在贸易问题上与中国抗衡。

So harking back to the pre-communist era for a feminist trailblazer makes sense. And to search for feminist ideals in a woman who ruled for nearly 50 years, from 1861 until her death in 1908, is understandable.

所以,回到共产主义时代之前去谈论一位女性主义开拓者是有道理的。在一位统治国家将近50年(从1861年直到1908年去世)的女性身上寻找女性主义理想也是可以理解的。

But the case of Cixi — who was isolated, undereducated and never made a break for personal freedom — is a hard argument to make.

但是,把慈禧太后当作这样的例子很难有说服力,她生活在一个与世隔绝的世界里,没受过多少教育,也从未试图逃脱限制、获得个人自由。

A Chinese historian, Jung Chang, began the re-evaluation of Cixi with her biography, “Empress Dowager Cixi.” Ms. Chang, who lives in exile, argues the empress brought medieval China into the modern age, calling her an “amazing stateswoman.”

华裔历史学家张戎从她写的传记《慈禧太后》(Empress Dowager Cixi)入手,对慈禧进行重新了评价。身居海外的张戎认为,慈禧太后把中国从中世纪带入了现代社会,她称慈禧为“了不起的女政治家”。

But Ms. Chang’s damn-the-man portrait of Cixi is a tad too generous even for some sympathizers. How could the empress dowager have ushered in groundbreaking innovation when much of her career was devoted to her drive to preserve the imperial family that crumbled three years after her death?

但是,张戎以都是男人之罪的手法描绘出来的慈禧,即使对一些同情慈禧的人来说,也有点太慷慨了。西太后的政治生涯大部分花在致力于维护皇家的努力上,而清朝在她死后三年就崩溃了,慈禧怎么可能是开创了突破性创新的人物呢?

And Cixi did undermine a bold reform program begun by her adopted son, Emperor Guangxu, who favored a constitutional monarchy, not an absolute one. She then supported the Boxer rebellion, an anti-foreign, anti-Christian uprising that cost China dearly, a move she later blamed on her bossy male advisers.

其次,慈禧的确破坏了她的养子光绪皇帝的大胆改革计划。后者支持君主立宪而非绝对君主制。之后,慈禧还支持过义和团运动,那是一场排外的、反基督教的起义,让中国付出了沉重的代价。她后来将支持义和团的做法归咎于对她发号施令的男性顾问。

A Chinese scholar, Zhang Hongjie, recently took up the cause of the empress in a sympathetic essay, “Woman Cixi,” featured in an anthology about Chinese women and men who have struggled against the odds.

在近期发表的文章《女人慈禧》中,中国学者张宏杰也以一种同情的态度探讨了她的事业。此文收录在一本关于与逆境作斗争的中国女性和男性的集子里。

He argued that she was held back by her lack of education, a given at the time because she was a woman, and that she should be given credit for trying to make amends for her mistakes at the end of her rule. But Mr. Zhang said his positive portrait made little impact.

他认为,缺乏教育拖累了她,而在当时,女人不受教育是理所当然的,在她的统治快要结束时,慈禧曾试图弥补自己的错误,她应该因此而受到表扬。但张宏杰说,他对慈禧的正面描述几乎没有产生任何影响。

“Cixi is still a negative character,” he said.

“慈禧仍是一个负面人物,”他说。

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