Dr. Amanda Foreman explores the rise of 'separate spheres' among early Confucian and Buddhist societies, as well the origins of the cosmic ordering of the female Yin and male Yang. She interrogates the extent to which women accepted or resisted the inferior status allotted to them under Confucianism, using the example of the Trung Sisters' rebellion in 1st century Vietnam; Empress Wu Zetian's palace coup in the 7th, making her China's only female ruler; the impact of Lady Murasaki Shikibu - the world's... [see more] first novelist - on Japanese culture; and, the rise of foot-binding during the Song Dynasty.
Originally created for BBC2 in the UK, this groundbreaking four-part documentary charts the role of women in society over the course of 10,000 years. Written and presented by Dr. Amanda Foreman, it is the first-ever documentary to present the history of women from the dawn of civilization to the modern day. THE ASCENT OF WOMAN argues that the history of women isn't a straight line from Eve's apple to Margaret Sanger's Pill. Instead, over the past ten thousand years it has veered wildly between extremes of freedom and oppression, inclusion and exclusion. The reason is that the status of women is a barometer of a society's tolerance, fairness and openness. A poor record on women's rights goes hand-in-hand with low economic output and high levels of violence. Amanda argues that for the next economic cycle to be the age of full participation, there has to be a woman-led revolution that unleashes the potential of all individuals. At stake are the goals of autonomy, authority and agency for all women.